Photo Editing Terms: What Do They Mean?

Understanding photo editing terms is essential. It makes the deliverables clear and manages expectations. Here are some simple photo editing terminology and definition.

Basic Photo Editing Terms

  • Brightness: Adjusting the image to make it brighter or darker
  • Tonal Contrast: This refers to the distinction of light intensity amongst the subject/s of the image
  • Exposure: In technical terms, it is the amount of light that hits the camera. This determines the intensity of your images’ brightness.
  • Saturation: Controls the intensity level of the image’s hue or shade. This is usually adjusted to make colours either more vibrant or toned down.
  • Shadow: This refers to the dark parts of the image. It is usually adjusted to either remove unnecessary silhouttes or used creatively as contour for details.
  • Highlights: This refers to the bright parts of the image. This is usually found in actual sources of light or where light bounces off.

Photo Editing Terms: Technical Quality

SOOC / Straight Out of Camera

  • Unprocessed Photos from a digital camera
  • Maximum image quality
  • Other known terms: RAW

Basic Editing + Web Optimized Images

  • Simple Adjustments (Lighting, Color Vibrancy and Sharpness)
  • Easy solution to iron out exposure and saturation
  • Web Optimized Images means that the file size ready for upload
Basic Edit

Notice how the minimal alterations make your photos look brighter and vibrant.

Color Grading

  • Enhances the Color Quality of images
  • Includes Simple Adjustments (Lighting, Color Vibrancy and Sharpness)
  • Photo Editing may include texture and custom toned adjustments

Beauty Retouch

  • Adjustments go beyond adjusting the lighting and colour
  • Usually applied to smooth out skin imperfections
  • Best applied to Portrait photos
Basic Edit
Color Graded + Beauty Retouch
Color Graded + Beauty Retouch

Before and After Photo Editing Comparisons

Color Graded Only
Color Graded + Beauty Retouch
Basic Edit Only
Color Graded + Beauty Retouch

These photo editing techniques are applied to our Photography Services. Check out which of our packages best serves your needs.

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