In earlier times, you took your snapshots with your trusty old Brownie, removed the film cartridge and dropped it off at the drug store for developing. After about a week, you picked up your prints. What you got was exactly what the film was exposed to. No cropping, no sharpening, brightness or contrast adjustments were available unless you had your own film processing and print studio.
With the onset of digital photography, it has become possible for everyone to learn and perform successful photo editing. There exists a plethora of digital photography software that allow differing levels of image manipulation. With a decent digital camera, a computer with a quality printer, and one of the many versions of photo editing software, you can produce stunning photographs. You can crop for closer views of your intended subject, darken or lighten the exposure, adjust the contrast, sharpen the image, change it to black and white, sepia, or grayscale.
Add a good scanner and you have the ability to edit your old standard photographs. That old faded photo of you as a child can be brought back to life with a few clicks of your mouse. With the right software, you can place objects from one photograph into another. Create a montage of any person containing their pictures from birth to present. That beautiful old Ford you took a picture of at the cruise-in brings back fond memories?
Just insert yourself into the photo standing proudly beside the car of your dreams. Photo editing not only provides you with beautiful keepsakes of the people and places in your life; it can provide you with hours of fun and entertainment. Children giggle and squeal with delight to find themselves placed into unknown and exciting places.
One of the most recognized and utilized programs for photo editing is Adobe’s Photoshop. From this software the term “shopped” was phrased. People who work with and view photography use the term to refer to photographs which appear to have been manipulated to show something that was not in the original photograph, to remove something which was, or when the appearance of a person or object in the photo seems to have been altered. For example, you find a car photo editing picture of a group of famous (or infamous) people, then you replace the face of one of them with your own for laughs, you have “shopped” the photo. Other programs are Corel Paint Shop Pro, and Serif Photo Plus, to name but a few.
There are basic photo editing programs available that allow you to do basic adjustments and learn basic photo manipulation. Some of these programs can be found for free such as Gimp for Windows, Serif’s Photo Plus, Paint.NET, Image Forge, Pixia, Ultimate Paint, and several others.
Which ever direction you take in choosing a photo editing program, be prepared to become totally hooked on working with digital photography. As you discover the many tricks and tweaks possible with photo editing, don’t be surprised to find yourself immersed for hours at a time tweaking and manipulating your photographs.