December 22, 2006, Newsletter Issue #18: Three Quick Tricks to Make Your Photos Shine

Tip of the Week

Your photo editing program offers many ways to edit, adjust and retouch your photos. But the “payoff” with some of them is often much bigger than with others. Here are three quick tips for getting a bigger bang from less effort:

Saturation – Saturation refers to the purity of a color. The higher the saturation, the more intense the color. If the colors in your photos are a little dull, try increasing the saturation. With some photo editing programs, you can adjust the saturation of different “color channels” independently. This is great for making one color really jump right out.

Cropping – Cropping is one of the most basic operations in a photo editing program. But it can have a big effect. It's always best to crop “in camera” by moving in on your subject when you take the picture, but sometimes it isn't possible. As long as you have sufficient resolution, crop out all the excess detail possible from around your subject. That will focus viewers' attention on the subject and make your photo more interesting.

Fill Flash – More outdoor portraits are hurt by shadows on the subjects' faces. But you don't have to put up with this if your photo editing program has a “fill flash” function. Simply select the portion of each face that's in shadow using the magic wand tool and increase the fill flash slightly. This will get rid of the shadows on the faces… and make you the portrait photographer of choice.

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Lynne Christen