Disclaimer: I’m going to use one photo to show the slight differences of the three softwares. So pardon me if you keep seeing the same shot of my daughter’s face. Hehe!
Let’s face it. We may have the latest camera phone, pocket cam or DSLR but most of us are no professional who can manually manoever the camera and always come up with perfectly lit and color balanced picture. I bet your DSLR is always on Auto-mode because mine is, except when I’m taking product shots. The perfect moment to capture is right there so I wouldn’t risk missing it just so I can take my time manually setting my cam. Good thing there are editing softwares available so we can make our photos look almost professional. Forget over-the-top filters! Hehe!
Whenever I edit my personal photos, I usually adjust only three things: the exposure, brightness and contrast and color balance. Adjusting the color isn’t always necessary though. Just in cases when the image looks like it has too much red/pink, yellow, blue, etc. Don’t get too intimidated. Editing is actually easier than you think…
EDITING WITH iPHOTO
If you’re a Mac user, your computer has built-in iLife which includes iPhoto. It’s a great software for filing and grouping pictures as well as image editing.
I took Kenya’s picture using my Canon EOS-1100D (yeah, I know, very entry level cam, that’s all I can afford. But this proves that you don’t need high end cam to have nice looking pictures.) It was taken at the beach, around 11:45 am using my camera’s portrait mode. Notice that the picture is very pinkish all over and lacks proper highlights and shadows.
When using iPhoto, your first option is to: edit>quick fixes>enhance. But sometimes, clicking enhance will only make your image darker like my photo. So the next option is to manually adjust your image.
First, adjust the exposure, contrast and saturation by moving the slider to the right. I cannot give the exact value since images are different. You have to trust your eyes for the right setting. Do not uncheck “Avoid saturating skin tones” if you don’t want your portrait to have grayish skin.
Kenya was sitting on a white, plastic beach lounge chair. Notice that the chair still looks pinkish after already adjusting the exposure, contrast and saturation. Let’s minimize the pink in the picture by adjusting the levels.
Move the middle slider to left a bit until the pink on the white chair is gone. And that’s it!