Photo Editing Techniques

Here, I am going to outline how I will be editing my photographs using my mobile phone. I will be mostly taking inspiration from the overall look of the photos taken by the photographers I previously researched in my proposal, and from those that I analysed further in my ‘Analysing Photographers Work‘ blogpost.

When it comes to editing photos, every photograph is unique and will be taken in different lighting conditions and some require more adjustments than others, but by practising these techniques I am hoping it will help to clarify how I wish my final photos to appear and to get used to using the settings within the editing app.

I have decided that I will be using the mobile app ‘Photoshop Express’ which is Adobe’s free, simplified mobile version of photoshop. I find it straightforward enough to use and it has plenty of settings which can be adjusted such as exposure, contrast, saturation, highlights and shadows. 

Photo 1:

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Fig 1: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 2: Increasing the exposure as I felt it was slightly too dark in parts

Fig 3: Increasing the contrast until I felt it looked appealing – in this case I increased it all the way

Fig 4: Adding in some black tones to make the details on the buildings stand out












Photo 1 before and after editing

Photo 2:

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Fig 5: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 6: Decreasing the exposure as I felt it was too over exposed in parts

Fig 7: Increasing the contrast – I didn’t do this one all the way but still made it quite high

Fig 8: Adding some brightness to the shadows – I felt some parts needed highlighting better












Photo 2 before and after editing

Photo 3:

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Fig 9: Decreasing the saturation completely to eliminate all colours and make it black and white

Fig 10: Decreasing the exposure as it seemed too bright

Fig 11: Increasing the contrast – again, I didn’t do this one all the way but it was increased

Fig 12: Adding in some black tones












Photo 3 before and after editing

Overall, the editing of each photograph only took me a few minutes to do as the process is so straightforward. As stated earlier, each photo is unique so therefore has very different requirements when adjusting the settings, as seen from editing these images. Some photos needed their exposure increasing, some decreasing and some, like photo 1, were able to have their contrast increased all the way and still look good, whereas if I did this on some it wouldn’t look good at all.

Due to the fact that there isn’t a set way in which I will be editing my photos and so I will be unable to follow a constrained process of editing, I will instead just focus on the overall final look I would like my photos to have which is black and white, high contrast and darker appearance. I will have to judge each photos editing needs individually when it comes to the final editing.

Blurring of Faces

I would also like to clarify here that in my final portfolio, I will be blurring the faces of anyone who ends up in my photographs who haven’t consented to their photo being taken – this will most likely be in the spontaneous street photos but it is also very likely that some people may end up in the background of my staged photographs as these will still be captured in the street.

For this step, I will be using Photoshop to create the blur effect after I have edited it on my phone and before uploading it to the portfolio. To do this, I will upload the photograph, zoom in on the face(s), draw a circle around the persons face using the Circle Marquee Tool, then I will apply the Gaussian Blur filter. I will then be able to alter the intensity of the blur, so will do it just enough so that the persons identity can’t be seen. Finally, the photo can be exported. Overall, this process is very important but it still shouldn’t take me that long to do. I have practised doing on a couple of photos already, and it was very simple to do.

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