"Making Better Photographs"
Photo editing is what you need if you are a “point and shoot” then “live with what you get” photographer who
would like improve a photo or achieve results that are a bit more interesting.
(If you are a more experienced
photographer there might be something here for you too - no one will let on if
you take a peek!
For example, straightening verticals so that buildings don't appear to be falling backwards :-
or producing an artistic image from a fairly uninteresting photo :-
The photos in this section are taken by ordinary people with ordinary
cameras. Grateful thanks go to all those who have submitted their work for possible inclusion in this section. There is nothing really wrong with these photos but after
viewing the results more closely, the “if only” creeps in -
If only I had been standing back a bit.
If only I had used a tripod.
If only I had used flash.
If only that bright red chair hadn’t been in the photo.
If only the horizon didn’t slope.
If only the final picture was a bit more stunning.
If only .....
Most of these situations can be handled by using photo editing software.
Before digital technology came along, there was a limited amount that could be
done using an enlarger with filters, masks and other manual devices; but the
era of film and smelly chemicals seems to be drawing to a close.
Nowadays we have computer software which can be used to achieve far more -
ranging from simple improvements to dramatic effects.
Photo editing techniques can be applied to all photos, whether taken by a digital camera or scanned from the negative or print from a film camera.
The software which is used by most professional photographers is Adobe Photoshop. There are
essentially two versions - the pro one which costs hundreds of pounds and
Photoshop Elements which does most of the things an enthusiast could wish for at
about one tenth the price.
This section does not attempt to teach the basics of using photo editing
software, there are many books, DVDs, tutorials and classes available which
do that and most software comes with the instructions you need to get started.
What you will find here is ideas on how to apply what you have learned
in order to achieve images that you will be proud of and others will admire.
In the following examples the original photograph is shown along with the
“if only” observations. This is followed by the steps taken using Photoshop
to address these observations leading to a finished image which might look
better framed and displayed than ”stuck in the album to be forgotten in
There are short cuts and special tools available in Photoshop for the more common functions. The examples you will find here make only minimal use of these so that the techniques can be fully understood before progressing to greater productivity.
If you have any problems with the examples demonstrated below or if you would like to see a particular technique explained then
and tell me about it.
Quick Fixes -
Effects and Tricky Situations -
Recommended tutorial books to take you to the next level and beyond.
Return from Photo Editing to Better Photographs Home Page.