“In photography thiere is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” - Alfred Stieglitz

Editing photos is often quite scary for novices. Adobe Photoshop CC, layers, luminosity, Picasa, etc., can strike fear into the heart of the uninitiated. However, it’s not really that complicated!

Nowadays, the techniques have changed and almost anyone can edit photos in an intuitive way. Whether it’s adjusting the contrast, making collages, HDR correction, you can do almost anything.

In May 2017, France made it illegal for edited photos to be displayed without mentioning that they’ve been retouched. It just goes to show how good they can look. There are certain functions that you should learn how to use to make your snaps better.

So are you ready to start editing your photos? Which are the best programmes? How can you correct details in just a few clicks?

Don’t panic! We’ve got the answers for you right here.

How Can You Transfer Your Photos onto a Computer?

Importing your photos onto your computer is the first step when editing photos. How you do this will depend on the device where your photos are stored: Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, etc. There are a few differences between each one.

How do you transfer photos to a computer?
Before you can edit your photos, you'll need them on your computer. (Source: TheAngryTeddy)

On an iPhone, you have a few choices for transferring files and photos.

  • If you have a Mac, iCloud is the most practical way to transfer your snaps in a few clicks. Thanks to regularly being synchronised over the cloud, your photos and files will be stored automatically. You just have to log into your iCloud account to find your favourite photos wherever you are. This is the magic of the cloud!
  • If you have a Windows PC, you can import your photos by connecting your iPhone to your computer via a USB cable. Windows 10 has a lighter programme than iCloud called “Photos”.
  • There’s also Aidrop which, if you have two Apple devices, works over Bluetooth. Connect your phone to your computer using the app and your photos will be transferred.

From an Android phone, things are just as simple. In fact, you can also use a USB cable as we mentioned before. You just need to connect your phone to your computer and drag the photos from your phone to your computer. That’s it!

If you don’t have a cable on you, you can use apps like WeTransfer, Google Drive, or AirMore, which uses QR Codes. The joys of technology!

You can also store your photos on a USB key or external hard disk and transfer your photos over USB. You can store plenty of digital photos on a memory card. In this case, you’ll need to take the memory card out of the device and insert it into your computer.

Some Macs don’t come with a memory card so in this case, you’ll need a USB adapter for it. Once you’ve got the photos on your computer, you’re ready to start editing them!

How Do You Edit the Size and Dimensions of Photos?

Changing the file size or dimensions of a photo is one of the most common modifications. If you’re sending your photos in an email, they can massively increase the file size.

How do you resize a photo?
In the same way you can fit more photos into an album if you make them smaller, you can store more photos on your computer if you do the same. (Source: jarmoluk)

So what’s the solution?

You can modify the size of photos according to your needs. When you edit photos online, there are plenty of different techniques you can use.

Don’t worry, we’ll get to them. While every photo editor is different, each has a lot of common.

Changing the Dimensions of an Image

To resize a photo, photo editing software is usually your best choice. Adobe Photoshop is the most popular programme and is often considered the best for editing photos at home. By changing the number of pixels and retaining the proportions, you can resize your photo.

The same is true for Lightroom which, thanks to advanced settings and high resolutions, can provide satisfying results. Of course, since we’re not in a perfect world, these programmes aren’t available for free.

That said, there are some free photo editing programmes that you can use to resize photos and images. Of course, there are different sites available where you can upload a photo and resize it. The advantage of these services is that they won’t cost you a penny.

If you can't afford the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can download a free photo editor like GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).

Changing the File Size

The size of the photo isn’t the only thing you can change, you can also change the file size. This is done with compression. “But what’s that?” we hear you ask! It’s very simple.

Compression is the act of making a file take up less space in a folder and you can do this my zipping it.

  • On Mac, you just need to right-click, choose “Compress” and a new compressed folder will be created right next to it.
  • On Windows, you can go to the Picture tools menu and compress them from there.

There are also programmes and websites you can use to compress files in just a few clicks. Changing the file size isn’t that complicated.

Keep in mind that not all image formats are the same. While you can use an online photo editor to convert images, there's free image editing software that you can download that will give you more options and photo effects than these online tools.

Find the best photography courses on here.

How Do You Blur a Photo?

Blurring photos is one of the most popular features of photo editing software. Along with modifying the contrasts, changing the white balance, or adjust the sharpness, a blur filter is an essential tool in any image editor.

How do you add a shallow depth of focus?
If you want the subject to pop, you might want to blur the background. (Source: GerDukes)

Whether it’s stains or blemishes on a t-shirt, a registration plate on a car, or whatever, you can easily edit your photos in one click by adding a blur effect.

So how can you do this with photo editing software?

  • If you have an apple device, you can use the Skitch app. You just need to download it to the device and choose the photo. The app’s icon will appear in your settings. You can choose the area you want to blur, and with a bit of magic, you’re done.
  • On Windows, you can use “Evernote”, a similar app. When you choose the image you want to blur, the “@” symbol will appear in the top left of the photo. From there you can pixelate the photo.

You can also use the blurring tools in programmes like Photoshop Lightroom or GIMP.

Gaussian blur or Gaussian smoothing can be used to smooth out photos. You can also achieve similar results with a good camera. If you want a nice blur, you can do so by using the right tools. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Get as close to your subject as you can.
  • Ensure the background is at least 2 metres away.
  • Use a 200-500mm telephoto lens
  • To reduce the field of depth, use an aperture of F/1.8 or F/2.

If you still would like to learn more, then you should consider getting the help of a professional photographer private photography tutor on Superprof. They'll be able to show you how to touch up your photos, get professional photo quality from your snaps, and all the secrets of digital photo enhancement.

Find the best photography courses in the UK on Superprof.

How Do You Change the Format of a Photo?

What is the format of a photo?

The format is the type of file your photo is saved as. Gif, jpeg, pdf, xnview, png, raw, etc. are all different types of file format. There are plenty of different types.

How do you change a file type?
Different file types have different properties. (Source: MTZD)

Some file types are bigger than others and some are more compatible with certain programmes, will load quicker, are better for attaching to emails, etc. The type you choose should be dependent on what you’re doing with it and what you need it for. There are a few ways to change the file type.

On Windows, you can click Edit on the photo you want to change. Then you just need to “Save as...” and choose the file type when saving.

Easy, isn’t it?

On Mac, it’s just as simple. Select the image and choose “Export Selected Images”. It’ll ask you the file type you want to export them as and you’re done.

In addition to these solutions, there are also online solutions. A quick search for “image converter” on Google will provide you with plenty of different solutions.

You can also learn using online photography courses.

Nevertheless, GIMP, the famous photo editing software package inspired by Photoshop, is free and useful. You can remove red-eye, change the contrast, adjust the black and white balance, crop, modify photos in just a few clicks.

By opening the image in question and exporting it, you’ll be presented with the option to change its file type.

Whether you’re using filters, creating montages, cropping an image, removing imperfections, etc., you need to start with the basics.

So are you ready to edit your photos?

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