Hurricane Photo Mini Tutorial - Creatively Edit Your Photographs

JB and I are sitting here and it is oddly quiet. I could say it is the quiet before the storm, except it just feels like a normal rainy Saturday because the hurricane hasn't reached us yet.  The dogs are napping and JB is giving me the run down on how delicious veggie chips are... I have my doubts on that! 

So today I decided to do something a little different. I'm going to give you a mini overview on how to creatively edit your photos with your computer's default photo editor. While some artists (myself included) may be using Photoshop, Aperture, etc, to edit their photos, this doesn't mean that you can't create effects on your photos easily with the software you have. You don't need photoshop, you don't need fancy software... all you need are some favorite digital photographs and your computer. 

Most computers come with some type of image editing software. It won't have the level of depth and capability that a program like Photoshop has, but having access to that type of software doesn't mean you can't edit your photos with satisfying results.  

Whether you are using a Windows Photo Gallery editor, Mac iphoto, or another program you most likely have access to crop your photos, change the saturation, brightness, and contrast.  Let's take a look at the difference some subtle changes can make. You might remember this image from my previous post...

Now let's try increasing the saturation just a little bit, and the contrast. If possible you might even have access to something called levels and you can adjust how bright or dark the shadows are.  In this next version I am just going to increase the saturation and contrast a bit. You don't need much, start with 5%. 

This small adjustment gives the photo a little extra visual excitement.  For a black and white image you can also try decreasing the saturation and increasing the contrast and the brightness a bit.  Again start in small increments like 5%.  You don't want to take it too far or your photo won't have a natural look. 

If your photo editor has a sepia option, you could give that a try as well. I personally think that most default sepia effects on computers look too brown or bland. If you give this effect a try then also give a small boost to the brightness. If you can add a small percentage of yellow I think it gives it a softer look. 

Most of all you want to remember that you are looking for a range of tones in your image regardless of the effect you are applying to the photograph.  There should be a range of highlights and shadows so that the photo has depth. You may not have access to professional software, but you can definitely create some beautiful effects with your photos on a rainy day.  Let me know how things turn out, enjoy!