I remember when I was first learning how to use my DSLR, I would see beautiful pictures captured by other photographers that looked so perfect, and I couldn’t imagine how in the world they got such incredibly vibrant shots. When I would look through my images after a day of shooting, they looked dull in comparison. I  learned very quickly that although it’s important to get the shot right with your camera, most professional photographers further enhance their images by using some kind of post processing software. Whether it’s Photoshop or Lightroom almost every photographer has a system they use to proof and then adjust their images.

Photoshop and Lightroom can do some crazy cool things and both programs can get really deep. That said, I have found that using some simple actions and filters can really speed up the process without having to be an expert. Below is an image that was shot by one of our Photography 101 students.

(Photo Credit: Peggy Holland)

I love the composition of this shot, but I wanted to see if I could make the image pop a little more by using some filters in Photoshop CS5. The image below is the same shot after editing.

(Photo Credit: Peggy Holland)

Below is another example of an image that I amped up with some warmth and color. I shot this home with my wife, Layla, and you can read more about it HERE. The top image is straight out of the camera. I had my white balance set to Automatic, but it didn’t really capture how warm the room looked that day with the sun coming through the windows. The bottom image is after I did some editing to try and recapture the true feel of the room that day.

I try not to go overboard with the editing, but I do like to go in and add a little life. We teach our process in our Photoshop class, which you can find by clicking HERE.

Do you use a photo editing program to enhance your images?

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  • bonnierose

    Love this.. I edit all my photos in iPhoto… it works for me! Loved the article… editing can truly enhance the originals that’s for sure… makes such a difference!!!!

    • shootflyshoot

      Yes it can, it really changed the game for me! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • I have photoshop but have yet to figure most of it out. Your examples encourage me that maybe I should shoot for the basics and branch out from there. We all have to start somewhere, right? Hoping my budget allows taking a class from you at some point! You and Layla are both so talented : )

    • shootflyshoot

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Mindy! Actions and filters definitely help speed up the process of learning! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  • Paty

    Hello guys, love your website and cannot wait to take your classes, but first things first, I need a camera. However, there are so many options out there that I am confused with what to get. I am a mother of four little ones and I will be using it to photograph them most of the time as well as some DIY I do for my blog. What do you recommend for a mother on a budget? how about lenses? remember my priority is to photograph little people. Thanks so much

    • Kevin

      Hi Paty!

      We teach all of our Photography classes using a Canon Rebel. It’s a great entry level DSLR and it would make it very easy to follow along with the classes. As far as lenses go, I would start out with a 50mm 1.8 for shots of people and probably a wide angle like an 18-55 4.0 for shots of rooms or landscapes, or anything that requires a wider shot. I hope that helps! 🙂


  • LeAnne Canton

    Just curious if you work with Aperture? If you do, do you like it? I have a mac and really don’t want to go the Photoshop way.