One thing I should have told you yesterday is this: I almost always shoot in AV mode. The flash doesn't engage and I think the natural light enhances the photo. If I need more exposure I do that in the post-processing. Some p & s cameras may not have AV mode so if you are in the market for a new camera, be sure and check on the dial to see if it displays AV.
Those pictures that you took yesterday or earlier today???? You might want to go back and retake the same setup in the AV mode and see what you think. Try the different settings on your camera and compare the pictures in your editing mode.
It is rare that I shoot in Auto mode (usually is marked with a green rectangle on the dial). Even on my new little p & s, there is an AV mode.
So on to post-processing. I have an Apple computer and use MacIntosh's built-in program (IPhoto) for editing. It does most things I want to do and if it does not, or I want a little more sophisticated editing, I use Photoshop Elements 7. It is reasonably priced and will do everything that I can possibly imagine myself needing. If I get good enough to need Photoshop or Lightroom, I will be shouting it from the rooftops. You won't need the internet to get the news!
IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN APPLE OR PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS, please don't be discouraged. I did this same type editing on a regular PC with a Microsoft photo imaging program. I got a great one on Amazon a few years ago for under $50. You can also download Picasa (FREE) to your computer or even edit in Flickr or Photobucket.
The main thing here is desire. How badly do you want to do it? (This is scary--I am sounding like my husband--smile) You can find almost any information you can dream up on Google. I just type in any silly ole question in the google bar and explore the possibilities until I find what I am looking for. It usually is right at your fingertips literally.
These tools are the ones I use the most in IPhoto: color boosting, sharpening, taking out shadows, cropping, exposure, contrast, and straightening tools. Of course, you can rotate the picture if you need to, change to black and white, sepia, antique, etc.
Referring to the pictures above, these are the steps I performed:
1. Took the picture--tried to make sure I had the best bones (good skeletal structure)
The picture is okay but as you can see, it certainly is NOT spectacular.
2. Transferred it to computer.
3. Edited in IPHOTO.
a) boosted the color--these are just little sliders under EFFECTS
d) sharpened the image-slider under ADJUST
c) changed it to antique mode--just a click of the button under EFFECTS
d) added edge blur-button under EFFECTS
Step number 3 took all of a minute or two max.
4. Took it to Photoshop, used the clone tool to rid the photo of the yellow sign on the left hand side of the bridge--sure wish I would have done the yellow piping on the right hand side but already had it saved before I noticed it.
This took 5 minutes or so.
5. Took it to Photobucket to enlarge the image for use on my blog.
A couple of minutes!
6. Imported it to my blog.
Okay, to some of you this may seem like nothing--to others who have never done any of this, it may seem overwhelming. I promise you, it is not. If you just stick with it a little while, you will get the hang of it and love your pictures so much more.
If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section and I will answer them on next Tuesday's post. I think I will write a photography post on Tuesday for two or three weeks--until I feel like you are on your way. Then I will post updates periodically when I learn something new or have something special to share with you in the way of photos.
Please remember, no question is too silly! That is the only way we learn. I am still asking what would be "silly" questions to a lot of people. But you know what, I am not embarrassed-- because I am learning. And learning is one of the greatest joys in life.
Disclaimer: Not getting paid by anyone for anything!