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Learn about editing in photography and why this process is a crucial step in the digital workflow...

What is editing in photography?

Editing in photography is a crucial step in your digital workflow and allows you to refine and enhance your images post-capture. The editing process involves knowing various editing terms and techniques that can alter the mood and look of your photos.

Color theory

Understanding color theory plays a big role in editing as it will help you understand the relationship between colors and how they can visually impact the mood and story of your image. For example, adjusting the saturation, hue, and luminance of your colors can tweak the overall look of your image.

Knowing which colors go well together and which do not along with common color harmonies such as analogous, complementary, and monochromatic colors will allow you to turn a "good" photo into a "great" one.

Graphic of different color harmonies for photography.
Color harmonies

File types

Understanding the different file types is also important when it comes to editing in photography.

RAW files for example, offer greater flexibility for adjustment, while JPEG files do not. Different brands name their RAW files differently such as CR2 for Canon, NEF for Nikon, and ARW for Sony.

Want to add graphics to your images? You'll need to know what a PNG file is. Plan on using a software like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop? Then you'll need to know what TIFF and XMP files are.

Editing software and apps

There are various editing software and apps you can use as a photographer to make your edits.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular tools for photo editing, but you also have to learn how this software works and the various terms within the software. Lightroom provides a comprehensive set of tools allowing you to edit your photos to align wtih your creative vision and editing style.

Girl standing in a bright and airy park.
Bright and airy editing style

If you don't want to manually edit each photo one-by-one, you can also learn how to use and apply Lightroom presets to your images to speed up your workflow.


Printing is often the final step in the workflow and is dependant on effectively applying your editing adjustments to match your print output so your colors and details appear as intended.

When printing, pay careful consideration to your color accuracy, resolution, and the type of print material such as lustre or glossy prints.

Overall, editing is an art in and of itself and is important to know as a photographer as it will allow you to bring out the best in your work, whether for digital viewing or physical display.

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