Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fixing Faulty Photos

By Christina VanGinkel

I have talked quite a bit lately about the ease of taking pictures with a digital camera, how we often end up with more than enough shots from which to choose from for our many projects that we make use of them in, such as framing and scrapbooking. Ending up with only one shot, and not all that good of one, can still happen though. Maybe you arrived late at an event, or your batteries died right after you started snapping photographs, or not all the rules you learned about lighting were working. For whatever reason, you have one picture that is badly composed, or poorly lighted, or so fuzzy, only you can tell whom it is you photographed. Before you hit the delete button on your camera, or toss the picture in the trash, try a few of these tricks to try to salvage the one and only picture of the occasion.

There is one rule to follow when trying these tips out and that is not to save over the original file. Always save each individual file that you believe you may use as a new image, under a new file name. If you change your mind later, you can always go back to the original copy and start again.

Bad Composition

Zoom in on the part of the picture that was the intended focal point. Crop away the unintended subjects. If you are going to use the photograph in a scrapbook, try zooming in only part way and covering the unwanted subjects that are left in the photo with embellishments such as a tag to be used for journaling, or a sticker that relates to the pictures main focal point.

Too Bright

Try turning a too bright picture into a useable subject by converting it to black and white or sepia tone. If your photo editing software has other options to choose from such as oil paint or colored pencil, try converting the picture to some of the other options.

Too Busy

Much the same as a picture that is too bright, try converting the picture to black and white or sepia tone. By doing so, many times the busy background will fade away leaving the focal point as it was intended. This is especially true when the background is overly colorful.

Fuzzy or Blurry

You may be able to salvage a slightly blurred photo by using the sharpen feature, or a film grain. If a picture is a total blur, it still could be potentially used within a scrapbook as a background for a phrase or caption that captures the subject at hand fully. For example, a recent snapshot of my son on the football field is pure blur. I blew it up to an 8 x 10 and simply wrote the word 'Speed' across the bottom of the page in a font that resembles the blur of the photo itself. It is one page in a complete book about my son's ongoing fun with the sport.

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