5 Photo Edits to Instantly Improve Your Photos

5 Photo Edits to Instantly Improve your Photos

Editing your photos is quite important these days. It can help improve your photos and give them that extra edge. Photography is everywhere, how are you going to stand out?

In this post we break down 5 quick photo edits that will instantly improve your photos.

1. Crop & Straighten

Cropping your images is pretty important. It can help bring objects to focus and can improve the overall composition of your photo. Cropping can make an image look completely different. Look at the example below and you’ll see why.

Before Crop


After Crop


In cropping this image, I was able to change the focus and narrow in on a key part of an image. Today I challenge you to take 5 minutes cropping your image a few times, and see what you can come up with.

2. Increase Brightness/Contrast

Increasing the overall brightness and contrast in an image helps bring out the colors, shadows, and light. I took a second to do it on this photo, and look at the difference.


While it is nothing revolutionary, by bumping the brightness and contrast up, I was able to increase the color in the skin and clothing and defined the shadows a bit more.

3. Look for Dust & Other Particles

Camera lenses often attract dust and other particles. These can sometimes show up in a photo and will really take away from the photo.

Use a healing tool or content aware fill to remove dust, noise, and grime. It will make your image look better and remove any extraneous details.

4. Balance Colors

Colors are very important in photography. Having a balanced image can really improve the look and feel. If you want a retro feel you often saturate colors and make them less powerful. For an HDR effect it is good to over-compensate the colors and really brighten/sharpen them.

In this photo I took a second to adjust the colors using the curves tool and look at the difference.


By using the curves tool I was able to boost the blues and take away the yellow faded look. This increased the contrast in the sky and really makes it pop.

5. Use Filters & Actions

Finally, I suggest filters or Photoshop actions to improve the look of your photos. Photoshop actions are basically installable effects that can quickly and professionally edit your photo in a few seconds. While they are by no means perfect, they can be a great base to start with or additional effect to your post processing workflow. Learn a bit more about Photoshop actions in this post.

Here is a quick before and after with one of our Retro Photoshop Actions.

photoshop action before and after

If you’re looking for an awesome bundle of Photoshop actions, grab the FilterGrade Photoshop Actions Bundle. It’s one of the most comprehensive sets of Photoshop actions on the web and includes all types of effects ranging from retro to film to black and white.

Parting Words

The bottom line is, take a few extra minutes and edit your photos. It makes a huge difference and really makes your photos impacting.

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