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?