A_Different_Way_of_Life.jpgAs stated on the "Home" page of this site, Ansel Adams once said, "You don't take a great photograph, you make it." That is the motto of this club. It doesn't matter what camera you are using. What matters is how you use it and what you do with what comes out of it.

This page is a place to post editing tips for those who want to make the most of their photos. If you have tips to share about editing, please share your wisdom here. To make additions, first make sure you are a member of the wiki and are logged in. Next, click "Edit". From there you can add to the site in any way you see fit. You could type instructions, upload links to sites you find valuable, or upload videos. The sky is the limit. Just remember to hit "save" before you leave the page. If you want to add video, links, or other files, click on the corresponding instructions on the "Handouts" page or contact another member who is more familiar to working within a wiki.

Straighten the Horizon!

Don't forget that all editing programs, whether purchased or free online, always contain a "straighten" feature. This is a simple thing to do and is the one thing that is really noticeable and extremely distracting if not done.

Adjust the Blacks!

It is amazing what you can do with a mediocre photo just by adjusting the blacks slider. Here is a classic "before" and "after" example. The following photo was taken out of the window of a jet flying above the Everglades in Florida.

Notice how cloudy and muted the color is in the original? By adjusting the blacks in iPhoto, a photo that would have normally been rejected, is now one that is dynamic. (Of course the photo would have been even better if I'd captured ALL of the boat instead of just it's water trail, but I didn't even know the boat was there until I uploaded the photo to my computer. I'm learning to be more observant before clicking the shutter release!)

Pay Attention to Saturation and Vibrance!

If the colors in your photo seem muted or washed out after you have adjusted the blacks, try adjusting the saturation and vibrance. Most editing programs contain sliders that can adjust the saturation and vibrance. I recommend adjusting the vibrance before the saturation because vibrance will change the intensity of the less saturated colors whereas saturation will boost the saturation of the colors that are already saturated. This sometimes causes an unnatural change in color and can do more damage to a photo's quality than if you'd left it alone all together. The other benefit of working with vibrance versus saturation is that it has a built-in skin color protector that should filter out colors that fall within the skin color range. This can be particularly valuable if working with a portrait.

Stretching a Photo to Fit a Frame Size