Basic photo editing steps

Resized image

There are countless ways to enhance an image by editing, also known as post-processing. What follows are some basic, most frequently used steps to process digital photos.
Always work on a duplicate of an original image. If you make a mistake along the way, just make another copy of the original and start editing again.

Some images need little, if any, post-processing prior to printing. However, the same photo may need enhancing if it will be displayed on a website.

>Don’t over edit as an image can lose detail and become unnatural looking.

Six basic steps to edit digital photos

  1. Open photo via the image editing software Open menu.
  2. Flip the image if its orientation needs to be changed.
  3. Crop – remove unwanted portions of a photo if desired; crop to a specific aspect ratio (eg. 4×6″, 5×7″ 8×10″), particularly if you plan to make prints.
  4. Resize – resizing makes a photo larger or smaller. With the high megapixel count of many digital camera, images are typically reduced in size. To ensure height and width change proportionally, make sure the “constrain” or “keep aspect ratio” setting is enabled.
  5. Enhance image by adjusting its brightness and contrast (such as a levels adjustment), sharpening if an image looks “soft,” or correct a color cast to make an image have more true-to-life colors.
  6. Save an image for printing – Save your image as a TIFF or high-quality jpeg (jpg). For the web – Save a photo as a jpeg. You will be given options to adjust the compression level. If the compression is set too low, the image will degrade in visual quality. If set too high, a photo can take too long to load into a web browser.

During any step in the editing process, if you do not like a change you made, click the “undo” command.

For more sophisticated post-processing you should use a photo editing program that has layering capabilities.

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