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Editing your shots

So you have taken a cool shot but its not quite the look you wanted, maybe you wanted a darker/more gritty shot, or you wanted a bright shot. In this post I will go through some of the Lighting software available whether its paid for or free.

Software available (Free)


GIMP is probably one of the most popular free Photoshop alternatives out there, but not only can you use it as a Photoshop alternative, you can use it as a lighting editor as well. GIMP has less features to the paid alternatives but it is great for beginners, who maybe aren't quite sure what they are doing and need to learn before investing in a software


Lightzone is a lesser known software but still just as good as the others, it is open-source and free. It is an alternative to Lightroom but comes with a lot less features.

Software available (Paid)

Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom is arguably the best photo editing software out there, being made by Adobe you can get it as part of the photography package they offer for around £9.99 a month but also gives you access to Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. The different functions that Lightroom have is massive. You can use presets or tweak photos exactly to your liking. Later on in the post I will go over how to edit a photo using Lightroom.

Affinity Photo

Affinity photo is a one of payment software so there is no need for subscriptions, it comes in at £47.99 for desktop and £20 for Ipad, for a one off payment that is pretty good and you get a free trial before you buy.

Mobile editors (free and paid)

There's not only desktop editors out there, for those of you that take shots using your phone; having an app on your phone can prove very useful so here's a few that you can try.

Adobe Lightroom App (Paid)

The app version of Lightroom is similar to the way the desktop one works but mix that with the editing built in to your phone and you have Lightroom mobile, its easy to use and has options to store your photos on the cloud, making it easy to access your shots between desktop and mobile

Picsart (free and paid)

Picsart is a great tool to helpbyou fet started, not only can you edit lighting on it but you can also add effects to your shots to give that extra wow factor, you can do all of this on the free version, but by paying you can unlock loads more.

How to edit a photo

For the purposes of this guide I will be using Lightroom but the features I will be using are available on all of the software mentioned above, making it relate to everyone.

This is the photo we are going to be editing, I have already added the mist and rain effects using Photoshop, so now I am going to edit the lighting using Lightroom.

When you edit shots it's good to have an idea of what you are aiming for, you don't have to stick to it but having that idea already can help quite a bit to know what elements to change

Light Pane

So here we have the light panel, It is important not to massively change each option at once because you can get different looks from just adjusting each option slightly.

Exposure: Exposure changes how much light is in the photo. So like a camera lense the higher the exposure the brighter the shot. Too much or too little exposure can make a photo look washed out and not very detailed so try and keep it balanced.

Contrast: As the name suggests it changes the difference between each colour in the shot so say you have black and white, which are already 2 very different colours, by changing the contrast you will make that gap even wider by darkening the black and brightening the white.

Highlights: Lightens parts of the object within the photo such as edges.

Shadows: darkens or lightens the shadows in a shot.

Whites and Blacks: changes the brightness of the whites and the blacks in a shot.

As you can see above, the image has changes drastically. Now we will edit the colours.

Colour Pane

The colour pane is quite a simple one.

Temp: gives a blue tint or a yellow tint to an image. Blue is for a darker or colder looking image and Yellow for a warmer or brighter looking image.

Tint: tints the image slightly similar to temp. but you have the option of green and pink. It is usually mixed with temp to get a different colouring.

Vibrance: brightens the colours in a shot or makes them darker

Saturation: brings either more colour to an image or takes it away completely; making it black and white.

So I hope this blog post has helped some of you, Any questions please comment or ask us on the Facebook group.

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