5 Tools to Improve Any Photo
Using almost any photo editor (iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop, or even Apple’s Preview), you can use some basic editing tools to improve any photo. Here’s a basic workflow process.
Note: click on the title of this article to see the images at a larger size
In this tutorial, I’m using Aperture 2.0
1. Crop It:
Use what you know about the Rule of Thirds and crop photos so that your subject(s) get more attention.
2. Add Contrast
I’ve rarely shot a photo that didn’t need more contrast. Using the contrast slider of any editing program will always improve the detail in the tonal differences between shadows and highlights (or light and dark areas) of a photo. Using the Curves or Levels tool in advance image editors do even a better job with contrast.
3. Saturate It
Intensifying the colors of an image makes it stronger and more appealing to the eyes. You can overdue saturation, so use it modestly.
4. Recover the Shadows and Highlights
In this particular photo, we can see a loss of detail in the highlights (bright areas of the photo. Most image editors now have highlight and shadow recovery tools, and if you shoot your photos in RAW mode you will be able to recover more detail in the highlight and shadow areas.
5. Sharpen Up
Nearly all digital photos need sharpening. So the last step in any image processing workflow is to sharpen the photo, especially if you plan on printing the image. Sharpening, of course, recovers detail in the photo. The effects of sharpening can often be subtle, but if you do it enough you’ll start noticing the difference.