Saturday, January 15, 2011

Express Lab - Smart Photo Fix

Today we will be working with the Express Lab that comes with PSP X2 and X3 (it may come with other versions as well, I just don't have them installed any longer).

Open the Express Lab (View>Express Lab). Click on Get Photos button on bottom right corner and open photo that you would like to improve. Click on the Smart Photo Fix icon. The white box with the grey "mountain" to the right is a histogram. For a more detailed explanation, please check out The Luminous Landscape's article "Understanding Histograms".

You can use the "Suggest Settings", which will automatically chose what the program thinks are the best settings for your photo. (NOTE: The red "mountain" shows the new setting, leaving the grey to show the original, so you can see how it has been changed.)

If you don't like these settings hit the reset and then you can manually adjust the brightness, shadows, highlights and saturation.

Brightness: Move slider to the left dulls the photo; to the right brightens the photo.
Shadows: Moving slider to the left will make the shadows darker; to the right makes them lighter (you may want to move to the right if there is detail in the shadow that you want to bring out.)
Highlights: Moving slider to the left will make the highlights duller; to the right will brighten them.
Saturation: Moving slider to the left will desaturate (take the color out) of the photo; to the right will increase the color saturation.

In the original the colors were just a tad dull. Using the suggested I felt the highlights were blown out. But a little manual tweaking made the colors pop and the photo crisp and clean.

One of the challenges this month at Gotta Pixel was the lyric challenge, but instead of them providing the lyric, you were to chose a song from 2010 that touched you. I chose "In Darkness and In Light" by The Maine.

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