Common Video and Photo Editing Mistakes New Editors Must Avoid

Creatives are lucky to live in a society where digital sharing creates opportunity. Here are some common video and photo editing mistakes.

Common Video and Photo Editing Mistakes New Editors Must Avoid:

Creatives and artists are fortunate enough to live in a society where digital sharing creates the opportunity to create a global audience. Photographers and videographers, in particular, can explore this passion and even build a career from their hobby.

If you’re just getting into the world of photography and videography with social sharing in mind, there’s plenty to learn— but don’t let the learning curve prevent you from getting started.

Here are some of the most common video and photo editing mistakes to avoid.

Over-Editing

Over-editing is the most common mistake that newcomers to the world of visual art make when processing photos and videos. The goal of editing is to enhance an image or video without making it evident that it’s been improved.

One of the prime examples of this issue is over airbrushing the subject of your photos or videos. It’s common to do some skin smoothing and color adjustments or to use a photo shadow remover (learn more here), but your subject should still look human; if the people in your videos look plastic, you’ve gone too far. Another manifestation of this issue is making white elements— the eyes and teeth in particular— too bright and unrealistic.

While it seems paradoxical, we live in a society that admires both beauty and authenticity. As a videographer or photographer, that’s a fine line to walk when creating content.

Another common issue includes adding too many cuts in video editing. The frequent use of jump cuts, particularly in a short amount of time, impacts the flow of the video and can be jarring for the viewer. This outdated practice takes away from the immersive quality that helps the viewer feel absorbed in the content. Another common issue includes adding too many cuts in video editing. The frequent use of jump cuts, particularly in a short amount of time, impacts the flow of the video and can be jarring for the viewer. This outdated practice takes away from the immersive quality that helps the viewer feel absorbed in the content. You should have a good practice for editing your videos. If you are a beginner, you can start with the web video editor to create and edit videos.

Overdoing HDR

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a shooting feature that creates a lot of contrast between shadows and highlights. This feature stems from photography but is now common in videos and is quickly becoming a standard on 4k television. The benefit of HDR is that it creates more dimension for an immersive experience that brings the viewer into the scene. It’s not 3D, but it does add a lot of depth.

The problem is when beginners don’t take the time to understand how to apply HDR, or rely on HDR to fix problems without taking the time to understand shadows and highlights. It’s important to note that there’s no proper limit to using HDR; it’s subjective. However, you know the HDR has been overdone when the hyper-realism is so overstated that it starts to feel surreal. I.e., your photo or video of a real, beautiful cityscape looks like a video game.

For this reason, many new photographers and videographers should forego HDR settings and manually adjust highlights and shadows until they understand how and why HDR works an easy tip suggested by Media Medic.

Over-Cropping and Over-Scaling

Another common mistake is over-cropping an image to focus on the subject. This applies to both shooting too close and manually cropping during the editing process.

The intention with close cropping is pure: focus on the subject and the subject only. However, it removes context and leeway from the image and can make it feel overpowering or distorted. It’s better to shoot following the Rule of Thirds, then crop while adhering to standard formats to create a high-quality, printable photo.

Close-cropping forces the subject into the viewer’s face; negative space draws the viewer to the subject.

In videography, over-scaling is a more pervasive issue. When you scale a video image over 100%, you lose sharpness and quality, which is obvious to viewers and can derail an otherwise successful project.

Using Outdated Editing Effects

Photo and video editing styles— like anything in life— are prone to trends and fads. In other words, it’s evolved, and some things are better left in the past.

For example, consider the family portraits of the 1980s that featured a super-imposed close-up image hovering above the main subject. It was revolutionary at the time. Now, not so much. Similarly, the selective coloring trend of the early 2000s. The pop of color on a greyscale image was trendy and novel; now, it looks as dated as wood paneling.

Video editing is similar. Using the page peel effect or the classic spinning Batman blur of the 1960s (unless you’re using it ironically) is no longer best practice.

Stay on top of photo and video trends so that you know when it’s time to let go.

Final Thoughts

While there are plenty of photo and video editing mistakes, these are the most common. Newcomers to this world can speed up the learning curve by avoiding these common mistakes.

 

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