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Improve digital photos with editing techniques
Many software programs and features can help you manage your digital photos with the click of a button.
After photos are downloaded to your computer, decide whether editing is required. Several photo editing software packages are available that can improve pictures by removing red eye, cropping or removing blemishes.
To make basic edits to digital photos, consider starting out with free editing software. Some free programs include Google’s Picasa (http://picasa.google.com), Picnik (http://www.picnik.com/), or Windows Live Photo Gallery for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (http://explore.live.com/windows-live-photo-gallery).
The primary difference between them is that both Google and Windows Live Photo Gallery allow you to edit photos on your computer, whereas Picnik requires photos be uploaded to their site. Google owns both Picasa and Picnik. Both Picasa and Windows Live give you the ability to tag photos through their facial recognition software.
Facial recognition software can be quite useful if you routinely take lots of digital photographs or you are scanning in piles of old family photos. Facial recognition software asks you to identify a person or persons in one photograph of your choosing. It then sorts through all the other photos in your collection and tags them with the name of the person you identified. If there are multiple people in the photo, you can tag multiple people. After you have tagged the photos, you can then search the collection for only photos that include that person.
If you scan in old photos, burn the images to a CD-ROM after you have scanned them. You can also use the clone stamp tool available in many software packages to restore the appearance of torn or degraded images.
If you want to do more advanced editing, try GIMP. GIMP, available at http://www.gimp.org, is a free photo-editing software package that has many more features than the previously mentioned packages. It is most similar to the industry standard, Adobe Photoshop. GIMP is a powerful program and can be somewhat overwhelming to the novice user.
Adobe Photoshop is the premier photo editing software but it is rather expensive, especially for the casual user who simply wants to remove red eye or change a color photo to black and white. Adobe does offer two options for those who would like to explore the Adobe interface. Adobe Photoshop Express is a free, online tool that gives you the ability to upload pictures and manipulate them. Photoshop Elements is the next step up and costs around $90. It is a scaled-down version of Adobe Photoshop but provides enough photo editing tools for the average user.
Editing photos provides the perfect opportunity to improve, identify and categorize family moments for future generations.