Tweaking Your Images – Tutorial
This last week I have had a few people telling me that images shouldn’t need any editing at all. I find this such a hard thing to understand, since, from what I can understand, images have been edited since the first images were made when photography first started. I was surprised to find that the first HDR image was done in the 1850’s, so over 150 years ago. Even Ansell Adams edited his images, he manipulated them to suit what he wanted. Yet now, with the age of digital, for the first time, the camera is now supposed to be able to take the perfect image.
Then you start reading stuff that digital cameras can’t take images the same way as film did. I understand this. When I was using film I would use different films for different types of photography. You can’t do that with digital cameras. I have been reading Enmanscamera’s Blog – Kamloops post on 10 tips for to make better prints. There are a couple of points made about what you need to do to digital images and gives good arguments why. I suggest you read it.
Two things it speaks about, I thought we would look at today. The image I am going to use it one that I showed a week or so back, one from the BMX that I had done nothing to.
The image looks pretty good, but I suspect it could look better. For this tutorial I am going to use the trial version of Photoshop Elements 11 that I have. I am thinking I might buy this for doing Tutorials.
So following on from the other blogs tips, I have opened an adjustment layer for Brightness/Contrast. To open this, go to Layer at the top, click on New Adjustment Layer, then click on Brightness/Contrast. I haven’t changed the contrast too much. It is one of those things you have to be careful, too much contrast can really ruin your image. Have a go and see what it does.
Next is the sharpening. I had a lot of trouble working out where this was. So to find it go to Enhance, then go down to Adjust Sharpness…
I have to admit, I can’t always tell when an image is sharpened, though I suspect you would be able to tell more when it is printed.
Even though these images are okay, I always thought that they were a little light, so I opened another adjustment layer and clicked on Levels. I have moved the slider so that the image was darkened a little, not much, just a little. This has helped make the image pop more and the colours start to stick out more.
Here are the two versions, the original on the left, and the tweaked image on the right. I have’t done a lot to it, but it has been improved, and, I think, it looks so much better. If you saw the image on the right without me saying anything, you would think it looked fine and probably wouldn’t have thought anything had been done.
I still find it strange that doing this is considered cheating. I have been down to my photo lab where I get all my prints printed and they tweak images as well. They print them, then go through the images and make adjustments for each one.
Even working in the darkroom, each image had to have the light adjusted, the amount of magenta used for each one could change. You couldn’t print image after image without making any adjustments. I have many proof sheets where all the images were given the same amount of time, some were fine, but most weren’t.
So the next time you think that digital editing is cheating, remember that photographers have been cheating in the darkroom for over 150 years in their attempts to get that perfect, wonderful image. That is, after all what we are all looking for, that one beautiful image that we are so proud of. Okay, maybe more than one.
It has come to my attention that I have been nominated for some more awards.
Blog of the Year 2012, I have received 3 more nominations for this.
I have also received the Sunshine Award from
Also the Super Sweet Award from
That is enough for today. I would like to thank all of the blogs that have nominated me for awards and ask that you all go and visit their blogs as well.