Photo Editing Software and Your Digital Pictures

By now, most of us know about Photoshop and similar digital photo editing programs. There are those that prefer their film and dark room as a means to put their captures to print, but for many, the digital age is ushering in a new wave of photographers, utilizing the advanced photo editing software available today.

Even if you don’t want to shell out for a full fledged program, it’s a good chance that your computer came with something that can perform the basic functions you’ll need, like red eye reduction, softening, brightness and contrast. These simple features are usually controlled using sliders and can easily improve the quality of your photos. Here are a few simple tips to help you get the most out of your digital camera store purchase.

First and foremost is the definition of your digital captures. This depends on a few factors, the first being the dimensions of your image. We recommend using the highest resolution available on your digital camera, because you can always shrink it down later if you need to, but you can never enlarge it without loosing quality. The second major factor to consider is light. While most digital cameras on the market today have built in flash, this will not guarantee a quality picture, and even though you may edit the photo later, your source image should be as clean and clear as possible. Generally, you want the light on your subject, which normally means it is coming from behind you, the photographer. Lights from above can prove troublesome for the background of the image and lights from behind your subject, facing the lens, will cause glares, washouts, etc. If you choose to snap your picture without a flash due to sufficient natural or artificial light, be sure to use a tripod, self timer or some other method to ensure that the camera stays still during capture, or your image will blur and lose significant quality.

We recommend that for vacations, events or other extended uses of your camera during which many pictures will be taken, you should purchase a 2GB or higher memory stick. This will allow you to store a good number of pictures in one place. Additionally, the easiest way to transfer your images to your computer for editing, is via flash card. You simply eject the card from your camera and insert into your computer, where you can transfer the files to a folder on your hard drive. Another method is to connect the camera through your USB port, which requires an additional cable that should be included with your digitcal camera.

The easiest way to improve your photograph through photo editing software is through auto-contrast, which automatically brightens and darkens the tones in your image to be balanced. You may also acheive this manually using the brightness and contrast sliders. Additionally, you may choose to correct the coloring, sharpness or manually edit out blemishes with the blur tool. You may want to use a darken or lighten tool to eliminate red-eye, dust or other bothersome inconsistancies in your image.

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