Get more secrets to Editing Digital Photography

By: Dan Brown..

Image editors (also known as photo editors) allow you to create and modify graphics and photographic images. This includes tasks such as painting and drawing, color correction, photo enhancement, creating special effects, converting images, and adding text to graphics. Your image editor will probably be your most frequently used tool for working with graphics so it should be flexible and intuitive. Many software programs are available for enhancing and otherwise working with bitmap images, but unless they can perform all of the tasks above sufficiently, they should only be considered as companion tools to your primary photo editing application.

The display resolution of a digital television or computer display typically refers to the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. Some commentators also use this term to indicate a range of input formats that the display's input electronics will accept and often include formats greater than the screen's native grid size even though they have to be down-scaled to match the screen's parameters. An example of pixel shape affecting "resolution" or perceived sharpness is displaying more information in a smaller area using a higher resolution, which makes the image much clearer. However, newer LCD displays and such are fixed at a certain resolution; making the resolution lower on these kinds of screens will greatly decrease sharpness, as an interpolation process is used to "fix" the non-native resolution input into the displays native resolution output.

While it might be neater to store digital images, you aren't done with organizing and storing images. There are various options for data storage, and no one answer is right for everyone. In fact, there may be more than one right answer for you. However you store your images, be sure to file them so they are easy to organize and find. Choose one system and stick to it. Create named folders on your hard drive or name compact discs, for instance, to store them. ALWAYS make copies of your images, leaving the originals intact, before you edit, alter or crop them. The hard drive is where most people store the bulk of their images. This is a good option, but isn't without problems. For instance, if you have all of your images on your hard drive and it crashes, you've lost all your precious images. A horrible thought, of course! Do use the hard drive, but also back up all images right as you transfer them to the hard drive by any secondary method.

The compact disc is a wonderful way to store images; it can be rather efficient and it is relatively easy to set up. The downside is you need a CD-burner to use this method. If you do have one, simply keep a running backup of all your images. Be sure to pay special attention to organization so you don't wind up popping ten CDs in just to hunt down one photo. When you burn a new CD of images, write down the dates and descriptions of the photos on the CD. Or name the CDs and keep a notebook that lists what is on each CD. Better yet, make an index print of images on each CD and write the name on top of the print.

When it comes time to touch up your digital photos, you will need a photo-editing program. You can choose a low-priced, consumer-oriented program or a high-priced program targeted at professional photographers. For most of us, the consumer-oriented programs are more than adequate-and, in fact, you might have received one with your computer or digital camera. Depending on what you do with your photos, you may not need a lot of the bells and whistles when it comes to photo editing. Explore your options and find out which software is best for you.

If you're a beginner, you may be happy with a package that offers only the basics, like cropping and red-eye removal. Or, perhaps you need something with more creative effects. For the ultimate in photo-editing, you may consider investing in a professional editing suite. Be warned though, software like that is going to cost you. Adobe Photoshop, for instance, has become the industry standard among professional photographers everywhere. It allows functions like level adjustment, advanced compositing, and RAW image processing.

Sharpening is one of the most impressive transformations you can apply to an image since it seems to bring out image detail that was not there before. What it actually does, however, is to emphasize edges in the image and make them easier for the eye to pick out -- while the visual effect is to make the image seem sharper, no new details are actually created. The first step in sharpening an image is to blur it slightly. Next, the original image and the blurred version are compared one pixel at a time. If a pixel is brighter than the blurred version it is lightened further; if a pixel is darker than the blurred version, it is darkened. The result is to increase the contrast between each pixel and its neighbors. The nature of the sharpening is influenced by the blurring radius used and the extent to which the differences between each pixel and its neighbor are exaggerated.

At times the subject of a picture is lost in the surrounding parts of a picture. If this happens, you can always crop your picture. This means cutting down the picture to a certain size. There are many ways to do this in terms of the size of cropping. In just about every photo editing program there is a cropping tool, and you can experiment with the size of the area that you take out of your photograph. If you don't like what you've done, all you have to do is click "undo."

Cropping refers to the removal of the outer parts of an image to improve framing, accentuate subject matter or change aspect ratio. In the printing, graphic design and photography industries, cropping refers to removing unwanted areas from a photographic or illustrated image. One of the most basic photo manipulation processes, it is performed in order to remove an unwanted subject or irrelevant detail from a photo, change its aspect ratio, or to improve the overall composition. It is considered one of the few editing actions permissible in modern photojournalism along with tonal balance, colour correction and sharpening.

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