Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inexpert Photo Editing

I'm not an expert photographer. Far from it. But, here's something I have learned: PicMonkey (and similar programs) is your friend. Here's a set of three photos, untouched:

Not bad - good clarity, nice color if a bit faded... but the biggest problem is the sun was at Max's back, leaving his face in shadow.

Using PicMonkey (this is not sponsored btw, I just like them) I made a collage with a light blue background to match the sky:

That added more visual interest, but doesn't solve the exposure problem.

Now, I took the collage and (in this order) went into Exposure and increased the brightness to 20, increased the highlights to 40, increased the shadows to 25, and increased the contrast to 10. Then I went into Colors and increased the temperature and saturation by 5 each. This wiped out the sky, but helped Max (the focal point) look better.
Now, let's do the saturation and such first to see if we can keep the sky. Starting with the original collage, go into Colors and increase the temperature by 5 and the saturation by 15. Now to Exposure, increase brightness by 15, increase highlights by 25, increase shadows by 20, and decrease contrast by 5.
We preserved a bit of sky there - yay! The colors may look a bit super-saturated, but if you look at his skin tone you'll notice it looks normal (yes, his shirt is that bright). I'd say this one is the keeper.

Point being - play around a bit. Change the order and percentages of what you change. If you have more advanced features and can do even more, awesome. And, always save the originals!

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