Under-editing images are one of the biggest problems in editing that no one is talking about. A lot of photographers will argue that over-editing is one of the main problems during post-production. It’s true for professional photographers. However, the same thing cannot be said with amateur photographers.

Delivering an image that captures the right emotions and truly impresses your clients is the number one goal of every photographer. There are a lot of guides that you can follow while shooting the image but editing them is just as important. With modern technology, you can improve the quality of your photo even in just a few shots.

One of the main problems of a lot of amateur photographers is that they’re not utilizing the tools available to create the best version of their shots. There are a lot of photography applications that can be used to create stunning photos but amateurs don’t maximize their usage.

Since beginners are still exploring the medium, they’re often satisfied with a little touch-up. This leads to under-edited photos that seem fine at first but can still be improved.

Compiled here are the 5 signs that you’re under-editing images.

Not Cropping Out Distractions

Most photographers have perfected the art of taking shots at great angles. But sometimes, there are great photos that need a little cropping. One of the main problems of amateur photographers is their reluctance to crop their photos.

Most newbies will simply straighten out the horizon and move on to color correction. While this works for other photos, you can bring out more if you decide to play with the cropping tool a bit more.

Try to minimize distractions in the photos so that it’s easier for viewers to focus on the main subject. You can balance the composition of the photos if you crop out things that are too distracting.

While other photographers are worried about over-cropping because the photo loses more pixels, it’s worth it if your final product is stunning.

Tips To Avoid Under-Editing Images
📷 Marta Wave from Pexels

Flat Colors

After cropping, the next step is usually color-correction. Of course, there are photographers whose style revolves around flat colors. But if it’s not used as a style to give more meaning to the photo, then you should definitely avoid dull colors.

The beauty of editing during posts is that you can bring out the colors more, and give the photo a more wonderful look. These photos are more striking and more preferred by more people.

There’s still a way to create muted colors without having a flat-colored photo. You can do this by increasing the luminance and playing a bit with the HSL settings.


Since shadows are usually not the focus of most pictures, a lot of amateurs are actually not paying attention to them. Amateur photographers who do not pay attention to shadows are under-editing images.

An overexposed photo should obviously be avoided but you can increase the details in the shadows in a very simple step. Increase the sliders for shadows to bring back some of the details. This easy fix works for most photos.

However, if doing so will affect other parts of the images that should stay dark. Try using a luminance range mask to create a local adjustment. You can instead target specific parts of the photo. Create a radial filter and increase the exposure of that area.

Avoid Under-Editing Images In Simple Steps
📷 Pixabay

Wrong Contrast

It takes an expert to notice the subtle difference of applying the wrong contrast on a picture. But it doesn’t mean that beginners will never be able to tell.

Always try to adjust the contrast of your picture and compare it with one another. Remember that it should have enough contrast to create a striking photo. But do not increase the contrast too much that it will remove certain details.

Tips To Avoid Under-Editing Images

It’s sometimes difficult for amateur photographers to check if they’re under-editing images. That’s why there are certain tools and apps that can help in creating a more dynamic and beautiful photo.

There’s a standalone photography application called the ON1 HDR 2020 that can help you adjust your photos to prevent under-editing images and create a high-dynamic range or HDR photo. This app can also be a plugin for Adobe Lightroom Classic.


All photographers should master the art of taking photos as well as editing them in post. Make sure that you are not under-editing images with the simple tips provided above to use your photography application properly.