By editing photos you can fix a lot of mistakes and improve them dramatically – provided of course you don’t actually make any further mistakes. If you do that could actually make your photos look worse, which is the last thing that you want.

Although there are lots of mistakes that could be made when editing photos, there are a few that tend to be a lot more common than the rest. Because of that avoiding them is a good place to start if you want to make sure your photos turn out great:

  • Oversaturated colors that look unnatural

One of the most popular ways to edit a photo so that its colors look more vivid and ‘pop out’ is to increase the saturation. Unfortunately all too often people tend to oversaturate the photo in the process, resulting in a photo that has unnatural hues.

Ideally you should be very careful when you increase the saturation and not increase it too much. Instead you could try adjusting some of the other color settings in your editor such as the vibrance, hue, and contrast to achieve a more natural set of vivid colors.

  • Excessively smooth skin that looks ‘plasticy’

Smooth skin is highly desirable, and so it should come as no surprise that most photos with people in them are edited so that the skin looks smoother. Once again going too far can be a problem however, as the skin will gradually start to look more and more artificial and ‘plastic’.

To avoid getting to that point you should smooth skin gradually and constantly compare the results to the original image so that you can tell when you need to stop.

  • Not exerting enough control when sharpening an image

Sharpening an image can be used to correct blurry images or to improve the definition of a photo – but it must be done with care. If you over-sharpen your image various artifacts and image noise will start to appear.

To sharpen your image effectively you need to be able to exert control over it, such as with a high pass filter. If you just use one of the preset sharpening tools, odds are it will be very difficult to sharpen the image without causing other issues.

  • Cropping photos too close and not leaving enough white space

The crop tool is deceptively powerful, but it can be a double-edged sword at times. One of the more frequent mistakes that people make when using it is to crop photos too close so there isn’t much white space between the subject and the frame.

If you do crop your photo it is important that you keep its composition in mind as you decide on the new frame. Using composition techniques such as the rule of thirds can help with that, and should ensure that your photo isn’t cropped too close.

By this point you may have noticed that all the mistakes listed above share one thing in common: They involve going overboard when editing photos. To be honest that is the main overarching issue that you should remember: Never over-edit a photo.

Make no mistake it is easy enough to avoid most mistakes regardless of the photo editing software for Mac or PC that you use. That being said you may have an easier time as a beginner if it is user-friendly, and for example you could try Movavi Photo Editor for Mac.

Additionally despite the fact that mistakes can adversely affect your photos – you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes in the first place. Just make sure that you learn from every mistake, and don’t repeat it in the future.

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