Photo editing

June 10, 2009 RENU

  1. Color corrections- Our everyday tube lights have a ‘cooler’ tone as compared to the ‘warm tone’ bulb lights from incandescent light sources. No auto white balance setting can be so perfect (at least not till today) that it can accommodate changes for a variety of light sources. Most cameras perform well under daylight. To fix- In Adobe Photoshop, FILE-OPEN-IMAGE-ADJUST-COLOR BALANCE, reach for sliding tool that lets you replace one color tone with another but have no effect over the brightness of the image.
  2. Red eye- In low light conditions, the pupils of the eye expand much like the aperture of camera’s lens, to allow more light to fall on the retina. This forms a brighter image where light levels are not sufficient to do so on the ‘film’ of the eye – the retina. When the eye experiences brighter light, the pupils contract (like a smaller aperture) to accomodate the increase in light. This expansion & contraction of the pupils is constantly taking place as we experience varying light intensities. Flash on the camera is obviously used in low light levels. Keeping in mind that the pupils of the eyes of the subject were already expanded in such a scenario, the eyes are not prepared for the unnatural burst of light. In such case, if & when the flash & the eyes are near-parallel or parallel to ach other, the flash light hits the retina, bounces off it to create the red eye. The redness is of course, thanks to the color of blood within the retina. To fix- Don’t shoot directly into subject’s eyes while using flash. If already have image with red eyes- In Photoshop, FILE>OPEN, select red area in both eyes with lasso tool, give a sufficient leather effect. Play with Hue/saturation(Image>Adjust>Hue/Saturation) to remove red eye. Some camera’s have in-built red eye reduction feature, where camera’s flash fire 1 or 2times before the final flash so eyes are tuned into the bright light levels condition, the pupils contract, and eyes are no longer taken by surprise when the final image is photographed. But keep in mind, this extra bursts of flash per image consumes more battery power.
  3. Sharpen images- File>Open, then Filters>Sharpen>Choose Unsharp mask in submenu. Begin sharpening with 3tools. Amount- ctrls amount of sharpening that is applied to the picture. Radius- effects the radius of pixels that are effected with the sharpening procedure. The larger the dimensions of the image, larger will be the reqd pixel radius for sharpening. When you alter the variables in the sliding bars, resulting effects will simultaneously be visible in the opened image. Expt with radius & amount until you reach the desired effect. Don’t sharpen the image to such an extent that it is obvious to the naked eye – you begin to see high contrasts when you over-sharpen, this is to be avoided at all times. Threshold- to soften the sharpening effect if overly obvious after you’ve adjusted the first 2 sliding bars.
  4. Photomontage- is the result you get when you use 2 or more images to make 1 composite image. 2ways to make a photo montage are– the old fashioned ‘manual’ method & the digital one. Today, the most common place photo montages we see are on cinema posters & are made on computers using Photoshop, all over the world. File>New, enter resolution, width & hgt parameters on dialogue box that pops up. Set resolution(DPI) to 300 for print, & 72 for web usage. Select images, cut out areas of interest, experiment with various feather densities, copy-paste in final canvas area. 
  5. Blur images- Result of 2kinds of errors. 
  • Off-focus error is usually in manual focus camera but if in auto focus camera, then subject was off-center. Most auto focus mechanisms focus on whatever subject is found at the center of the frame. So try this simple trick– get the subject into the center of frame, half-press the shutter so the lens locks on to the subject, without pressing button, re-compose frame to the desired composition & fire the shutter to get a in-focus image. If difficult to half-press the shutter, switch over to manual focus mode.  Finally, the smaller the aperture you use, the more of a range would you get into focus (more depth of field). The final technique mentioned (small apertures) should only be used at times when you are in an absolute hurry, since it does not always give you the perfect results you can expect with the former two techniques mentioned.
  • Camera shake- Typically occurs when shutter speed was set to too low & the picture taken hand-held. Make sure shutter speed is at least the inverse of the focal length used. If using a 300mm setting on your lens, shutter speed need to be set to 1/300 of a second at least. Use tripod/wall/tree/rest hands on knee/against side of face for support. Never jerk down the shutter release, squeeze it gently till the trigger fires, much like a gun is fired! 
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Entry Filed under: Photography

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