Digital Photo Software covers image editing, image manipulation, creation of special effects, photo sharing and image searching from your hard drive. Some software is specifically designed for a single task and it does it well. There are other powerful suite of software which can do a host of things but on the flip side, they need some serious effort to learn them. We present here some possible effects using Corel Paint Shop Pro software - only as an example. As in all our pages, we display no commercial bias towards any specific product or manufacturer.
Basic image editing Software that allows you to do image processing is many a times bundled along with the digital camera itself. Most of the bundled digital photo software can do quite basic touching up of your captured images. If you need to fully utilize your creative skills, you have a wide range of choice - in image processing software. For example, Panasonic Lumix cameras ship with PhotoFunStudio software which allows you to edit the captured images.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free alternative to Adobe PhotoShop. It will run in Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You can use the industry standard - PhotoShop from Adobe or the incredibly powerful Paint Shop Pro. Both require a reasonable element of learning curve before you can use them effectively. Adobe LightRoom and Adobe PhotoShop Elements are software targeted at the consumers and hence offer value for money while sacrificing some of the more powerful features only useful for professionals. You will find links to some of these software at the directory section of our menu. You will find also links to photo sharing and image cataloguing software and tools there. We would like to whet your appetite for some of the possible effects achieved through the use of PaintShop Pro in the adjacent images.
Digital Image Processing Software
With Film cameras, half the job of creating the image visualized by the photographer is done in the film laboratory. The exposure is adjusted and the image cropped here. In addition color adjustment can also be done while processing the film.
With the advent of digital cameras, a computer software can be even more versatile and offers a vast range of possibilities in creativity. The software allows you to view the effects and manipulation on the original image without affecting a single pixel. If you are happy with the results, you can print the image in your photo quality printer. Or else you can undo the effects many times back and forth until the desired results are achieved. You need not carry a bagful of special effects lens or implements to create effects when you capture the pictures. You can add them later using the software.
Most of these software will offer the following basic mandatory features for basic editing:
- Red eye removal: Flash from your camera tends to 'reflect' from the retina of your subjects. Modern digital cameras may fire a pre-shot burst to reduce this effect. You can remove them through software easily too.
- Color Correction: If the white balance is not set right or you have mixed illumination, you will need to correct the color through software.
- Image Filters: From sharpening the image to creating artistic effects are possible using extensible collection of filters.
Image Tagging: When you build a collection of thousands of photographs it becomes unwieldy to sift through the directories to locate one particular shot. Browsing a collection based on some sort of criteria is mandatory. Tagging allows you to 'tag' your collection using keywords describe the images.
Face Recognition: Digital software can recognize unique facial features to identify an individual to some extent. If your software has this feature, it can be a time saver for cataloguing your collections.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): Human eye is an amazing tool - it can capture vivid details in a dimly lit room (after it adjusts to the low level of illumination) and equally it can see details in full bright sunshine. Camera sensors don't have such dynamic range. You can use bracketing in your camera to capture a series of images and then process them in a software to come up with vivid HDR images.
Tone mapping is one of the techniques to create HDR. Here again, Adobe PhotoShop version CS 2 and above have HDR Toning mode which allows you to adjust your image for high dynamic range. It uses a method called as Local adaptation - which tries to mimic the way our eyes adjust to varying levels of brightness. For example, if you focus on a distant subject outdoors, your eyes perceive the averaged value of the brightness from the bright sky to the tree in shadow. Photomatix from HDRsoft is one of the leading software to create HDR.