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Would Like To Retouch Photos


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Dennis H

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:13 AM

Howdy,

I am not much of a photographer so I will put much of the blame on me. My photos are coming out terrible.

They are all kind of dark and the colors are very drab. I looked around under all programs on my computer to see if there is a program built in to Windows XP Home that I could use to lighten them up some, but I come up with nothing.

If there is no built in program, could someone please recommend a download that would suit my purposes ?

I would like to have something VERY basic and easy to use. My computer skills are very limited.

Thank You for your time.

Windows XP Home, SP2, IE 7

Dennis :thumbsup:

Edited by Dennis H, 29 December 2006 - 06:18 AM.


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#2 stevealmighty

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 07:38 AM

Hi Dennis H!

There's a great list of freeware apps right here on these forums. You can check out the photo editing programs HERE. While I've never used it, I know that a lot of people like Gimp.

As for your photos being to dark and the color being off a bit, here's a few tips to keep in mind:

Always use your flash. Turn your flash on manually. You should see a "lightning bolt" symbol with an arrow on the end of it (at the bottom). This means that your flash will always fire when you take a picture. If it has a circle with a line through it, then it means it's off. If it has a small capital "A" next to it (lower right of symbol usually) then it means it's in automatic mode and the flash will fire if it thinks it needs too...don't trust it. It's a good idea to always use your flash. It'll brighten up both your subject and background, and also help to aleviate the natural shadows on peoples faces. A flash will also help the color.

Stand still and hold the camera still when taking photos. There's usually a 1 second delay with digital cameras, from the time that you that you push the button to the time that it actually takes the photos. A common mistake is that people push the button and then move the camera...causing a blurry photo. It's also good practice to hold the camera still for 1 second after you see the flash go off. Try standing with your left foot just in front of your right foot, spread out about shoulder width apart (it'll steady your entire body).

Don't block the flash. Lots of people hold the camera in such a way that either their left pinky or ring finger will block the flash, or part of the flash. Hold the camera with your pointer finger and thumb, curling up your other fingers like a fist, then rest your knuckles against the sides of the cameras to help brace it. Alternately, you can spread you fingers out and put them in different places around the camera taking care not to block the flash or lens itself. Pinky fingers on the bottom of the camera help a lot too.

Do these a few times and it'll become habit, helping you to get a great photo every time!

Hope these tips help! :thumbsup:

Edited by stevealmighty, 29 December 2006 - 07:38 AM.

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#3 Dennis H

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for the reply stevealmighty.

I will use make use of your camera tips today. I will also read through the editing programs you have provided. I am sure there will be something there that will be of help.

Thanks again for your time and effort.


Dennis :thumbsup:

#4 stevealmighty

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:25 AM

Glad to be of help! :thumbsup:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#5 MaraM

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:21 PM

Hi, hope I'm not intruding here, but I too want to thank you for your tips, Stevealmighty - have a new digital camera and suspect it'll take some re-learning to get the same quality photos I'm used to and your tips will be a great start!

If I may, Dennis, might I suggest you perhaps not start with 'Gimp' - it's a great program but the learning curve is quite a bit higher than some beginners at photo editing can cope with. There are easier ones to learn with, including PhotoFiltre - it can do great things (and more complex things, if you choose) but it's so easy to use - and completely free and one doesn't even have to register.

http://photofiltre.free.fr/download_en.htm
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#6 jgweed

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 03:34 PM

If you are new to editing photographs, you might try Picassa2 (free from our friends at Google); this application will allow you to organise and do basic "touchups" to your pictures without a lot of complicated steps. Autocontrast, autocolor, fill light are simple "clicks," or basic fixes, that can work miracles on your first efforts.
Cheers,
John
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#7 TMacK

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:46 PM

When I Googled Picassa2,the two entries I found (one a download and one a .com) were not rated by SiteAdvisor,so I scanned them both using Exploit Prevention Labs:LinkScanner OnLine.

It wouldn't scan them as both links were found to have suspicious content.

Do you use Picassa jgweed and do you have a safe link to download it from?
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#8 jgweed

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:19 PM

Yes I do use it, and have for some time.
The best place to download any software is the original source, in this case Google:

http://picasa.google.com/#utm_source=en-us...p;utm_medium=et

"Picasa is a free software download from Google that helps you:

* Locate and organize all the photos on your computer.
* Edit and add effects to your photos with a few simple clicks.
* Share your photos with others through email, prints, and on the web: itís fast, easy and free."

As you become more experienced, and want to do additional editing, there are many good free applications, such as IrfanView that you will enjoy.

Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#9 joygreen

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:29 PM

Thank you, SteveAlmighty and everyone who replied to this. I really needed the pointers as well. The original Windows 98 had a great little program that got blown away when I upgraded to 98/ver2 or whatever they call it. I even bought Partition Commander so I could reload Win98 original to get that program back. I think I will download that Google program instead.

Just to let you all know, because XP did not make a boot disk (although I think there are instructions on the MS site now) I have used the Partition Commander disk when my PC refuses to boot. I have to bang the buttons around a bit, but eventually get windows back up and running.

Thanks again!
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#10 TMacK

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:46 PM

Yes I do use it, and have for some time.
The best place to download any software is the original source, in this case Google:

http://picasa.google.com/#utm_source=en-us...p;utm_medium=et


Many Thanx for your reply and for the link to Picasa jgweed!

Edit:
BTW,The two entries I mentioned that weren't rated and I had scanned with LinkScanner were from the original source....Google.
That's why I was a wee bit surprised.

Edited by TMacK, 03 January 2007 - 06:46 PM.

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Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#11 rjmccutchan

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:49 AM

I would like to add to the great posts above. All cameras have certain limits, even pro cameras. You should be able to take pictures outside without a flash, and indoors without flash if it is fairly light. You should have a setting on your camera that is FULLY automatic in which the camera decides correct exposure. Our pro cameras even have it. While in fully automatic, though, you may still have to turn the flash on manually, depending on which model you have.

The advice above about shutter lag (1 second delay) and holding the camera still are VERY true.

The reason you photographs appear drab is due to underexposure. Proper exposure will bring the colors to life.

Your camera may have some sort of editing software that came with it and it usually very capable and simple.

My 2 pennies.

Bob

#12 stevealmighty

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:24 AM

I would like to add to the great posts above. All cameras have certain limits, even pro cameras. You should be able to take pictures outside without a flash, and indoors without flash if it is fairly light. You should have a setting on your camera that is FULLY automatic in which the camera decides correct exposure. Our pro cameras even have it. While in fully automatic, though, you may still have to turn the flash on manually, depending on which model you have.

The advice above about shutter lag (1 second delay) and holding the camera still are VERY true.

The reason you photographs appear drab is due to underexposure. Proper exposure will bring the colors to life.

Your camera may have some sort of editing software that came with it and it usually very capable and simple.

My 2 pennies.

Bob


Good points Bob! I'm guessing that you're a pro photographer? Nice!

One thing for users to keep in mind about the flash and not using it is that there are natural shadows that appear under the eyes, nose, chin etc. that a flash (fill flash) will help to eleviate. Also, with a setting on full auto and no flash, pictures tend to pick up a color balance that may appear "off", or with a yellowish or blue-ish tint that is caused by the camera not balancing the color correctly due to a high ISO, and moreover ambient lighting (florescent, standard lightbulbs, sunlight etc.). I've always recomended that people use their flash to help fill lighting unless it's an extreme closeup or sillouhette etc. Mainly the flash will help the camera to color balance the image (not really a problem if you have photoshop, which you can easily compensate for the color).
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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#13 rjmccutchan

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 10:26 AM

I'm guessing that you're a pro photographer?


Well, I am almost there! Mccutchanphto.com

One thing for users to keep in mind about the flash and not using it is that there are natural shadows that appear under the eyes, nose, chin etc. that a flash (fill flash) will help to eleviate.


Point well taken. I hate "raccoon eyes".

Also, with a setting on full auto and no flash, pictures tend to pick up a color balance that may appear "off", or with a yellowish or blue-ish tint that is caused by the camera not balancing the color correctly due to a high ISO, and moreover ambient lighting (florescent, standard lightbulbs, sunlight etc.).


Very true! A lot of cameras, though, have an auto color balance (called white balance) button, or it may have a menu selection. This is supposed to read the scene and balance it for you. That requires a trip to the owners manual to find out. But sometimes, these odd colors can be fantastic and a lot of fun!

(not really a problem if you have photoshop, which you can easily compensate for the color).


Isn't photoshop great!!

Bob

#14 stevealmighty

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 11:35 AM

Nice shots! Seems professional to me! :flowers:

I don't really get to do a lot of studio work, and have cut way back on the amount of weddings I do. I've been to busy with work and whatnot to venture out and do other jobs.

You can see this thread HERE to check out some of the stuff that I've done in the past. Be warned though....there's no studio shots in it!

Ok, enough :thumbsup: .......although the above posts are quite informative! :trumpet:
War produces veterans, wounded both physically and mentally. They have sacrificed for us.....and it is now our job to help these veterans, as they have already helped us in ways we will never know, in ways that we cannot fathom, and in ways that we take granted every day.
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