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Basic Post Processing (Image Editing) To Make Your Pics GREAT!

Basic Post Processing (Image Editing) To Make Your Pics GREAT!

Let’s talk about the basics of your image editing software and the typical features you’ll use to improve your photos. Post processing is simply opening your photos in an image editing program so that you can improve them in various ways. Sharpening – this is the process of making your photo appear to be more in focus. Most image editing programs do a very good job at sharpening your photos automatically. However, keep in mind that sharpening is not a replacement or a quick fix for taking poor blurry pictures. Good focus and sharpness starts at the camera and can be improved by software sharpening. Saturation – this is the ability to move the colors of your photo more towards gray (desaturation) or make them more intense and vibrant (saturation). Proper use of saturation can bring your photos to life but overuse can make them look unnatural and strangely colored. Levels – the ability to control the shadows, mid tones and highlights in your photo. This is not to be confused with simple controls of contrast or lightness/darkness which only give you a flat, linear adjustment of all three (shadows, mid tones and highlights) simultaneously. “Levels” allow you to SEPARATELY control each. The midtone control will allow you to adjust an image to be lighter or darker overall. The shadows control will allow you to increase the depth and richness of shadows. The highlight control allows you to increase highlights causing the photo to have higher contrast and be more visually interesting. There are no set formulas or rules for using Levels, you just have to play around with it and learn what it does. In more basic software like Picasa, the closest you’re going to get to levels is a tool called “Fill Light” and other basic software may call it “contrast adjust”. Hue Correction – Your images will often have what is known as a “color cast” which means they appear overall to be too red, too yellow or too blue. A color cast is like holding a piece of colored film over your photo. Another common issue is that your image has the wrong TEMPERATURE. A sunny backyard photo should feel warm. Pictures of the kids playing in the snow should feel cold. Your photo may appear to be bluish (cold) when you really want it to appear warmer and more yellow. The hue control will help you to correct this. In the world of color, reds and yellows are warm, while greens, blues and violets are cold. So if you take a photo of a group of people that has a blue cast because of the lighting, those people will...

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Question about Blog Photos: Storage, Uploading & Sizing

Question about Blog Photos: Storage, Uploading & Sizing

Here’s a question from a reader: I’m trying to figure out the best and most cost efficient way to upload pics to my blog.  I was using Blogger but apparently the pics I have on Picasa Web Album are taking up too much space and now I don’t have space to upload using Blogger. I am learning about Flickr.  I would like to get your recommendations on how to best store pics and the best software to use to upload pics to my blog. If you plan on blogging for any length of time and routinely include photos, storage will become an issue eventually. There are options to consider: Have your own FTP or web hosting account with a service like GoDaddy, and story your photos there. This gives you alot more flexibility and scalability but you have to take some time to learn how to manage your own hosting account. For advanced users, or those who don’t mind a little learning curve, this is the best choice in my opinion. Or, you can use a service like Flickr, Shutterfly or Photobucket. Since Flickr is so common, we’ll use it as our example throughout this post. It is a good choice for those who are beginning or want a set of easy to use tools that do not require a significant learning curve. Flickr (and other “free” services) is a good choice but at some point you’ll need to start paying for an account so that space will not be an issue.   Like all things, if you want to progress past a basic level, or hang in for the long term, you have to spend a few bucks occasionally, otherwise you severely limit yourself. Flickr has the tools to upload and store your photos. Basically, you’ll use an IMAGE “URL” instead of uploading “FILE” to import an image (see the Blogger example graphic at the top of this post).  That is the simplest way but then you are also stuck with Blogger trying to resize your images to “small, medium, large”.  YUCK!!! Sometimes Blogger’s attempt to make things simple also makes things poorly done. Their image import tool is AWFUL, but simple (WordPress is much better but far from perfect). A Better Way to Get Your Photo Into Your Blog Post The better way… switch to HTML in Blogger or WordPress.  Take 37 seconds and learn some simple HTML for placing an image with a known URL: By manually putting in the HTML for an image, Blogger will not RESIZE or mess with your image. It will simply go get it at the address you’ve given.  The yellow highlighted area in the graphic above...

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