How to take photographs with your computer - Image Sizes and Editing
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      >  Tutorials  >  Take Photographs With Your Computer  >  Chapter 4



    How To Take Photographs With Your Computer

    Chapter 4: Image Sizes and Editing

    When you get your image into the computer, you may need to resize it (for example, if you plan to use your image on the web, you will want to make sure it comes out at your intended size in people's web browsers) or perhaps even edit it.

    As mentioned in the previous chapter, if you do plan on editing, it's best to use a lossless file format initially (such as BMP or PNG) and then (if you want) convert to JPEG only after your edits are all complete.

    Resizing Tips:

    Computer images are measured in pixels which are dots on a computer screen. For example, many Microsoft Windows computers have a screen which is 800 pixels by 600 pixels.

    However, when you take a picture with a scanner or digital camera, very often you will be asked to choose the size of the image in inches (or centimeters) and the resolution (measured in DPI - Dots Per Inch). You can convert this to pixels by multiplying the image size in inches by the resolution DPI.

    If you want your photograph to appear larger or smaller on the computer screen, you could experiment with different resolution DPI settings. A lower DPI will result in a smaller picture on screen, and a higher DPI will result in a larger picture on screen.

    If after, experimenting with different resolutions, you still can't make the image the correct size on screen, you could use good quality photo editing software to modify the image:
    • Most photo editing software has an option called "Crop" (or perhaps "Trim") which allows you to cut the edges (hopefully just containing the background!) off images.

    • Most photo editing software also has an option called "Scale" or "Resize" which will stretch or shrink the image to a larger or smaller size:

      • You should try to avoid stretching images, as this can cause lots of distortion. Instead, if you need a larger image, retake your photograph at a higher resolution.

      • It's okay to shrink images, provided you have good quality photo editing software - but poor quality software can distort images even when shrinking an image.If you do shrink an image, be sure to shrink it by the same proportion in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions so as to preserve its aspect ratio

    Editing Tips

    When you have a photograph in your computer, you will find that even a few relatively modest edits, using photo editing software can make for a massive improvement in the quality of the image. Furthermore, as you become comfortable with your photo editing software, you will eventually be able to use it to add sophisticated special effects to your photographs.

    Aside from resizing, which we have already discussed, Some of the basic edits that you want to consider include:
    1. Modifying Brightness and Contrast: You may find that some of your photographs have been taken in too dark or, conversely, too bright, environments. Modifying the brightness and contrast allows you to correct for this. Additionally, unless your lighting conditions were absolutely perfect, modest brightness and/or contrast adjustments may produce improvements in your images.

    2. Modifying Hue and Saturation: Modifying either of these will allow you to alter the color content of your photograph. Adjusting the hue will rebalance the color, whereas adjusting the saturation will modify the strength of the colors.

    3. Adjusting Color Levels: If you photo editing software allows it, you can alter the balance of colors in your photograph.

    4. Removing Red Eye: The "Red-Eye Effect" is the effect where people's eyes look red in photographs because of the reflected light from the photographic flash. Most photo editing software provides an easy-to-use tool to remove red eye from photographs.

    5. Sharpening: If your photograph is blurred (which may be a result of motion-blur or other blur during the photography, or a side-effect of other edits), you can use the sharpening feature in your photo editing software to restore or even bring out fine detail.

    6. Removing or Adding Noise: If your photograph is perhaps taken from a scanned image of an old photograph, it may contain dust, speckles and other noise. Photo editing software can be used to remove this type of noise. Conversely, you can also use photo editing software to add noise to a photograph to give a grainy effect - for example, if you convert a modern picture to black and white, and add noise to it, you can make it look like an old photograph/

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