Basic image adjustment

Peeps may have read my previous articles on how to make pictures more vivid and edit old pictures. This time I introduce some of the more advanced but still very basic adjustments one can do to improve the photos. But again I'm not just going to write everything again but point out to sources where to find full articles on photo adjustment.

First of all, let's have a look on 'levels' tool that is available on PhotoShop and on GIMP. The idea is to remove the missing black and white point levels. In other words to make the flat looking images more vivid and colorful. 'Auto levels' can be tried out as well. Quite often it does very good job.

Next thing to do is adjust the 'curves'. There are different ways to use this tool but very simple rule of thumb is to drag the markers in the lower and upper corners along the x-axis a little to get some pitch black and snow white into the picture. Moreover the "curve" that looks more like a line by default can be made to bend a little to the top left or bottom right to make the picture brighter or darker.

That's it folks πŸ˜€ Read more on those articles where I have linked here and don't forget my previous tips. For example one may wish to add that vignette layer to make the main point of interest to stand out from a bit darker surroundings.

Sources:
PhotoShop levels
Basic Image Adjustment
Really basic photo editing with GIMP

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23 thoughts on “Basic image adjustment

  1. No it is not, and on hyper text document collection there's hardly no beginnings or ends :DWhat comes to vignetting, I usually prefer to use as unnoticeable vignette as possible. Then it works like good wall paper: you just don't notice it.So far I have not used anything else but levels at S&T because I guess it's somewhat against the spirit of that group. Or what do you think Eva? But at 365 and on other albums I have found tricks like vignette gives very nice touch for the pics :up:

  2. I think you are doing fine in S&T. The reason we have the rule of as little as possiblie of "shopping" is to find out and learn about how we use the camera. One other reason was to make a differense between photography and photoart. We wanted a challange so we Choose the words poems what ever to make an effect of what you are looking at in the photography. So far so very good. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :)The heart of that group.:) πŸ™‚ When it comes to Photoshopping and adjustment it is nice when you know where the limit is. Also this is a question of taste I think many pictures are wasted by "shopping" or too much of it. To learn about it too find a way to make a picture nice is a delicate matter but so very interesting. And I can go on for ever πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you Eva for those words πŸ™‚ I agree we should keep on limiting the "photoshopping" at S&T, so peeps would concentrate on the use of camera. What I more or less try to share here are some basic adjustments that are okay to use in order to overcome the limits of camera used. Everyone does not have fine DSLR cameras, which gives fine pictures straight out of the camera. Therefore I think they deserve to know how to improve a little something like "flat" or "noisy" images.

  4. Two different skills. Using a good quality SLR is a skill on it's own. And the modern digital versions are not quite the same as the old mechanical and chemical types! :lol:.But GIMP or Photoshop are tools that are the modern darkroom. More than half the skill of a professional photographer from the old days before modern digital equipment was what he (or she) could do in the 'lab'. :yes:.

  5. Well yes, you are right Artur, but it can be used just for doing some basic things πŸ™‚

  6. Hm, curves is not a basic adjustment… Curves is the the most powerful correction tool. πŸ˜‰ Everything: contrast, brightness, histogram correction, fade correction, gamma β€” may be done with just curves. πŸ™‚

  7. We can also use the saturation levels in Image> Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or by pressing ctrl + U. πŸ™‚

  8. I hadn't explored the use of Levels with Gimp, so I thought I would try the "auto" setting to see what effect I could get with that. I started with this photo of an alligator snapping turtle taken through aquarium glass.Then I applied the auto-levels setting and got this result.When I looked at the above image, my reaction was that this is exactly what I would expect from using the auto-white-balance setting in Gimp. So I reverted to the original image and then applied the auto-white-balance setting. Here's how it came out.I can't see any difference between the outcome of auto-white-balance and auto-levels. I am concluding that they two menu items are separate paths to the same function. What do you think?I probably use curves more than any other Gimp setting. I often try using auto-white-balance first, just to see how that comes out. If I don't like the result (for instance grass loses some of its green-ness and starts looking white and dried out), I switch over to curves instead.

  9. On my computer screen the last one looks best :up: I recommend you just trust your own opinion when editing. Sometimes auto-white-balance can make the picture look awful, so there is no one general advice or trick good for all pictures. Anyway, what I tried to show here is that by "manually" adjusting the levels and curves you can affect on amount of corrections done. Although, there is nothing wrong in using auto settings if they make the picture look better :up:

  10. Eye of the beholder===to me the next to last looks best. The last has too much white on it. So it's really a subjective thing along with some basic knowledge of editing, imo

  11. Considering the fact that it's a snapping turtle, I thought it looked kind of cuddly. :DI had been having difficulty discerning the difference between the last two turtle pics, but now I have been persuaded that the next-to-last one is best.

  12. Display of the beholder as well πŸ˜€ At home, on my netbook, the next-to-last one it is :up:

  13. After going hiking and looking at my photos on my laptop, then looking at them on my TV, I was really surprised at how different the same photos looked.

  14. So what have we learned here today children? That an image is not set in stone but the way it appears depends on how and where it is displayed, as well as subjective and personal preferences of those looking at the image.

  15. :yes: I just got new Android phone and all images taken with it looks absolutely amazing on the device itself but turns somewhat adequate when seen on large computer display πŸ˜†

  16. Washed out maybe? Distorted? Do you like your new Android phone? Wish those darn smart phones didn't cost so much.

  17. Originally posted by L2D2:

    Washed out maybe? Distorted?

    Actually pictures are just okay also on computer when I use some other software than comes with the Android OS. See for yourself: http://my.opera.com/serola/albums/tags.dml?tag=zteOriginally posted by L2D2:

    Do you like your new Android phone? Wish those darn smart phones didn't cost so much.

    Yes, especially because it was so darn cheap. Less than 200€, and the whole deal was even cheaper than that! I pay 7€ per month for next 24 months and get unlimited mobile network connection for full available speed. Only 168€ :faint: I was lucky to get that phone and for that offer. Now it is sold out πŸ˜€

  18. I just got my first Android phone in October. I haven't taken many photos with it; about the only time I do is when I want to send a photo to someone right away.I had waited until my cell phone contract had finished, and then the cell phone carrier offers a large discount on new phones ($200 for two) if you agree to renew your contract with them. It is a much better phone to surf the internet than my old phone.

  19. light adjustment need water because ment is to consider and not overrate.. good job

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