Spruce Up Your Online Photo Album With Editing Tools

Did you ever take one of those pictures that was almost perfect except for one minor little problem? Maybe the camera wasn’t held quite straight and the picture ended up crooked, or you caught a great candid moment with you and your friends but there’s some really bad red eye effect. It is no doubt frustrating to have to exclude an otherwise great picture from an album because its just not up to par. In years past, for the most part people just had to deal with it. Now, thanks to the photo editing tools commonly found on most computers, fixing these problems is quick, easy, and fun.

Online photo sharing has really revolutionized the way that people look at pictures and share them with others. Many regular photo albums, such as those family photo albums that are always packed full of embarassing pictures, feel cobbled together and disorganized. With online photo sharing, people can custom design and organize their photo albums so that they are far more presentable. In addition to better formatting, the editing tools that are commonly available have also enhanced the quality of the pictures themselves.

What You Can Do With Photo Editing Software

One common issue with pictures is when they end up crooked. This can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you gave your camera to a stranger to a picture with some friends, and they were having so much trouble figuring out the camera that they weren’t holding it straight. Or, perhaps you don’t own a digital camera and are forced to scan your pictures in manually – it’s not uncommon for them to come out crooked in this case. Fortunately, fixing a crooked picture with editing software is easy. In many cases, its as simple as choosing an automatic straightening option in your editor. Even if an editor doesn’t have this feature, gradually rotating the picture using a rotate tool and a little patience should get the job done.

Cropping is another useful edit that you can easily do with most photo editing programs. Cropping is kind of like a way of zooming-in on a picture after its already been taken – you can use a cropping tool to cut out more of the background and really focus on whatever your target is. Alternately, if a picture ended up a little bit off center, and the subjects of the photo are strangely off center, you can crop off the extra and put the focus back where it belongs. Cropping tools are generally very easy to use. All you need to do in most cases is simply draw a box around the part of the picture that you want to keep. Everything outside of the box gets erased, leaving you with just the section that you want.

Photo editing tools really let you get your best pictures up on the online photo sharing network of your choice. Straightening and cropping are just two of the many features commonly found in photo editors. Have fun exploring the possibilities of photo editors as you build your online photo collection.

MJ Johnston writes for a variety of websites, including Onlinedigitalphotoprinting.net, a photo site that offers advice on the quickest and easiest way to enjoy online digital photo printing , as well as how to get a free online photo album.

Heavenly Light Ray Silhouette
photo sharing
Image by Lenny K Photography
Here’s an image submitted by Paul Itkin processed with my Lightroom toolkit.

I don’t know what it is about post processing, but I must say that I enjoy it as much (if not more) than the process of taking the photograph. It takes me to that imaginary world where for that split second I can forget that I’m sitting behind a computer screen and live the photo itself. Such a cool feeling that I’d like to share with you

Another free photo for you to download and use as you wish.

www.lennykphotography.com

Free Photo Editing Glossary

Learning to use new technology is always a confusing experience. They are often full of complex jargon and you may feel lost without some kind of reference. If you’re interested in trying your hand at editing photos in order to share them online, then read on for some definitions of common terms you might find.

Cloning Tool

A cloning tool is a basic copying tool that allows you to copy a part of an image to essentially create a “brush.” Once you’ve copied the part of the image that you want, you can just use your mouse to paint that same like you would draw a line in a basic paint program. This is most useful when you have a specific texture that somehow ended up with some sort of blemish. You can simply paint over the blemish and, if done correctly, it will look like the natural texture. Some software programs have a feature that can automatically do this for you.

Fill-Flash

Fill-flash is sometimes referred to as a highlight or shadow adjustment tool. This tool can help you fix a photo in which the background is too dark, or the subject of the photo is too light (or vice versa). As with the cloning tool, many software programs have an option to perform this automatically for your convenience.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layers are a fairly advanced feature that allows you to edit a photo with affects without actually altering the photo itself. That is, instead of making changes to the picture itself, you create additional layers that are superimposed on top of the standard picture. You can edit the main photo or any of the additional layers at any point, or even delete the extra layers without affecting the main picture. Depending on what software you’re using, you may even be able to adjust the transparency of the extra layers to whatever level you desire.

Type Effects

This term refers to effects that can be placed on text entered on your image. Depending on the type of software you’re using, you may have to use a text tool to input your text, or you may be able to add text directly onto the image. In either case, type effects allow you to add effects like shadows, 3D effects, warped text, and many more.

Selection Tools

Selection tools are the tools that you use to select a part of an image that you want to manipulate. For instance, basic selection tools might commonly come in shapes like squares or circles. However, there are also advanced selection tools that allow for more unique interactions with the image you’re editing. For instance, one type of selection tool might allow you to select all parts of an image that have the same color. Or, for maximum flexibility, you can use a lasso type tool to select exactly which parts of the image you want to work with.

