In all likelihood, you scrap in the same program that you use to edit photos. And if you’re like many, you don’t take the time to process a photo until it’s being printed, posted on the web or included in a layout. There are two straightforward paths for getting your photos looking just right. By choosing the right one for your photo, you can maximize productivity and find just a little more time for scrapping!
First, take a quick assessment of your photo. What does it need? Are the colors washed out? Is it too dark? Will you add a vignette or use an action to make it pop?
With this rough idea in mind, consider these important facts. You can edit levels, brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, even gradient, all with adjustment layers. If your photo simply needs a tweak or a nudge, then add your photo to a layout and clip the adjustment layers to your photo. In other words, for photos that need only minor corrections, do the work in the same workspace as your digital scrapbooking.
On the other hand, if your photo needs specific editing such as blemish removal or straightening, you should strongly consider editing it separately. This is also true if you want to add layer masks or use an action. It is important to have the flexibility and control to flatten images as needed to achieve the effect you’re after. Additionally, if you plan on printing your photo separately from your layout, you might want to have all of your edits in a separate file. In sum, if your photo requires more substantial corrections, you plan to use an action or print the photo, then edit the photo in a separate workspace from your digital scrapbooking.
The real key here is not whether to edit photos within your layout or not, but rather to take just a single minute to determine your needs and make the most efficient and effective game plan for you.