We all love to take vacation photos. They capture some of our favorite memories, preserving them so we both can look back on them and also share them with friends and family.
Naturally, we want our vacation photos to look as good as possible. There are a few ways to do this, and in this guide, I’ll be sharing some tips for improving your vacation photos by editing them. This doesn’t take a lot of time, and you don’t need to invest a lot of money to get some great results and better-looking photos.
Shoot your Photos in RAW
So before you start editing, it is best if you shoot the photos in RAW (or RAW + JPEG) because this will give you a lot more control over the editing process. If you are not already doing this, I would recommend doing this in the future (if your phone or camera allows).
JPEG files are great for quickly putting up on social media or emailing to friends, but RAW files contain a lot more image detail. This means that during the editing process you can recover a lot more detail and have much more control over the final look of your image.
Use a Mobile Editing App
When traveling, you probably want to share some of your favorite photos on social media or email them to friends and family. Instead of just sending them photos taken straight from the phone or camera, I recommend taking a little time to edit them first.
There are several photo editing apps you can download onto your smartphone, and many of these are free. My favorite is Snapseed and it is something I use for editing photos on the go and posting them to social media. It’s intuitive and easy to use and does nearly everything you need, from basic adjustments through to things like adding text and more advanced filters. It’s also completely free!
Master the Editing Basics
Photo editing can refer to a very wide range of adjustments you can make to your photos, which can cover everything from basic image corrections like cropping through to more advanced changes like object removal.
My suggestion to get started is to focus on the editing basics. There are several easy fixes you can apply to a photo that can dramatically improve it.
These include cropping it, leveling the horizon, adjusting the brightness, tweaking the saturation, sharpening it, correcting any lens distortion, removing red-eye caused by flash, and adjusting the contrast.
Mastering these basic editing tweaks will dramatically improve your images. All of these are very easy fixes, and most of them are available in both free and paid image editing software.
Learn to Use a Full Feature Photo Editing Program
Once you’ve mastered some of the basics of editing a photo, you might consider learning how to use a more full-featured photo editing software. These include programs like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom which gives you access to a wide range of powerful photo management and editing tools.
These programs can be overwhelming at first as there are so many features and editing options, but taking the time to learn how to use them can dramatically improve your photos. Using a program like this can be especially great for those who need higher-quality photos for printing or posting on a blog or website.
Invest in Improving your Photography Editing Skills
If you are serious about wanting better vacation photos, then you might consider investing additional time and money into improving both your photography and your editing skills.
There are several ways you can do this, from signing up for in-person photography classes, to taking an online photography course.
A good photography course will teach you all the skills you need to improve your photography, from the basics of how a camera works through to composition, use of light, and more advanced photography skills. Most will also, of course, include assistance with photo editing.
Depending on your preferences, there is a range of photography courses on the market at a range of different price points. Some may include things like instructor feedback or access to exclusive membership forums. The main thing is to find a course with the features and content that works for you.
Develop a Photography Editing Style of your Own
Once you learn the basics and get familiar with your chosen photography editing program, you can start to develop your own unique editing style. Many people start by emulating other photographers they admire and then over time often develop their own personal style.
Depending on your target audience (e.g., friends, family, strangers, fans) and where you plan to share your images (e.g., social media, for printing, website, email), you may develop different styles.
For social media, for example, you would want to probably edit photos differently depending on the specific social media platform. For example, if sharing on Instagram, photos that look good cropped to a square will often do better whereas portrait orientation photos do better on Pinterest.
For print, you will want to consider the medium you are printing onto, as this can affect how brightness and saturation are displayed.