Obviously the world of photo editing is very complex and these are just a few basic terms. If you run across other terms that you don’t understand, you should just make a backup of your picture and experiment to find out what they do. You may be able to really improve the quality of some pictures and make your online photo sharing experience all the better.

MJ Johnston writes for a variety of websites, including Onlinedigitalphotoprinting.net, a photo site that offers advice on the quickest and easiest way to enjoy online digital photo printing , as well as how to get a free online photo album.

Blue Cityfogscape
photo sharing
Image by Lenny K Photography
Had this sudden random mood swing today to give a cityscape photo a futuristic blueish look.
A big thankyou to Mr David Law for sharing this one under the CC-A licence @ www.flickr.com/photos/mrdavidlaw/16668096630/
Changes were made to parts of the warm coloured cast, some part of the buildings were sharpened, saturation adjustments were applied.
I still enjoy the original and recommend that you check it out!

Used my free actions toolkit downloadble from www.lennykphotography.com + Photoshop Elements 14 to edit this one!

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Free Photo Editing Understanding Online Photo Sharing Terms: Picture Formats

Most people tend not to think about the details of their online photo sharing experience. As long as their photos get from their computers to their online photo album, they could care less about the processes that got it there. The way that digital cameras designed, this really isn’t a problem, as most cameras and photo editing software support this approach. However, there’s a lot more that goes into online photo sharing than is obvious on the surface.

Those who are interested in the fundamentals of digital photography may be curious about different file formats. Many have heard or seen the terms for picture file extensions, such as .jpg (or JPEG), .gif, .tif, and .png. What do all these different three letter extensions mean?

JPEGs

The term JPEG actually stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group” – the group that initially created the standard back in 1992. Since then, the JPEG has become the most commonly found picture file type on the Internet. This is primarily because JPEGs offer a tremendous amount of flexibility in terms of its compression and picture quality. That is, its possible to significantly reduce the storage size of a JPEG file by also reducing the quality. Back when the Internet was first starting out, downloading mutli-megabyte picture files just wasn’t practical. JPEGs could maintain a reasonable image quality while making the file size of the image much smaller.

JPEGs have remained an Internet standard thanks to this quality. People are able to make images much easier to transfer between computers without losing a significant amount of picture quality. The drawback to JPEGs is that it is a “lossy” format – this means that each time a picture is edited and resaved in the JPEG format, it loses a degree of quality.

TIFFs

TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF files are versatile and high quality, supporting up to 48-bit color depth (compared to 8-bit for GIFs and 24-bit for JPEGs). The downsides of this format are two-fold. For one, TIFF files have a wide variance and an image viewer that can view one type of TIFF file can’t necessarily view anther. Secondly, TIFF files are not widely supported by web browsers, making them impractical for online photo sharing.

GIFs and PNGs

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Like the JPEG, GIF files are also commonly found all around the Internet. GIF files are comparatively limited in their color palette – having only 256 colors to work with. This make GIFs a good choice for relatively simple pictures without a lot of color differences, such as cartoons and simple logos. While it a lossless format that doesn’t degrade in quality, it’s pretty rare that you’ll see a photograph in a GIF format in the modern age, since most cameras are able to take pictures with significantly more color depth.

PNGs, or Portable Network Graphics files, are the successor to GIFs. Unlike GIFs, they support truecolor, a 16-million color palette. PNGs are lossless, making them great for editing photos. Most web browsers support PNGs, but they can still be quite large. In many cases, the best choice is to edit a file in PNG format, then convert to JPEG for distribution.

MJ Johnston writes for a variety of websites, including Onlinedigitalphotoprinting.net, a photo site that offers advice on the quickest and easiest way to enjoy online digital photo printing , as well as how to get a free online photo album.

The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk
photo sharing
Image by Stuck in Customs
Daily Photo – The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk
I had spent the previous night up in Napa, visiting my mom and grandmother. This was a long day with a stop in Petaluma to see Leo’s operation, a fast hike through the Muir Woods, and then a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge to catch its majesty at sunset.

I’m sure locals know this spot very well, but I found it thanks to Google Earth. I knew it would be a cool spot, but driving to these spots is always a bit sketchy when you have never been there before. It appeared to be a simple jog off Highway 1, and it actually was. It’s nice when something that looks easy ends up actually being easy! This isn’t usually the case. Even better, the wind wasn’t howling a mile a minute, which I think can happen around here if you don’t watch out!

After I took this, I could hardly wait to get back home to process the final image. I don’t know about y’all, but I find the post-processing just as fun as the actual shooting… I really get a kick out of it!

New Free Video Coming Soon
Tonight I edited together another video about how I took a photo in New Zealand. I’ll get it uploaded soon to share with everyone! In the meantime, you can check out others in the Video section of the website.

from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

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