Sometimes your images don’t quite live up to the reality you tried to capture.
There are myriad pieces of photo-editing software to help you improve your shots, but the basic principles are the same for whatever software you are using.
I shoot everything as RAW files, which means I have to edit every picture I take, even if it’s just a straight conversion to a jpeg.
It makes sense to shoot jpegs as they take up less memory and save a lot of time, but make sure you save your images at the correct size of jpeg for your output requirements.
If you want to show people your images online or send them in an email you do not need very large images, so can save them at 72dpi which will save a load of space on your machine and make it easier for people to download them. If however you want to print them out, use the largest jpeg option available. Jpeg images are already compressed, so the more editing you do to an image the more ‘information’ you are throwing out of the file, resulting in lower quality images.
You may just have too much stuff in your picture, or need the finished photograph to fit an album or frame. The Crop tool uses a simple click and drag technique where you can see how your picture looks before committing to crop. You should be able to set the measurements so you get exactly what you want.
Use the Levels or Curves tool to lighten or darken your image. You can also use the brightness/contrast tools to add clarity and definition.
The levels tool is displayed as a histogram, which looks something like a mountain range. Using a set of sliders you can adjust the highlights, shadows and midtone ranges to give you a more powerful and pleasing image.
The curves tool is a graph covering the exposure range from highlights to shadows. It can be plotted to make finer adjustments than the levels tool, but takes longer to get control of.
Converting to black & white
Desaturating the colours in an image is the simplest type of conversion, but often produces inadequate results as it simply removes all colour from an image. Like colour film, black and white images react to how different colours respond to the sensor in a particular scene. Therefore I recommend trying out different filters to see what happens to your image when you convert them.
Strong images with a good amount of contrast and graphic detail make for some of the best black and white conversions.
Amanda can provide one-to-one or small group tuition locally. Contact details are:I hope that helps a little, but be careful, as once you start tweaking you just can’t stop!
07798 837969 www.ajephotography.com