Chapter 10. Fixing Your Photos

Straight from the camera, digital photos often need a little bit of help. A picture may be too dark or too light. The colors may be too bluish or too yellowish. The focus may be a little blurry, the camera may have been tilted slightly, or the composition may be off.

Fortunately, you’re digital now. You can fine-tune images in ways that, in the world of traditional photography, required a fully equipped darkroom, several bottles of smelly chemicals, and an X-Acto knife.

OK, iPhoto and Picasa aren’t full-blown photo-editing programs like Photoshop. You can’t paint in additional elements, mask out unwanted backgrounds, or apply 50 different special effects filters in iPhoto and Picasa. Nonetheless, these programs are well equipped to handle most basic photo fix-up tasks: rotating, cropping, straightening, fixing redeye, color correction, special effects (like black-and-white or sepia-tone), and tweaking brightness, contrast, saturation, color tint, exposure, shadows, highlights, and sharpness.

Opening a Photo for Editing

The first challenge, then, is opening up a photo to get it ready for editing.

The Picasa Editor

You can open a photo in either of these ways:

  • Double-click the photo.

  • Choose Picture → View and Edit (Ctrl+3).

Either way, the photo opens up nice and big. The tools you need to edit it appear in three tabs to its left. The following pages guide you through all of these controls.

The iPhoto Editor

Over the years, in hopes of accommodating every conceivable ...

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