For a novice or beginner, using photo editing software can be challenging, causing many to ask whether they will understand the technology, will it be too complicated or time-consuming, or even, will I be any good at it – will the images turn out horrible?

The answer to all those questions is simple – it will take time – so take small steps and grow into editing. Learning the basics is seldom wasted and the skills you’ll pick up will generally be transferable. There is little point in beginning with very complex / expensive software and making it harder for yourself.

We aim to provide resources to help you understand the basics of processing. To find tutorials, either select ‘Tutorials’ from the General Topics menu in the side panel which lists all the individual tutorials or select from the following summarised resources.

Understanding Tonal Ranges Key to editing, they can be used to focus enhancements to an image, to ensure balance, for creative effect, or to correct exposure issues complete with guided exercises and learning opportunities
Gradient Fill, Map or Tool ? All involve the term Gradient but in normal use, they couldn’t be further from each other.
Black/White Adjustment Layer 101 A four part ‘beginners’ series of posts for those who have not used one of the most flexible Adjustment Layers available in most post processing applications.  
Inverting Image Colours Inverting the colours in images can create very interesting results.
Vintage Image Look Taking one of your images and giving it that ‘Vintage’ look can be fun as well as being rewarding. Comes complete with an Action.
What is a LUT A table that maps an input colour value to an output colour value.
Vignettes (summary page) A four part series reviewing detailing several methods of creating them. Vignettes when used correctly can provide a simple, and sometimes subtle way, to guide the viewer’s eye through an image. A way of creating ‘unique’ vignettes is discussed here.
 Split Screen Tutorial A two part series – Useful for seeing the before/after views or illustrating the effect of changes made. Supporting these is a dual view tutorial to enable you to precisely edit a small area AND see the impact on the wider view without continually zooming in and out.

Photography Basics

Making a good image starts at the moment a photograph is taken. There are so many pages on the internet about how to take photos and it is not in our remit to add to them, so for novices and beginners we recommend the following – Photography Basics – A completely free online guide by PhotographyLife.