Very few photographers get a picture perfect one hundred percent of the time. Not only do pictures often come out blurry or too dark, but they can also have random elements appear in them. In the past, mistakes in photograph’s were very expensive to fix, but thankfully we have a wide variety of photo editing software today.

At first it can seem to be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out how to use this software, but the truth is once you know what you are doing, it becomes quite easy. The following tutorial is designed to help you learn how to use image editing software to improve flaws in a photo.

Selecting A Photo

The first step in fixing a photo is to first start with a photo that has at least one issue. For this tutorial I am selecting a photo that is a a bit more dark than what I like and also has some blur that I would like to get rid of.

Making the photo Brighter

The main thing I really don’t like about this particular photo is how dark it is. It was taken outside on a slightly overcast day. One of the quickest ways to adjust the brightness in a picture is to adjust the brightness and contrast. Most image editing programs place the brightness and contrast controls are found under the color tab on the tool bar. If you can’t find it there, try looking under the tools or Filter tab. If you still can’t find it try using the programs help button.

Once you have the brightness contrast controls up, the next step is to take turns sliding each bar up and down the scale until you get the photo looking the way you want. While this photo needed more brightness and contrast, sometimes you will be lowering both, or lifting one while lowering the other. This process often takes a couple minutes of experimenting to get the effect you desire.

Adjusting Color

In the photo we are working with, the mothers complexion seems a little to red. This is a pretty easy fix. Select the colors tab again. Once selected mouse down to the Adjust color balance button. Once this is selected you should get some kind of box with three slides for Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Fool around a little bit with each color until you get the coloration in the photo you are looking for.

Final Touches

There is still a slight blur in the photo, however without getting overly involved with color distribution, various maps and the like, this is a problem that is probably just going to have to be accepted. The blur isn’t really that bad and did improve with the color adjustment. At this point you might want to fool around with your chosen image for a while to see what the other tools do. However, you might also feel that you have improved your image enough. Either way, congratulations, you now know the basics of improving a photo with picture editing software.

Posted by Mash Bonigala

Mash is a Brand Differentiator & Strategist, Film Maker, Traveller, Author and Zen Practitioner. He loves mindfulness, branding, online marketing and startup business challenges.

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