Friday, January 28, 2011

Make Post-Processing Your Friend

It's amazing what you can do to improve a picture using photoshop or other photo editing software.  I use Photoshop CS for my professional imaging, but for most of my personal images I use picnik.  It's free if you only upload 5 pictures at a time, or pretty cheap if you want to upload unlimited images.  What I love about it is that it's super user friendly and you can do just about anything with your photos!

The first step I usually take is to try out the auto fix.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it and quickly hit the undo button, and other times it helps, but still needs more work. 

I always mess around with the exposure, (levels is even better if you use photoshop cs) warmth, and contrast.  Sometimes I think my photo looks good, but once I start to lighten it or warm it up, I see that it was actually pretty dark and/or cold. 

Especially in pictures of people, adding a little warmth is almost always good!  Everyone looks better with a little color in their cheeks.  See for yourself: 


Brightening and warming a picture can make a big difference.  It's a good idea to mess around with those elements even when you think your picture is good to begin with because sometimes you'll be surprised how much better it can get. 

If you do brighten your photo a bit, be sure to look at contrast too because brightening a photo tends to make it appear more flat so to counter that you would add some contrast.  The same holds true for pictures of things, here is an example from my subway art heart from yesterday:

There are lots of other tools for making pictures better after the fact, but in my opinion these three simple changes make the most impact.  Picnik has lots of other tools to mess with such as collages, adding text and borders, and other fun effects.

In a nut shell, post processing is your friend, use it!

If you have any more specific questions on this, I would love to hear from you :)

3 comments:

  1. Newest follower from the blog hop. Would love for you to stop by and follow back :-)

    Have a great weekend!!!

    http://singlemominspiration.blogspot.com/

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  2. Hi! I found you on Follow Me Friday! Thanks for sharing photo tips. I just tried picnick for the first time the other day. I have photshop but it's so darn complicated I usually just use my iphoto gadgets. I know, not nearly as much fun. Glad I found ur blog :)

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  3. Hello! I am a fello photographer as well, well at least I want to be a photographer some day. I'm really just practicing now. All I have is access to awesome photo subjects and a love of taking pictures. Thanks for the photo tips! I need to get a photo editing program, iPhoto just doesn't do enough sometimes. You seem like a really awesome photographer, I look forward to keeping up with your posts :)

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