Saturday, 6 November 2010

Making a photo pop! For non photographer types

I have to prefix this post with a warning for anyone who really does know anything about photography, what follows are a few tips that I have found useful to make my photos pop using iphoto.  I am slightly embarrassed and almost reluctant to share this,  I am an arty type but I know very little about photography so no technical stuff here.  My iphoto is a few years old but I'm hoping this still applies to the newer version.  My brother is a graphic designer and passed on a few ways to pimp my pics in iphoto and also why some pics pop and some don't.  Please don't laugh at my feeble explanations and layperson terms!  My iphoto is a few years old but I'm hoping this still applies to the newer version.
It is all about using the adjust tools, one of the options that run along the bottom of the window that comes up when you open iphoto. (Click and of the pics in this post to see everything a bit bigger!)
Pic 1:  A bit dark and you can see this when you click the adjust icon (bottom centre of the iphoto window)
See the graph?  All the zigs and zags are over to the left and it flat lines on the right.  Now you can adjust this pic by moving the slider arrow that points to 100% on the right and drag it until it reaches the zigs and zags
Your photo will now be much lighter and have a bit of zing.  I 'm happy with that, click done, good pic.
Sometimes there is a flatline at the beginning of the adjust graph as well as the end- see below
Do the same as we did before, drag the slider until they meet the coloured zigs and zags- adds light and a bit of contrast.
Happy so far- we can take this further, there are lots of options in the adjust window.  This pic was for a fabric stack theme of warmth and I wanted to make my pic glow a bit.  An easy way to do that is to adjust the Tint, see it in the adjust window below?  Drag it leftwards to the red circle and it makes everything warmer and glowy
rightwards, towards the green gives a cooler feel
Don't like what you have done?  click Reset Sliders.
This reminds me of when you are watching a TV drama or a film and the director has gone for a certain colour palette and you notice lots of green and brown or whatever they have opted for.   Some photographers have a particular style they go for- lots of contrast, green tint or whatever.  Some of us are just happy to make a pic taken on a dull day look good for posting on a blog or Flickr.  Have a play with the adjust tools, they are a bit more subtle than clicking the enhance button.  Effects has some good options too if you haven't had a go with it before.  

When you have taken a good pic, the adjust graph has no flat lines; the light and colours are balanced,  you wouldn't want or need to change it- this is a nice pic from me this week.
I dedicate this post to Lynne, she knows who she is...x
sib blog


  1. See, you think you're telling us stuff we already know but although I'd found the sliders and played round with them quite a bit, I didn't know about the zig zags and the flatlines - next pic I'm going to play with that section and see what happens. I've really noticed on sites like Flickr that people can post mediocre pics of really amazing quilts and they don't get nearly as much love as amazing pics of mediocre quilts - so I'm going for the latter! I'm in the middle of making my November desert today which is a lot of fun and a lot of seam ripping too - I have unashamedly used small polka dots as the neutral in a blatant copy of your brilliant spools background!

  2. Oh and yes, I know who I am (most of the time). X


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