How to Edit Pictures Really Well

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Editing pictures with a high level of proficiency on a computer requires special photo-editing software. Some websites offer tools to edit pictures online, but professional editing requires software that must be downloaded. The industry standard for photo editing is Adobe Photoshop. It includes many tools to modify or repair pictures. The most popular open-source alternative -- Gimp -- is available for free.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo-editing software
  • Download photo-editing software to your computer. Adobe Photoshop can be downloaded from Adobe's website (see Resources). Photoshop CS5 costs $699 as of January 2011, and offers a 30-day free trial. Gimp, the free alternative, has many of the features of Photoshop, though also a slightly higher learning curve. After downloading the software, follow its onscreen instructions to install it on the computer.

  • Locate the picture that you want to edit in your computer's file system. Right-click on the picture and choose to open it with the photo-editing software. To get accustomed to some of the software's tools, try some basic modifications such as blur and draw. Select the blur icon in the tool menu of your editing software and use your mouse to paint a blur onto the picture. Blurring the background of a picture can create a professional look and enhance the picture's focus. In both Photoshop and Gimp the blur brush can be enlarged by sliding the brush-size scale at the top menu when the tool is in use.

  • Select a filter to add to the picture. Most photo-editing programs provide standard filters, such as blur, sharpen and colorize. To give the picture a vintage effect, simply apply the colorize or vintage filter, selecting a yellow-based color from the tool options menu. To sharpen a low quality image when using Photoshop or Gimp, select the sharpen tool on the toolbar. Drag the tool over the area you want to sharpen. This will enhance a low-quality photo by creating a more noticeable distinction between pixels and color.

  • Save the picture to your computer when finished applying the brushes and filters. To make the image more compatible with social networking websites and other applications, save it as a .jpg file.

References

  • Photo Credit couple's headshot...white background image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com
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