Tweaking

I was going through my usual process of editing my photos for the blog when it occurred to me a step-by-step progression of photos might make for an interesting post. Better to have something than nothing, and most of my stealth projects cannot be shown here for quite a while still. (This isn’t intended to be a step-by-step guide or tutorial, but rather a peek into my process.)

During the winter, it can be challenging to find the time to take photos during daylight hours. And the results can be sketchy if the sky is full of winter clouds. Here’s my original photo:

phototweak1.jpg

Pretty dark, lots of extra area. First thing I’ve gotta do is crop. (It’s been said elsewhere, but is important enough to bear repeating: cropping is key! Even if you don’t own photo editing software, you can still use Picnik (if you’re a Flickr user, these two services are linked), Photobucket and other free online photo editors to crop your photos.)

phototweak2.jpg

After cropping, I use my software’s* “Levels” tool to fix the too-dark photo.

phototweak3.jpg

The light is better, but the background isn’t white; it should be. (The white sheet I use for the background isn’t that dirty!) So I use the “White Balance” tool in my software to fix that up. (Some cameras include this tool and you can just photograph your white background by itself to set the balance.)

phototweak4.jpg

Much better, isn’t it? :) *I use PhotoImpact, which is very similar to Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements

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5 Responses to “Tweaking”

  1. Chris Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I have to work on white balance more. Thanks for sharing the peek!

  2. Guinifer Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Niiiiice!

  3. Carrie K Says:
    December 10th, 2008 at 12:33 am

    The color does look better! Note to self: Must check out PhotoImpact.

  4. mary lou Says:
    December 10th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Hmm, that’s what white balance does. Must test this out.

  5. Opal Says:
    December 11th, 2008 at 3:27 am

    thanks for the tips! i’m always looking for ways to make my photos better. :)

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