Are Your Photos Over-Edited? Use This Little-Known Lightroom Tool to Find Out

In the post-production process, it's very easy to get carried away and go a little too far with our edits. But sometimes, it's hard for us to tell if we've actually overdone things. This under-used Lightroom tool is great for exposing over-edited images.

When I was first introduced to Photoshop some 20 years ago, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. I was doing a multimedia course that covered photography, videography, website design, and, of course, post-production of stills and videos. By far, my favorite part of the course was playing in Photoshop, especially transferring heads of animals onto my friends. Then, I settled down with the fun and started to really learn what Photoshop could do to images. It's an incredibly powerful tool that provides almost endless editing opportunities. That was more than two decades ago, and since then, all kinds of different software options have become available for photographers to play with after they've come home from shooting. But, how do you know when to say enough's enough and stop with your edits?

That brings us to this great video by Mark Denney, in which he shares a little-known and highly under-used tool in Lightroom that can objectively show you if you've overcooked or undercooked your edits. In his example, he uses a gorgeous waterfall image with some vibrant fall leaves in the foreground and takes you through his editing process. Along the way, you'll learn some very simple techniques on how to really add incredible depth to your images, but the main takeaway is learning to understand if you've gone too far with your colors and tweaks or if you haven't actually gone far enough. Lightroom has a tool that is simple to use and shows you very quickly if you need to go further or pull back a little. Have you used this before? Let me know your thoughts below.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

Log in or register to post comments


make 3 versions with lite, medium, heavy edits and… compare them.

Guys srsly? That's a kind of clickbait and it's not even a real tool per se, it's just a particular way of using LR functionality...

CLICK BAIT. Doesn't Fstoppers understand that click bait just pisses off readers? I don't have ANY more knowledge now than before I opened the article. All that happened is my time was manipulated and wasted.

Take a look at this guys' website before you take his advice. I'd say most of his photos look very over-edited. Agree with the other comments as well ... the video was clickbait.

Zoran Grbic , then skip their articles if you find them annoyingly uninteresting. You have many opportunities to identify the author. Desktop or mobile, there's a "back" button. Learn to use it. No one is forcing you to read/watch anything you don't want to.

The only thing we need to mute are all these sniveling pre-pubescents decrying "clickbait". Act your age and stop being a bunch of pansies.

You are welcome. I actually am.

Why all the negative comments? I found this helpful and interesting and the guy is very engaging. It’s getting to the point where every Fstoppers post has people just adding “clickbait” comments. If you’re not interested just move on.