Many of us are familiar with K.I.S.S., the acronym to “Keep it simple stupid.” It’s not meant to be a derogatory term at all rather it is a reminder not to over-think and overwork that which we are doing. This little saying is so appropriate when working in a photo lab that it is one of the first things I tell a new employee.

I am not, by any means, trying to simplify the art of color correction but, as the old saying goes, “you need to learn to crawl before you can walk.” Programs like Photoshop provide us with an enormous tool chest with which we can accomplish the job but our most valuable resources are those we already possess….our eyes and our minds.

The simplest first step to any color correction, or retouch is to stop and take a look at the image. Take a good look, think about it and ask yourself three questions:

1. Does it look it’s best?
2. Can it be better?
3. Can I honestly improve it?

If the answer to the first question is yes or if the answers to either of the other two are no then by all means print the picture call it good and move on.

A lot of folks, myself included, tend to try to fix that which is not broken. Sometimes the best job is the one that requires little or no work.