Last week we talked about imaging software and what software you should buy. This week I thought we would talk about what kind of things you can do with the software after you get it.
First, what is imaging software? It is a program that you install on your computer that is used to manipulate your pictures, or if you use the latest buzz word, your images. You may be wondering why you would want to manipulate your images in the first place. It's because no matter how hard you try it's almost impossible to take the perfect picture.
If you look at a picture long enough you will usually find something that can be improved. Let's say you were standing too far away from the person you were photographing and you left a bunch of unnecessary space around your subject. Most imaging software packages have tools that will let you crop your image and eliminate the distracting things out of your picture.
What if your picture is too dark or too bright? With a couple clicks on your computer you can adjust the brightness of your images. If you took your picture in color and think maybe it would look better in black and white, give it a try. Maybe you want to put someone's name on your picture or add a clever saying. Just use the text tool and add all the words you want. These are all very basic things that most packages can do and features that most people need.
Things can get much more complicated if you want to do some of the more difficult things. We all know that on picture day you will always get a huge pimple on your face or the baby will bump its head and get a bruise. Removing these things is easy in theory, but in reality it takes a lot of skill to make sure that the skin tones match and the best retouching work will look natural and is not noticeable by the viewer.
This is when being an artist comes in handy. You don't have to be an artist to use these programs, but if you do have an artistic eye you could go crazy with all the things they will allow you to do. It's best to start with the basic features and work your way up into more complicated tasks as you get comfortable with your program. Imaging software is very much like video games. You sit down to do some work and hours can go by before you know it. Maybe you will have some time to spare over the holidays ... Ho ho ho. Merry Christmas!
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer.)