Jan Hudson’s Photography Tips Number 6

Jan Hudson’s Photography Tips are a regular Friday Feature here. This week Jan talks about improving what you shot after they come out of the camera.  To read any of Jan’s previous columns, use the search feature on the left sidebar and query “Jan Hudson.”

In this week's blog, we are going to go through the "after capture" of your images.   After capture is a term that is used to define what we do with the images once they are taken.


First of all, you need to take the memory card out of the camera and download it into the computer.  There are slots on your computer where you can put the card for downloading.  

Before you put the card in the computer, right click anywhere on the main screen of your computer screen and a window will open and give you several choices.  Choose "new" and click the arrow and find "folder" and click on that.  At this time, you can put a name on the folder and this is where you will copy the images from your memory card. 

Now, put the card in the slot and follow the prompts on your desktop:
1.  (Window):  open folder to view file
2.  (Window):  Click on DCIM folder
3.  (Window):  Click on folder that has your camera name on it. (ie:  100 Canon)
4.  Right click your mouse and drag the file folder to the folder that is on your desktop that has the name of the pictures that are on the card.
5.  Choose "COPY HERE"   and the files on your memory card will be copied to your file.
6.  Close the file after the transfer is complete and take the memory card out of the computer. 
(I would suggest at this time to make a copy of your images on a cd...just in case.)

You have just made a new file on your computer with the images from your memory card.  Congratulations!

Now, what do you want to do with this file full of photos? 

1.  Open the file by clicking on it. 
2.  Click on a photo and if you have a PC, it will probably take the image directly to an imaging correction program such as Windows Live photo gallery.

If you have Windows Live Photo Gallery, you will see prompts on the right hand side of the screen that allow you to correct the exposure, the tint, the color and saturation  and  allows you to do some tweaking to things like quality, focus, straightening, and cropping.   By sliding the controls to the left or right, you will be able to produce a very nice quality image. 

The Windows program automatically saves your work and over writes the old image.   If you do not want to over write the original image, simply click  "Save AS"  and give the image a new ID.  If the original image ID is # 1234,  and you want to keep that image AND keep the newly corrected image, simply click "save as" and change the ID to  image #1234a.  By making this simple change, the computer keeps both the original image and the newly corrected image. 

Things that you can do to improve your images after capture:

 IMG_8554     IMG_8554fixed

1.  Tweak the exposure.  If your images are too light (over-exposed) or too dark (under-exposed) use the auto exposure button first and see what it does to your image.  If that isn't what you want, use the slider dial to manually get the best image.  (see band shot far away and dark and then closer cropped lightened image above)
2.  If your images are too blue or too yellow, use the tint button to find the color that you like best.   I prefer warmer tones as opposed to bluer tones...but to each his own.
3.  Crop.  If you can't come in closer, use the cropping device to cut out the wasted space and bring the photo closer. (see band in front Bob Evans barn shots...one is cropped, one has Photoshop® work to take out people)

IMG_6262ps   IMG_6262crp

4.  Saturation.  There is a saturation dial that allows you to pump up the color for more vibrant images or actually turn them into black and white images. 
5.  Straighten.  Many times we get so into the photography that we forget to watch our horizon line and end up with crooked photos.  Sometimes it's creative, other times it just looks bad. 

If you really love working on your own images, I would suggest purchasing the following programs:
Photoshop® Elements  (usually under $100)  or Lightroom®.  Once you learn, these programs are a blast. 


1.  Find a reputable color lab in your town. 
2.  Take your memory card to the lab and have them download into their computer or kiosk before you leave.
3.  Most labs will do automatic exposure and color correction on your images and many times that works out well.
4.  If you have special needs, Photoshop® work, cropping, major color corrections, a professional lab can do that for you.  It's doubtful that Wal-Mart and drugstores will be able to do this for you, but you can check with the clerk.  (see band in front of feed store and change in window, wall).

IMG_2615a   IMG_2615awindow


5.  If you need promo materials printed, you can use online services or check places like Office Depot or a local printer. (see Fossil Creek promo glossy)

fossil pr photo 20%

6. ALWAYS make sure that they make a back up cd of all of your images.  ALWAYS!

I can't stress enough to back up your images.  Once they gone, whether by  loss or computer crash, they are gone.  There are no negatives to go to ...this card is it.  So make back up CDs and file them for later use. 

Well, I hope that you were able to glean off some information to help you with after capture!  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Next week, I will be answering the questions that I received from you via my website. 

Enjoy your week!!!


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