Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Learn Something New Day -How to Fix Your Photos Without Expensive Software

We’ve all seen it, we’ve probably all done it. Those dark, unclear, look-like-they’ve-been-taken-at-home-between-yelling-at-the-dog-and-making-dinner photos. And I’m sure that we all don’t have the luxury or know-how to use software like Photoshop. Here is a little tutorial for helping out those of you who have a basic photo-editing system and learning some new technology just doesn’t seem plausible (for going to a Tech school, I really don’t have much technical knowledge).

First, you have your photo.

See? Its dark, unprofessional and sloppy looking.

If at all possible, take your photos outside or close to a large window where you can get as much natural light as possible. If this isn’t possible, these tips will still help you to improve your photos.

Your computer probably has some kind of photo software already on it, I use Windows Photo Gallery for my initial editing and then perhaps move to Paint or Picnik, usually though, Windows Photo Gallery is all I need.

Open your picture in your editing software, in my case, Windows Photo Gallery. At the top of the page there is a little "Fix" icon, if you click it you will see the options on the right, including Auto Adjust, Adjust Exposure, Adjust Color, Crop Picture and Fix Red Eye.

Next, click on the "Auto Adjust" icon. This will basically lighten up your photo and make it less shadowed looking.

See the difference just that one click makes? Its amazing! And if these photos are taken during the day, with natural lighting, the difference will be even more professional looking. After this, we will probably want to crop the picture some so that we can get a full frame of the product without a whole lot of negative space. If you click on the "Crop Picture" icon a box will appear that you can stretch or shrink to fit around your product. After it is encasing exactly what you want the photo to show, click "Apply"

Here is the finished product:

These pictures were originally taken at night, in poor lighting. I highly highly recommend taking photos during the day, even if you can't take them outside. Whatever you do, no matter what time of day or night you can finally get your shots in, do NOT and I repeat, do NOT use the flash on your camera. This distorts the colors and is very difficult, if not impossible, to edit using these softwares.

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