Editing is a process as with all arts. Good editing skills don't happen over night, they come with practise. This to begin with. Me for example have edit since 2012/2013 and art experience since I was a kid.
This is one of my first edits in 2013:
And this is a edit I've done for a T Show in 2016:
See the difference? Between these two images are 3 years of nonestop editing, nonestop picture taking and a lot of screams, tears and the feeling I will never ever get better. But, of course, also a graphic tablet. The first was done with a mouse, the second with a graphic tablet. Will a graphic tablet make you a great editor over night? No, it won't. Does it help getting better? Maybe, depending on your own dedication to the long process and pretty much the 'hell' you put yourself through. Will Photoshop make you a great editor? No, it won't. Does it help though? Yes, but the job can be done with a free graphic program as well.
What do I want to tell you? My point is simple - I know the frustration that can happen when seeing all these amazing edits and wondering how these people are able to get such quality pictures and (this happens to me sometimes too) you are wondering if you might find a quick way to get such results. The answer is: No, there is no quick way to learn how to edit. No, even if I showed you every single step and every single layer and you had been there watching me edit the second picture, would this have get you any experience? No. People often ask me how to achieve this or that in Photoshop and I always have to tell them: By drawing. Can someone explain how to draw? Yes, at least a bit but they cannot make you good in drawing by just explaining things and you won't get good in editing by sitting there watching tutorials (I've watched so many vids by Bob Ross, did I became Bob Ross? Hell no!). You want to get good in editing? Edit. There is no quick solution. Edit as much as you can and as much as you enjoy it. And keep looking at yourself and the way you've came. Learn your graphic program. Even after years of me spending my time in PS there are still things I don't know. Do I sometimes google a certain topic if I don't know how to achieve it in PS? Yes, I do. This helps a lot more than watching someone else edit their pictures. You are not the others. You might not have the same experience level and, yes, even if some might tell you different, the same talent. Art is a talent, nonetheless. Some are good at it because they have the talent but this doesn't prevent them from doing it. They have to spend the same dedication, they went (and are still going) through the same level of frustration. And then ask yourself one big question that is more important than others: Do you really see yourself spending hours, days, weeks on just a single image? The second picture I showed you, took me literally 2 weeks. 2 weeks, 5-10 hours each day and it is still not perfect, still not as good as I wanted it to be because I have boundris but it's the best I could do.
Anyway, as you asked for some tipps, here are some:
- get yourself a graphic tablet if editing is something you want to spend your time because it's your hobby.
- get a graphic program (no it doesn't have to be PS. Gimp is pretty much the same)
- edit, edit, edit, edit. Experiment with your graphic program and have fun. Try out different things, get to know your porgram
- play with highlight/contrast. This often does more to an image than sharpening and if you want to sharp your image, please be subtle about it
- learn about basic photography rules. Because you cannot make a bad photo good, but you can make a good photo great.
- go at your own pace and please stop comparing yourself to others. Is it good to sometimes look at other images? Yes, it can get you motivated but please keep in mind you won't ever be this or that person. Be yourself.