Photo retouching is an often frightening field for the most novice among us. Photoshop, layers, brightness, Picasa, all these terms are scary, and yet, improvising yourself as a photo editor is not so complicated!
Nowadays, techniques have evolved a lot, and allow us to edit photos simply, intuitively. Whether it’s contrasts, collages, or a small hdr correction, everything (or almost everything) is feasible.
While, since May 2017, it is mandatory to put the mention “retouched photograph” if it has been processed by a photo software under penalty of a fine, it is clear that retouching can work miracles. Some basics and functionalities are therefore to be known, to take your pictures in hand and make them even more beautiful.
How to transfer your photos to a computer?
Yes, importing images on your workstation is the first step to be able to retouch them! To do so, everything depends on the devices you have: Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, etc. Because there are some small subtleties.
From an iPhone, you can choose between several solutions to transfer your files :
- If you have a Mac computer, Icloud is the easiest and most practical way to upload your pictures. Thanks to a regular synchronization system of the phone, the cloud (which means “cloud” in English) updates itself automatically, whatever the medium used. All you need is your Icloud credentials to find your favorite photos anywhere. The magic of dematerialization!
- If you have a Windows PC, all you have to do is import the photos by connecting your Iphone to the computer via a USB cable. Note that from now on, Windows 10 offers a watered-down version of Icloud, called “Photos”, which follows the same principle,
- Also note the Airdrop solution which, if you have two Apple devices, works like Bluetooth. Connect your phone to your computer by activating the feature on each device, and in no time at all, photos will be transferred.
From an Android phone, things are a little less virtual, but just as simple.
Indeed, the USB cable technique is one of the most efficient here. Simply connect your phone to your computer, whatever it is, and drag and drop the photos you want into a folder or onto the desktop. And that’s it!
And if you don’t have a cable on you, or if you’re comfortable with the virtual world, there are transfer applications such as WeTransfer, GoogleDrive, or Airmore, which works with QR codes. Ah the technology!
From cameras or an external device (such as a USB key), it is once again the USB cable that will have all the assets. Moreover, some digital photos come from a memory card. In this case, you will just have to remove it from the camera, to insert it and transfer photos to a computer.
Some MacOS systems do not have a memory card input, so be sure to purchase a USB adapter, which will be able to play back your photos without problems. Now you’re ready to get started with image processing.
How do I change the size, weight and dimension of my photo?
Among the most popular settings in photography, size and weight are elements that we are constantly trying to change. Because yes, sending a too big email is often due to the weight of a picture, while some of them cannot fit in a family slideshow.
But then what is the solution? Quite simply modify the photo so that it adapts to our desires, and to our needs. When it comes to online photo retouching, there are many different techniques and processing software available, so it’s important to know how to find your way around.
Changing the size of an image
To resize a photo (photo stage), a retouching software seems to be the best solution. Photoshop is the platform that everyone knows, considered the best software, and succeeds very well in its mission, when it comes to making an image smaller or larger.
By changing the number of pixels, always taking care to “keep the proportions”, the photo will end up at the right size.
The same goes for Lightroom, which, thanks to its high resolution and advanced settings, will allow us to obtain a most satisfactory result. Of course, as we are not in a perfect world, like Photoshop cc, this support is not free software.
Well no, a royalty-free photo retouching software exists, and allows you to resize a photo in a few clicks: internet! Because yes, different websites exist, and all allow you to load a photo, and select the desired height and width.
A principle which takes up that of photo retouching software, but which has the big advantage of not costing one euro, not badly not?
Changing the size of a file
Because size is not everything, the weight of a photo is also an important criterion. And to do this, the simplest technique, and probably the best, is compression. But what is it, are you going to tell us?
Compression is, logically, the action of compressing a file or folder (in zip format), so that it is less heavy. And on a computer, the steps are very simple:
On a Mac, you just right-click, select “compress”, and a new, lighter folder appears next to it,
On Windows, go to the Office suite, click on “format image tools”, then “compress images”, and that’s it!
Apart from these two solutions, there are also online softwares, which, when we load our files, allow us to make them less heavy in a few clicks. So, changing the size and weight of a photo is not complicated and very useful for sending photos by email.
Resizing a photo
When you take a picture, you choose a certain frame. When you retouch, you won’t be able to get more than what you shot. For example, if you decided to frame only on a person’s feet, you won’t be able to get the whole body. Logically, the camera is not a magic wand and image processing will not make you see what was not taken in the picture.
On the other hand, you may decide to crop the existing photo, keeping only part of the image. Very useful in case of bad framing with a road sign or the arm of a person you didn’t want in the photo. For this, several possibilities are available to you:
Under Mac, with the Preview tool, just select the part you want to keep. A frame appears. Then click on the “tool” tab then “crop” or use the shortcut ⌘k,
You can also use Word to crop your image by clicking on “image size” and then “crop” to bring up the image markers that you can move as you wish. Click again on “crop” then right click and “save image”,
On Photoshop, simply click on the “crop” tool, select the area to be kept using the markers and then click on “enter”.
If you don’t have any of these softwares and no Mac, you can always crop your image online using a tool by searching on the internet for “crop an image”.