The making of a Photo

When you are out and about enjoying the world you may come upon a site that appeals to you. You may want to share the feeling of joy and you take a picture. The camera does a fine job of recording what it sees. But the camera cannot capture the warmth of the sunlight, the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the breeze. It cannot add how you feel to your picture.

“Post-processing”, editing, enhancing, your photos can bring out the “essence” of what you tried to convey. Here in four steps the “creation” of a photo.

First the picture as it came from the camera.


There are some reflections of man-made objects that detract from the photo. In the real world these were ignored when I saw the scene, but in the photo they are bothersome. The clone tool in PaintShop Pro is what I used to remove these flaws.


I remembered the scene, and especially the soft evening sunlight, as much brighter. The next editing step was to bring out the light by increasing the contrast and color saturation. There are many tools for doing this. Most of the time the sliders in Photo Gallery get me just what I want. Sometimes I will use Picasa and play with the “Boost” tool as I did for this photo.


Still not totally convinced that the resulting photo presents the mood of the scene I decided to add some vignetting, darkening the sides. This step I like to do in PaintShop Pro but occasionally I will try the “Lomo-ish” tool in Picasa. I did so for the final touch.

Last Evening Light

I hope you can now see and feel the scene almost like I remember it.


© 2013 Ludwig Keck


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