Digital photo ABC: processing photos on a computer

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Digital Photo ABC: final processing of photos


No matter how good the photos are on your memory card, they almost always need some computer processing. The main reason for going digital is not to save on film. There is a better advantage to it: prepress computer processing of photos. By denying ourselves the pleasure of using graphics editor tools, we miss out on half of the digital photography creative process.

Color correction – photos often happen to not correlate to reality: color rendition of most cheap amateur cameras leaves much to be desired. But there are a lot of tools able to do away with such defects in Photoshop. For example, you can adjust color balance through Image – Adjustment – Levels menu; widen their range considerably and increase brightness and saturation. The Color Balance menu entry lets you change the correlation of different colors. This can be very helpful in correcting wrong white balance or restoring old scanned photos.

Applying filters in Photoshop is a separate topic for a big series of articles. But you can't omit filters when processing photos. With the Blur filter we can hide noise in photos or smooth grain in pictures shot at high ISO speed. But the main filter function is to make a striking photo out of a poor-quality one. If, for example, your photo turned out to be blurred and you are not able to correct it, you can create a striking picture by pressing Filter – Distort – Glass menu entry. Now the blurred boundaries won't be seen and the object will be put behind ribbed glass as if it were covered with it. By experimenting with the settings you'd be able to change the look of the glass. But this example is only a small part of what can be done with filters.

Montage is one of the most popular kinds of photo enhancement. Two or three simple operations in any graphics editor can help you to put your beloved daughter on a real tiger or send your whole family to the Canary Islands. Such playing with photos won't add you any health as the south sun could have done, but the effect would be impressive nevertheless. Montage is applicable not only to photos though (when one of them works as a background to the other). Most creative pictures are made of real photos put together with objects drawn by hand. Try to draw something in your photos; it can come out very nicely.
Using simple Photoshop techniques we sat ducks onto water
Using simple Photoshop techniques we sat ducks onto water. The original is here.

Editing picture boundaries after framing - it often happens that after extensive cropping on one side the picture's proportions are spoiled and it becomes poor. When editing your pictures, try not to make them long and narrow – they'd look unnatural. But when you had to heavily crop your image along its long side, smooth the proportions by adding a semitransparent frame narrowing to the middle of the long side of the image.

Articles Articles
Photo Tips for Beginners Photo Tips for Beginners
Digital Photo ABC Digital Photo ABC
   — Shooting in Various Conditions — Shooting in Various Conditions
   — Final Photo Processing — Final Photo Processing
   — Storing Photos — Storing Photos
   — More Experience! — More Experience!
The History of Photography The History of Photography
   — How It All Began… — How It All Began…
   — Niepce Pictures — Niepce Pictures
   — Talbott's Pictures — Talbott's Pictures
   — Daguerre Pictures — Daguerre Pictures
   — Development of Photography — Development of Photography
Monitor Calibration Monitor Calibration
   — Calibration Theory — Calibration Theory
   — Black Point — Black Point
   — White Point — White Point
   — Monitor Gamma — Monitor Gamma
Color Matters: Color and Brain Color Matters: Color and Brain
   — Color Effects of Cars — Color Effects of Cars
   — Color & Accident Matters — Color & Accident Matters
   — Color & Culture — Color & Culture
   — The Meaning of Color for Gender — The Meaning of Color for Gender
Color Matters: Color and Body Color Matters: Color and Body
   — Color and Food Matters — Color and Food Matters
   — Drunk Tank Pink — Drunk Tank Pink
Color Matters: Color and Vision Color Matters: Color and Vision
   — Color and Vision Matters — Color and Vision Matters
   — How the Eye Sees Color — How the Eye Sees Color
Color Matters: Color & Design - Art Color Matters: Color & Design - Art
   — Who Owns Hues? — Who Owns Hues?
   — Basic Color Theory — Basic Color Theory
   — Color for E-Commerce — Color for E-Commerce
   — True Color & Metamerism — True Color & Metamerism
   — Historical Color Matters — Historical Color Matters
   — Quirks of the Color Quest — Quirks of the Color Quest
   — Color & Art Education — Color & Art Education
Color Matters: Color and Science Color Matters: Color and Science
   — Color Systems — Color Systems
   — Electromagnetic Color — Electromagnetic Color
Color Matters: Color and the World Color Matters: Color and the World
   — Color and Usability Matters — Color and Usability Matters
   —  Color and Energy Matters —  Color and Energy Matters
Color Matters: Color and Computers Color Matters: Color and Computers
   — Computer Color Matters — Computer Color Matters
   — The Chameleon of the Web — The Chameleon of the Web
Color and Sound Therapy Color and Sound Therapy



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