Brilliantprints Live Help

5 minute digital makeover (continued)

October 25th, 2010 No Comments

Part 2 – correcting some basic problems with your images

In our last article we showed you how to set up your images to get them ready for editing. We are now going to cover some techniques to get the best out of your pictures.

Sometimes when we take a photo, we have the camera at a bit of an angle, or we might have it on its side to get a more vertical shot. If we had to keep twisting our head to look at it straight then we’d end up in hospital, so the next step is to straighten up our photo. The way to do this is to go to the Image menu and select Rotate Canvas. From here you have a number of choices. If you’re simply trying to put a vertical photo the right way up, choose one of the 90° options. If you’ve only got a bit of a tilt, then you will have to choose the Arbitrary option. In this menu you can choose any number of degrees, the best idea is to start of small and undo after each attempt until you get it right.

Once you’ve fixed the orientation of your photo, you can try the other tools in any order. The tools you use will depend on the quality of the photo you are working on. Most people will also quickly find a preferred way of working through the steps.


You’ve just taken a great photo of your kid riding down the street. Absolutely beautiful shot. When you get it off your camera and look at it on your computer, you see your neighbour in the side of the shot, wearing nothing but a pair of dirty old shorts. This may seem like a disaster, but there is a simple solution. Cropping is the act of selecting which parts of an image you want to keep, and getting rid of the rest. To crop an image, simply select the part that you want to keep, then go to Image -> Crop. If you don’t like the look of the new image, then just undo it. You might want to crop an image for a number of reasons. Firstly, you may have accidentally got something in shot that you didn’t want, such as your neighbour, or just too much background. You might also want to crop an image to add interest, or to focus on a particular bit of the scene. There are a few rules for composition of images that work well, and if you haven’t quite got it right in the original photo, then you can fix it by careful cropping.

  • Off-centre is interesting: It is better for the focus of the photo to be a bit off-centre that right in the middle of the shot. Generally, you want the focus to be a bit off to one corner.
  • Moving targets need somewhere to go: If you’ve taken an action shot, whether it be a dog running along the beach or your kid riding her bike, there should be more room in front of the moving object than behind. Just remember to leave them somewhere to go.
  • Horizons: The horizon shouldn’t be in the middle of the frame, try to get it about one third of the way from the top or bottom.

Your image should be looking much neater and more focused after just these simple steps. In our final article we will show you how to add the final touches to your images to really make them look their best.

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