Photo Editing, Free Software

Keep scrolling to see descriptions on the two products I ues, Picasa and GIMP. Picasa: black and white, highlight and shadow for contrast. GIMP: brighten eyes, teeth, lips and jewelry, darken eye makeup and eyebrows, smooth skin. Also, this particular photo features the Hollywood False Lash kit from ELF!

I am all about photography, if anyone knows me. Unfortunately, I don’t own Photoshop and so have been using free software to edit my photos. Below are a few samples of the editing I’ve done. They’re all of me, since I didn’t want to show anyone else’s “before” photos because (as you’ll see) the post-processed photos look 1 million times better than the original. Enjoy and don’t make fun of me!

Before & After: Picasa: Increased highlights and shadows for contrast & teeth, added “glow” to brighten and remove imperfections on skin. GIMP: brightened eye whites, corrected the shapes on eye makeup, smoothed lips.
Before & After again. Picasa: black & white, increased highlights and shadows for contrast. GIMP: brightened eye whites, darkened eye makeup and hair, erased flyaway hair, got rid of ceiling. 
I really didn’t want to put this one on because the before is just…awful. Picasa: increased highlights and shadows. GIMP: Smoothed skin and lips for blemishes and unevenness, corrected shape on eye makeup, fixed messy hair, removed spots on camera, shaped eyebrows. WHEW!

Yuck yuck yuck. I hate that before picture soooo much. Fun-fact: the purple on my eyes was actually done with a flip chart marker. On to the software:

When I take pictures, the first place they go when I put the memory card in my computer is to Picasa. It’s from Google, so you definitely don’t have to worry about viruses or anything that could (or usually does come) from downloading free software.

You can click on this pic and the next to make them larger. I love Picasa because it really has most of the tools necessary to edit a photo. When I want to take it a step beyond and make changes to a picture as far as drawing on the photo (like highlighting and darkening by hand–i.e., whitening teeth, darkening eye makeup, brightening the whites of the eyes, etc.), I use GIMP. My dad recommended it to me, so it can also be trusted. He works in computer security.

I would highly recommend using these programs (especially Picasa) if you take photos at all, especially if it’s any sort of hobby or area of interest. It’s really necessary for photo editing to become more known to the masses, beyond just black & white or the one-click effects of Picnik. Don’t get me started on Picnik.

Sometime soon, I’ll post a portrait photography guide with things I’ve learned from taking photos since 2006. I actually created it last year for a communications project, but I’m wanting to redo all the photos I took (since they were of a person whom I no longer favor, shall we say).

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