Simple Ways to Improve Image Quality

Digital cameras have made photography more accessible than ever. That said, for those without training and experience, there are still barriers standing between their goals as a photographer and the results they’re getting from their cameras. A key one is image quality–quite simply, some shots that seemed exciting in the moment may appear bland as a digital file. By following these tips, you can easily take your photography skills to the next level.

Adjust The Contrast

In order to make photos appear more vivid and dramatic, some simple editing with Photoshop, GIMP, or a similar image editing program can be extremely effective. Find the tools which allow you to adjust the brightness and contrast, and play around with your light and dark balance. Depending on the conditions in which a photo was taken, the optimal settings will vary, so you’ll need to experiment to find the right ones for each photo. Either way, this simple technique is a very powerful way to add some life to an image.

Switch To Black & White

When taking photos of any kind, many factors can have a detrimental effect on the quality of the final shot. The colors of the subject might contrast too starkly with their surroundings; blemishes in portrait shots may be more visible than both you and your subject would prefer; the lighting was too generic to make the shot particularly interesting. In instances such as this, opening up a photo editing program and switching the color scheme to black and white is often an effective way to turn an otherwise error-laden photo into something worth showing off. This technique helps to minimize the jarring effect of contrasting colors, and can be very useful when it comes to improving the look of imperfections.

Save Your “Lossless” Files

When you take a photo on a digital camera, the original file is saved to the memory card in the highest-quality format possible. Sometimes, this format is called RAW, though the name varies from company to company. The problem is, when you save the file on your computer as a JPEG or similar format, the image is processed to make the file smaller, reducing its quality. Programs such as Lightroom allow users to save the original “lossless” file (so named because none of the quality is lost) as a type of digital negative, which can be copied whenever you want to edit it. Many manufacturers also bundle their own software with the camera itself, allowing customers to save lossless files on their computer.

Photography is a nuanced form of art, and there are seemingly countless ways in which experts are able to enhance images to make them more impressive. If you’re a beginner, though, these techniques offer a great place from which to start experimenting.

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