Digital Editing

Digital editing allows photographers to manipulate their photos in unique and interesting ways.However, to make use of digital editing you need to know a few basics. Keep reading to learn how you can turn your pictures into digital works of art!

The Darkroom vs. the Digital World

In a traditional darkroom, photos are created using different types of film, chemicals, papers and processes. In the digital world, photos are created using a digital camera, a computer, digital editing software and photo printers.

While the traditional darkroom was once the norm, digital photography is much more prevalent today. Millions of consumers now own digital cameras and use them to share their pictures online or via e-mail with friends and family. Professional photographers also utilize this relatively new medium to display their work.

What is Digital Editing

Digital editing is using photo editing software to edit digital images. Photographers can use this software to do a lot of things, including:

  • adjust lighting
  • balance and/or enhance colors
  • convert color images to black-and-white images
  • correct or eliminate flaws, such a red eye
  • crop margins.

The Right Tools for the Job

Digital editing requires a handful of tools, including:

  • a digital camera
  • a computer with a high-resolution monitor
  • editing software
  • storage media (e.g., CDs, DVDs, an external hard drive, etc.)

Digital cameras are available in many sizes, styles and colors to suit any budget. When selecting your camera, visit digital camera forums to get recommendations from other photographers.

Also, consider how often you plan to use the camera and for what uses. If you plan to use it regularly or even commercially, invest in the best camera you can afford, paying close attention to mega pixels and zoom.

Most computers today have sufficient memory and speed to upload images and edit them using digital editing software. However, some file types, like PNG (.png), will require more memory than others. JPEG (.jpg) files are most often used in digital photography. They are of a reasonable size and offer a clear image without using too much memory.

The degree of clarity, however, will depend on the resolution of your computer”s monitor. As your resolution increases, the sharpness of the image will also increase.

Photo Editing Software

Most digital cameras today come with photo editing software. In addition, programs like Photoshop, Photogenetics and Picture Window are readily available. A good program will integrate with your operating system, be easy to use and contain tools that will allow you to make both automatic and manual adjustments to such image features as lighting, sharpness and color balance.

Good digital editing software will also allow you to do the following:

  • add text to photos
  • create album pages
  • resize pictures
  • restore photos
  • share your photos with others.

Before selecting any digital editing software package, review the software”s features to make sure that it contains everything you”ll need for editing your photos. As an alternative, look for trial versions of photo editing software so you can try different ones before you buy.

Storing Digital Photos

Because photo files are larger than data files, they can take up a significant amount of memory on your computer. While you may want to keep some photos on your computer for convenient sharing or editing, you should eventually store all of your photos externally. This not only frees up space on your hard drive for new data and photos but also moves the images to a reasonably reliable medium for long-term storage. If anything happens to your computer, your memories are safe.

You might consider burning CDs of your digital photos or storing them on a thumb drive. You might even want to store them with an online storage service.

Scanners and Scanning Software

If you want to edit photos that were produced from negatives, you”ll need to use a scanner. After you have scanned the image and converted it to a digital file, you can edit it using the scanner”s software or by using another scanning program like TWAIN or Art-Scan PRO.

Tricks of the Trade

Here are a few final digital editing tips:

  1. Before selecting digital editing software, do some online research to get recommendations on what programs are popular and why. You might also want to go to a local computer store to talk to an expert.
  2. Identify the operating system you need as well as the features you want. Compare software packages side by side to see which offers the editing tools you want.
  3. Use the program”s tutorial to learn how to properly edit your photos.