Don't be an Instagram photo jerk

You can get great-looking photos without overdoing the Instagram effects. Here are some tips on how to take control of your photo editing.

By Michael Homnick, PC World |  Consumerization of IT, instagram, Photo editing

HDR works by keeping the best details of each image and throwing out the rest, thereby ensuring that you won't lose any details due to over- or underexposure. Both HDR apps also include some basic tools for editing your HDR images, but the apps mentioned earlier in this section offer better editing options.

Move Away From Smartphone Editing; Break Free of Presets

Now that we've covered some smartphone-related remedies for over-Instagramming, let's talk about editing images taken with a nonsmartphone camera.

Though photo-editing presets and filters are less common in nonmobile digital photo editing, professional programs such as Adobe Photoshop and the free image-editing program GIMP offer an vast array of options for tweaking images.

Not everyone can afford the hefty price tag associated with Photoshop, however--or the time required to learn such programs. Luckily, most people would rarely want to use many of the advanced features found in Photoshop and GIMP.

That's why nonprofessionals who do their photo editing with easy-to-use free programs like Windows Live Photo Gallery and Google's Picasa have little reason to feel deprived.

Ultimately you can produce great, natural-looking photos with the basic editing tools found in every program, even the most simple. Here are some of the most important variables to consider when editing images.

Lighting

Why lighting is important: If a photo's lighting is off, you may lose valuable detail in people's facial expressions or in landscape features.

How to manage lighting in your photos: ou control lighting in a photo by adjusting exposure, highlights, and shadows. Adjusting the exposure enables you to simulate how your image would look if it had been taken at different shutter speeds; as the image becomes lighter or darker, you may notice details that were previously hidden. Adjusting exposure isn't foolproof, since you can lose detail as you brighten or darken your image, but it's great for making small improvements when this isn't an issue.

Adjusting highlights and shadows lets you control the light and dark tones in an image independently, to bring out details. Such alterations can make a big difference when one part of an image is much darker or lighter than the rest.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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