- Computers & Software
Editing Photos with Ease on a PC Via Photo Gallery
Windows' Live Photo Gallery, or simply just Photo Gallery, is one of the best types of free picture-editing software available to photographers who are looking to perfect and manipulate images in small ways. On some computers, it will come already installed on the device. It is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use offline platforms for simple photographic editing, and it is a good choice for generic editing of documentary/realistic pictures. Photo Gallery does not have advanced, specialized features such as superimposing or merging. However, it is quite helpful when put to use in photojournalism (in which authentic scenes are preserved) as opposed to fine art photography.
The Main Functions of Photo Gallery
In Windows Photo Gallery the user is able to delete images from a folder as well as make copies of images. When opening an individual photo through Photo Gallery, you are given a number of procedure options including emailing, printing, or editing, organizing, and sharing. In my case, I use the edit, organize, or share option the most.
Once in the edit, organize, or share mode, the single photo and all the other images and/or videos from its folder are brought into the software. In this way, you are able to scroll up and down, viewing and editing all the photos in the folder. (Videos can also be viewed and played in Photo Gallery, but they cannot be edited like photographs. For video editing, you can use the free Windows Movie Maker software.)
Edit, Organize, or Share
As I mentioned before, because of the limited creative editing it provides, Photo Gallery is an amazing software in fields such as documentary photography, nature photography, and photojournalism. In that respect, it is also perfect for altering and improving family photos. I took the three family pictures above and edited them in Photo Gallery, and the end result was very good. It is not as complex or overwhelming a system as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. (GIMP is also a good photo-editing software that can be accessed via a free download.) Therefore, since it is pretty simple to figure out how to navigate and edit with it, Photo Gallery is exceptional for the amateur photographer or hobbyist.
With Photo Gallery, you are able to "tag" people, and in this way, the software can start to recognize the same faces over a series of pictures. You can also attach a description to any image, giving details about what is going on in the photo. There are several other means of photo organization which can be helpful when trying to surf through dozens of images in the same folder.
Once in the edit, organize, or share mode, you can double-click on a picture to see all the editing options and perform whichever ones you want to. These options include noise reduction, straightening, cropping, color temperature, exposure, black and white effect, red-eye removal, and fine tuning. Like any software, you will have to toy with it for a little to see what adjustments work for which photos. Soon you will be able to convert your family snapshots into beautiful pieces of art for the family photo album or your scrapbook. Here is an example of a before-and-after glimpse of another one of my stills that I edited in Photo Gallery:
Before Editing in Photo Gallery:
After Editing in Photo Gallery:
The original file above was noisy, due to poor lighting conditions, as well as dark and shadowed in certain areas. I applied Noise Reduction twice on the photo; I manually straightened it, and I brightened the overall shadows. All photos have some amount of noise or grain. I always apply the Noise Reduction fix. As far as the graininess goes, I have found in my experience that the Noise Reduction effect can be applied up to two times. But after that point, the photo can start to just look bad or distorted.
When you click on the Fine tune option you are given four sub-options which you can manipulate or leave as they are: adjust exposure, adjust color, straighten photo, and adjust detail, in that order. By clicking on adjust exposure, you can raise or lower the brightness, contrast, shadows, and highlights of the image. I love the contrast effect. By giving a photo a higher contrast, the image becomes sharper, more clear and vibrant.
Photo Gallery also provides other editing tools. When viewing multiple photos on the screen from a single folder, you can create things such as a Photo Fuse or an Auto Collage under the Create tab. An Auto Collage is very simple to generate. All you need to do is select between 7 and 50 images, click Create, click on Auto Collage, and then choose the dimensions of the collage from the options available. The photo directly above is one of the collages I have generated with Photo Gallery of a number of shots I took. It looks really well done, and it was super easy to do! In Photo Gallery you can resize, rename, and even save images as a new file type. It also allows you to share some of your files through popular media outlets on the web including Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo. If you like taking photos, I suggest you get the free download of Photo Gallery on your PC and try it out.
© 2017 John Tuttle