ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Photography Basics – Editing your Photos

Updated on September 4, 2012

Hi and welcome!

If you just got here, don't forget to check the list of tutorials of this series.

In this lesson we will be talking about photo edition. You'll learn about color and horizon correction, dust removing, sharpening your pics and more.

First things first. You'll need software to edit your photos. There are many free applications for this and there are some that even work directly on your browser, but in this lesson we will be using Gimp, a free open source application that is very easy to use.

The top half of the photo lacked contrast. Increasing it on Gimp can make the photo more colorful.
The top half of the photo lacked contrast. Increasing it on Gimp can make the photo more colorful.

Color correction

Install Gimp and open your favorite photo there.

Let's start by giving it a little more color. Although we mix the different camera settings to get a perfect photo, they still come out of the camera with colors looking a bit dull (or maybe the weather was not really good, but we can fix that).

When you have you photo opened on Gimp, click on the Image tab and open the Brightness-Contrast option. If your photo looks a little dark, you should move the brightness slide to brighten up those dark spots, but be careful with the white spots, you don't want to ruin them.

It's a good thing to increase a bit of contrast on the photo, because they tend to lack some color strength.

Fixing horizon

One of the things you should always check on your photos is if the horizon is straight horizontal (unless it is purposely inclined). There is nothing worst that looking at a seascape photo with the horizon tilted.

To do this, open your image on Gimp and from the top ruler (if you don't have the rulers visible, go to View>Show Rulers) and bring a guide line down to the center of your horizon. Next click on the Rotate Tool (Ctrl+Shift+R by default) and rotate your photo until you achieve the desirable result. Press Rotate to finish the process. After you rotate the photo, pick the Crop Tool (Shift+C by default) and crop your picture to remove the transparency at the corners.

Removing dust spots

Sometimes your photos can come with some dust spots, or maybe you want to get rid of something distracting on the photo. There are a few tools on Gimp that can help you with this procedure.

Open up your photo in Gimp, zoom in on the spots you need to clean and select the stamp tool (C by default). Now the trick is hold down the CTRL key and click on a clean spot with the color that you want to cover the dust spot, then, letting go the CTRL, start painting over the spot and it with replace with the first color you've selected.

This can seems a bit complicated by explaining it, but when you try it, you will see it clear how it works. With experience, you can clean up bigger details, like a car, for example, that can be a distraction on the photo.

A little sharpening can offer your photos more details.
A little sharpening can offer your photos more details.

Sharpening

Although we work hard to get a great focus when shooting the photo, we might want to bring up and little more of the details, so the photo gets clearer.

Start by opening your photo on Gimp. Now on the application tabs, go to Filters>Enhance>Unsharp Mask. Move the slides to get more details focused on the photo, but don't push them too much, because it can give your photo an exagerated effect.

Check the differences in the photo on the right. The head of the chick on the bottom box looks a little more focused.


These are the basic photography editing tips that you should know.

When brightening up your photos, you should always pay attention to the white spots, because you don't want them to be fully white. If you need to get your photo darker, pay attention to the dark spots.

When taking a picture, leave some space around it for the possible cut you'll have to give it.

Don't save your edited photos over the original. It's better to make a copy before starting to edit them. I've lost good originals by being this distracted.


In the next lesson, we will take a look at the most common lenses type for your camera. Some are good for very specific kinds of photos, so learn well each lens before buying one.

We will also be checking the accessories like tripod, filters, flashes, etc.

If you haven't checked the previous tutorials, click here to get to the beginning.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      A good article, thanks. I will have to try out Gimp.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)