When I first started photography, I wanted to learn every trick in the book .Especially when it came to Photoshop. I look back at those pictures now and think, over processed! Hey, you need to learn somehow right? I learn best when I completely mess something up and need to fix it.
These days, the only Photoshop that is a MUST for me is playing with curves and levels. Those alone give me the nice crisp images I’m looking for. I do have a few actions that I use on certain pictures but I never run them at 100%. I usually keep it around 20% just to get a hint of the effect.
I came across this old picture and giggled. While I can’t say I hate the effect, it is just way too strong. I don’t think I ever heard of the term “toning it down a notch”.
I had to redo this same flower (it’s fake, obviously, and sits on my desk) to see how my current style compares to my old style. It’s sitting in the same exact spot as it was before. All I did was adjust my levels, threw on a linear curve and bumped up my exposure a smidgen. Much more natural!
My advice to new photographers: Do not rely on Photoshop/Lightroom to fix your images. Learn to use your camera properly and very little editing will need to be done. I know I relied too heavily on them when I first started.