Imagine baking something in an oven. How much time does it take? You can’t really specify your answer unless you don’t know what you’re baking. Image editing is kind of the same here. The time that time taken for editing images generally depends on the purpose you wish to fulfill as a photographer or artist.
Their purpose could differ Starting from a product photo to a magazine cover, the entire photo editing process can vary depending on the complexity involved. Although photo editing isn’t a new concept yet the process can be tedious.
The timing of editing photos depends on certain factors. . Let’s find out which bits are mostly cumbersome, often can be frustrating.
- Quality of the original photo
- The location of their photoshoot
- Where you’re going to use the photograph
- Required level of editing
We can differentiate the editing process and timing into three levels. According to a client’s requirements and purpose, image editing can be simple, mid-level edits, or complex editing.
Here, we will break down all of these levels, mentioning the tasks and timing.
Starting with the basic or simple editing process.
Simple Photo Edit
As you can see in the picture above, we’ve attached a before and after example, where the left one is the original image and the right one is edited using Adobe Photoshop.
The difference is clear. Look at the background, the model’s skin texture, hair, her clothes, and the sparkle in her face.
In this photo, we’ve removed the background of the main picture and replaced it with a clearer version. Acne and face spots have been removed using healing and patch tools. We did slight face reshaping wherever necessary by adjusting colors using color correction tools. Notched up the brightness meter, sharpened the image contrast by turning it sparklier, and fixed the white balance and contrast. We’ve also fixed the frizziness of the hair and added a shinier hair wave using the brush and clone tool. If you notice her clothes, the creases have been made smoother.
And that’s it. This whole editing process took only between 15 to 25 minutes. The time actually varies, E.g. a product photo requires fewer edits than live model fashion photography., Consider, keeping the original background, that’s also going to save time – in such cases, the basic editing may take approximately 5 to 15 minutes.
Our next discussion is about mid-level editing. We are presenting a picture for your better understanding.
Mid Level Edits
In this photo, we had to spend longer time editing and, yes, it took longer than the photo we discussed above. Like always, we started with the background by removing the original background and replacing it with a different image that will complement it better by giving a more vibrant look. Having three subjects in this picture, hence, we had to work on hair, clothes, skin texture, face reshaping, acne, and spot healing by sharpening each aspect of the overall picture.. With the brush and clone tool, we’ve fixed their hair with no frizziness and a shinier color tone. Using the same brush tool, smooth skin textures, reshape faces, and correct acne and spots on the faces, we further worked on the wrinkles and sharpened their face lines so that the subjects appear livelier. Now that we are finally done with the body and skin tone editing, we’ve focused on the outfit. Here, the outfit’s color is changed using the color range selector. As you can see, we’ve made a brighter, shinier, and more vibrant flow in dress color and fabric.
This picture had to pass through these processes several times while maintaining a perfect white balance, brightness, and contrast level. The color balance, brightness, contrast, and color curves you’re seeing in the photograph cannot be achieved if we fix them only once. So, you have to keep those balances until you get the perfect glimpse of what you need.
To get the edited photo from the original one, it takes approximately 25 to 40 minutes. Here, I’d like to repeat: you may not need all the processes we’ve gone through, or you may need more than that. So, the editing time will vary according to your needs, phototype, photo quality, and requirements.
Now, let’s see how much time we need for more complex editing. We can also call it high-level photo editing.
High-End Image Editing Support
This is the picture we will break down to understand tasks and timing for high-level photo editing.
We took this picture with the vision of getting a romantic notion in a natural environment. Firstly, we made all the minor adjustments here, such as white balancing, fixing the dress, skin tone and textures, blemish removal, and other necessary adjustments. We cleaned up the image, cropped it, and straightened the horizon as well. Now the image is in its proper frame.
You can see in the original picture that it’s a little over-exposed. So, we’ve corrected the over-exposure by balancing it through various adjustments. By focusing on the subject, we then removed other objects one by one; also, the lady in front of the couple has been removed. Now, it’s time to do sky manipulation. The original sky has been removed from the picture, and we retouched the photo with a more blueish, vibrant, and brighter sky!
Let’s consider the water body now; We’ve made a reflection of the sky in the watery part of this picture while enhancing the shadow. We did this to make the picture appear dreamlike by connecting with nature. You could get rid of all the eyesore from any picture, which depends completely on your choice.
Now, we fixed the road, did a slight color correction using the color replacement tool located in the image adjustment bar.
Finally, after we have finished the significant edits, we did a final retouching by delivering a dynamic experience throughout the whole image. Editing and retouching aren’t limited as photo editing depend on the editor and everything they would want to extrapolate and then demonstrate to the world.
As mentioned, this type of photo editing goes through a complex level of editing; therefore, often consumes a lot of time. This photo took more than 1 hour to reach our desired result.
Photo editing is a creative sector in the photography industry. Individual photo editors have their own style and different choices in editing pictures. It is hard to estimate an exact time for each level of editing. In this article, we covered the approximate time a professional photo editor may need to edit each photo. With the aim of giving the readers a clearer idea, we’ve described the process that we usually follow to edit photos for our clients and how much time each stage requires.
Photographers give their best to produce an outstanding output, even from a very normal image. So, needless to say, the timing isn’t going to be the same for all the photographers. It varies depending on their perspective.