How do I Edit Digital Photos?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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In order for someone to truly be successful when the begin to edit digital photos begins with determining what the purpose of the photo is. For some, all they want is a simple display for their computer. Others want to print snapshots. Some may wish to put them on a digital photo frame display system.

Editing digital photos starts with the photo editing software. It truly does make a difference what software is being used. Though you may not need to buy the most expensive software on the market to edit digital photos, most professional photo editors will tell you that you get what you pay for.

However, for those who just need to adjust the brightness and contrast, and do a little cropping, almost any of the basic software packages will work. Some can even be downloaded free online through an open license. For those who have a digital camera, nearly all come with a basic software package used to edit digital photos.


For the higher end user, Adobe® Photoshop® is probably the industry standard used to edit digital photos. Whether it is a professional photography studio, a newspaper, magazine or graphic design firm, Adobe® Photoshop® is used in a wide variety of applications. Its popularity is due to the fact that it is loaded with features and easily incorporates add on programs commonly used to edit digital photos, for those who may need them. But if you purchase Adobe® Photoshop®, take time to get to know the program first. Some may find the features they are tempted to buy as add-ons already come standard in Photoshop®.

There are a number of variables to consider when beginning to edit digital photos. Some users can become easily frustrated when they do not get the results they expect. However, most of the dissatisfaction can be handled by making sure to correct in a few areas.

First, understand there will be a difference between an image displayed on a computer screen and a printed snapshot. Sometimes, this has to do with display properties of the monitor. Usually, this affect is amplified with LCD screens, simply because the viewing angle can alter colors and brightness. In some cases, it may be trial and error before a user ends up with a print he or she desires.

Second, it is important to understand that resolution can also affect the display properties of a photograph. If the resolution is too high, it contains more information than most systems will ever need, in most cases. Plus, it can take up more hard drive space and memory than is needed, slowing down the editing, uploading and downloading process. However, if you plan on editing digital photos for use in poster sizes, keeping the highest resolution possible is desirable. If the resolution is too low, the image begins to look "pixelated" as the software tries to fill in places where information is lacking.

Third, never try to do too much altering of an original image. One of the common mistakes beginners make when the edit digital photos is trying improve an image too much. If, for example, an image is too dark, the information may not be there to make a good photo out of it. In such cases, the best that may be hoped for is a good grayscale image, which does not require quite as much information. Trying to improve a photo that does not have enough information will usually leave the photo editor with a substandard product full of non-vibrant colors.


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