Tag Archives: editing

Making Your Photographs GREAT with Editing

Following yesterday’s annoying events I am more determined than ever to complete this post without any hitches. I do sometimes wonder if I will ever learn from my mistakes: save, Save, SAVE!! What more can I say? SAVE

Update- I have now written this post 7 times and lost it every time! The support forum are being brilliant as usual and trying to help me. The advantage to this is that I am fast becoming quite an expert (in an amateur, novice way). I still have loads to learn however but my posts are getting more to the point each time!

2 days later and I am still struggling! I will not give up however (I am so stubborn!)

Following on from two previous posts where I looked at how to take better photographs (here and here ) the next logical step is looking at how you can enhance them using a program such as Photoshop or paint. Every book that I have read has made it very clear that the most important part of photographs is taking a good picture in the first place. Once you have done this you can ‘touch’ it up a bit using an editing program. I use Photoshop – purely because we have a copy of it. It is very complicated and can do almost anything that you could wish for but I am sure that others are very similar.

Histograms
Today I thought that we would have a look at histograms.
This is an example of a histogram.

his1

You will be able to see these on some cameras as well as in editing programs.
To find them in Photoshop: IMAGE – ADJUSTMENTS – LEVELS

What is it?

A histogram is a diagram showing the tonal range of the image. The shape of the histogram shows the number of pixels in any tonal value. With the above example the histogram is showing that there is a lot of information concentrated in the shadows or black area. Conversely there is a lack of information in the midpoint to highlight areas (the white end). In other words the picture is slightly under exposed. The optimum histogram would have the majority of the information in the middle area such as:

His 2

The main bulk of information in this one is in the mid-range. Using this information it therefore follows that a histogram with the most information towards the right is overexposed.

So what about the numbers?
INPUT LEVELS:
0 = the optimum level for black (this side is the shadowy end)
1.00 = the mid-tone grey tone. You can adjust this without effecting the highlight and shadow regions.
255 = the white’s highest point (the highlight end).

These levels can be artificially stretched and adjusted on an incorrectly exposed image so that it forcibly conforms to the correct levels. In other words you can make a slightly dodgy photograph look better than it really is! 🙂

His 3

This is my original photo and the histogram.

his4

I have moved the left (shadow) and right (Highlight) sliders to bring them level with the start and finish points on the histogram. Notice how the corresponding numbers have changed.

hist5

I have now moved the mid-tone slider to change the brightness. (Moving this does not change the highlight and shadow levels)

So there you have it. Your photographs are yours to display in the way that you wish. The only thing you have to look out for is if you are using them to sell items. In this situation then they have to be the closest to real item as you can.

I hope that you understand this and that it is of some use. Thank you for your patience with the technical issues that I have had with this post. I am hoping that the publishing of this post marks the end of this unfortunate series of events. 🙂

Learning How To Take Decent Photographs (Part 2)

English: A photo of a Voigtlander Vito II came...

Since my first post on this subject I have been busy experimenting with the different settings on the camera. I am more confident using it although I still have a very long way to go. The one tip that I have picked up on from the comments on my last post is where to take  photographs at this time of year when the light is so poor. (I am really sorry but I cannot find the comment and so am unable to give the person who suggested this full credit  – if it was you then do please let me know so I can amend this please.)

Bath tub in bathroom next to fire place

No, this is not my bathroom.

Do you get the idea? When I read this I had one of those light bulb moments. My bathroom is tiled in light tiles, my bath is white and I have a velux window letting in a lot of un-obscured light. Perfect, except it has prompted some rather interesting questions from my family (me, fully dressed, crouched in the bath taking photos? yup hee, hee ). it does seem to give better all round light.

This is one example.

This is one example.

Tunisian Wire BraceletSo what next? (apart from a lot more practice) The next thing in the book is editing. Now I have had a little experience with Photoshop. It involved a lot of very long hours, lots of hunting for help on You-tube and a more frustration (just to add to all this my version is VERY old and doesn’t seem to do quite what it should!). I was going to look into this a bit more so I could share some of the wisdom I had learnt with you. BUT I visited Handmade Harbour.

In celebration of the 100th Handmade Monday Wendy is having 5 days of giveaways. Today’s giveaway is photo editing software from Magix.  Wendy gives it positive reviews which sounds encouraging. Now I am not saying that I will win it but it I have entered and may just put off struggling with Photoshop until I find out that I haven’t won. I will then make the decision as to buy that one or …? Whilst on the subject entry to the giveaway is really easy. Details can be found here. I do encourage you to have a look – and whilst there have a look at the other giveaways she has had – up until now there has been a book for creatives wanting to sell their craft and money to spend on resources for craft. Two more on their way.

So until I know I shall hold off the editing part and continue on the practice. 🙂 Do you edit your photos? What program do you use?