We have constantly been asked many questions from those simply wanting to edit their photos or images for the sake of editing them. There are many questions to consider: What do you want to edit, why do you want to edit them, what will the final result be used for, do you have a lot of time or experience. We at Camid Studios Web Development believe firmly in using software that already exists before starting from scratch. So if you are new at photo editing and you merely want to start with touching up your photos: Use Windows Live Photo Gallery.
This is not a super complex program, it was made for simple touch up’s to photos, to organize photos and to manipulate the photos with other Microsoft software most likely on your vista machines. Now we know there a lot of similar developments, and were not strictly a supporter of Microsoft, this program simply put works and is easy. We use it actually for its very robust panoramic stitching algorithm built into it.
What it can do
As mentioned, Windows Live Photo Gallery is very simple and limited in options, however the options it does offer, are surprisingly very organized algorithms that understands the general needs of touching up everyday photos. When you select your photo you can click the ‘fix’ button at the top of the window. This will open a side bar with few however helpful options.
The first option is auto-adjust. This will run a series of changes that tries to match the best possible look for that photo. We have yet to run a photo through auto-adjust and see a photo not improve. If you want your photos looking better with the least amount of effort, auto-adjust them all.
The next set of options are adjust and exposure. Here there are the two widley known settings of brightness and contrast. These settings use to be the main settings novice users would adjust to try and improve those dark and light spots of a photo, however with live photo gallery, we rarely adjust brightness and contrast due to the next two options. These options are: Shadows and Highlights. These do exactly what they describe. Shadows will take most dark spots relative to the photo, and either lighten them or darken them depending on which way you move the scroll bar. If you have taken a bright outdoor picture, often times it is best to decrease shadows a touch. More importantly for those really dark inside shots, that normally would be almost impossible to view, crank up the shadows and now you have a great photo, that the lighting almost looks natural in all places. After that the option is highlights. This is the opposite of shadows, and it edits all the bright spots relative to the photo. This option works similar to shadows though, for bright pictures you can turn this down a lot and actually see the clouds that were just bright lights before. Again in dark rooms, turn it up a notch and emphasize those brighter areas.
The next set of options adjust the color of the picture. These are Color Temperature, Tint, and Saturation. Temperature is one of our favorite adjustments as it intelligently colorizes the photo to the warmer and cooler temperatures quickly. Tint is the proper way to color a photo to match a certain template or maybe a picture frame, and you can use saturation to intensify the color or dull it. These options are becoming more popular however this program implements them solidly.
The final few options are not quite as important however are still there. Adjust detail can sharpen an image, and a touch up on this bar will clear up some lens blur but nothing more is usually needed unless going for a specific effect. Crop photo is a nice addition as it keeps us from having to open a larger photo editing software to simply crop a picture down, or cut of corners of our panorama shots. The last option is fix red eye, which many online photo galleries have actually, and this is self explanatory.
This was just a quick summary on a very simple program that works, and works pretty darn well. Some other options we have not discussed here is the ability to easily make panoramic photos with a click of a button and to quickly make a video of these photos. We support photoshop and illustrator for premier over the top photo editing software however these program require a great amount of time to learn and use. It takes years to understand where half the tools are amongst all the different versions let alone how to use them together to get certain effects. Camid Studios has developers devoted strictly to Photoshop and know many ins and outs to help be more efficient however they are learning more and more everyday.
The problem is, many people do not have the time to learn such software, and become overwhelmed with the options that will not make since without tutorials or a lot of trial and error. So here we explained a basic program which we are confidant you can learn in a day or two, and really improve your photos with very little effort, yet very big effects.
For those bigger projects you have though, Contact Web Development Photography, and we can get them taken care of for you.