Digital Cameras - Image Manipulation

So you have taken the picture and loaded it on to your PC. You would be happy with it but…… Whereas with traditional photography once you received the prints back from the developers there was nothing that you could do to put things right, with some image manipulation software almost nothing is beyond you. You can let your creative talents run wild.

If you have an image that appears washed out or too light or dark in certain areas than a good image manipulation software kit will soon be putting it right for you. Try out commands to correct the colour balance, or enhance the shadows and highlights of the picture. On top of that there are a whole series of special effects to try and packages also optimise your pictures for posting on the web. These software packages follow traditional photo studio techniques for correcting blemishes and wrong exposures. Irritating problems, like red eye, can also be corrected. With a little bit of trial and error and perhaps the aid of a training manual you can soon become a master craftsman in the studio.

It is very easy to get an image taken on a digital camera into the image manipulation software ready to be worked on. With some packages you can connect your digital camera to the computer and open images from there.

Once the image is loaded there are lots of different things you can do with it. When you are first starting out you may wish to crop the photograph, rotate it or resize it. These are all straightforward tasks. If the colour doesn't look quite how you would like it to there are normally automatic colour correction features. Once you build your confidence a little you may wish to move onto reducing red eye, retouching certain areas of the image and cloning different areas of the photograph. As you progress there are a whole host of manipulation tools at your disposal. Colour and exposure correction tools can really improve the overall quality of the image. Many of the tools also allow you to work closely on selected areas of the picture.

Other features allow you to superimpose text on the photograph, send it directly via email and to optimize images for displaying on the Internet.

The market leader in image manipulation software is Adobe. Adobe flagship package is Adobe Photoshop. This is an extremely versatile package that allows you to do just about anything you want to do to an image. In fact if you are just starting out then you may find this package a little overwhelming with all it's features. If this is the case then Adobe also offer a more slim line package Adobe Photoshop Elements (around £70). Another package that certainly merits consideration is Paint Shop Pro 7 (around £95).

Before you dash out and buy some image editing software, most digital cameras arrive with some bundled software. Check this out before deciding if you need to buy a dedicated software package.

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