unedited, raw image
Are you ready for some photographic inspiration and information? The picture shown above is straight out of the camera. This is going to be one of the rare exceptions when I post an image that I haven’t edited. If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I have been teaching myself digital editing for about two years. I first started off using Photoshop Elements 7 and then graduated to Photoshop CS4 last fall. Here is one piece of advice from little ol’ me: A digital image can always be improved with editing – even a great one. It is worth the time and trouble. Always. And besides, it’s just plain fun!
Now look at the image below that has been edited. Isn’t it better? The most obvious change is that it has been cropped. But that’s not the only tinkering. I also adjusted the brightness and contrast, sharpened it, and modified highlights and shadows.
And I just can’t leave well enough alone. I have to play with the image a little more! Here is another version, this time with a textured background overlay and a slight overall reduction in saturation.
edited mage, with textured background and saturation reduction
And here is a lovely painterly version of my new horse neighbor, using a purchased plug-in program for Photoshop.
edited image, with oil painting filter applied
I hope all of this has provided you with some inspiration. Photoshop Elements 8 (the latest version) is a powerful program that retails for less than $100. It has 99% of what a serious amateur photographer could ever want. But if that cost is too hefty for your pocketbook and you don’t want to put in the time commitment for learning it, then you can use a free online program. Vandelay Design recently compiled a list of 30 of the best online photo editing websites. I have tried several of these and found them easy to use. So check them out and start having some digital editing fun!