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Digital Photography Editing Shots

In the days gone of film photography, each shot cost money, between the cost of the film and developing. Today, digital photography allows cheap, almost cost-free, photography in mass quantities that were unimaginable in the old film days.

Digital photos are stored on a reusable memory storage medium, and enormous quantities of digital pictures can be stored. Low cost of memory media also means that multiple sets of digital photographs can be taken at no extra cost.

Taking as many pictures as possible when the opportunity presents itself, and then simply discarding the unwanted images, is now a reality for digital photographers.

Most digital SLR cameras come with built in basic editing features. However, the small screen size and limited functionality offered by the onboard computer, makes it difficult to use if not outright useless.

Some method of editing your digital photographs is a must. There are literally thousands of software packages that offer different levels of features at various price levels available today. The best of the best is of course Adobe Photoshop, but it is so complex that often a training course may be needed to fully understand, let alone use, all the features it offers.

Many other software packages come with the necessary features of digital photo editing for a lower price.

At the very least, you will need to use digital editing software to adjust brightness and color, crop images, correct red eye, and align crooked images.

Proper photography techniques in exposure and framing will considerably reduce the need to edit images, although it will never completely eliminate the use of a good editor software. Bracketing allows for many frames to be captured with slightly different aperture exposure and shutter speed settings, one image out of the set will likely be "perfect", and thus will not need any editing. Even with good framing, sometimes it does become necessary to crop an image to remove extraneous clutter. While many digital cameras have a builtin red eye reduction feature (caused with a flash illuminating the subject eyes, showing the pupil as red), sometimes the technology fails and you (or him or her) still have red eyed subjects in the digital photo.

When choosing a digital photo editor software, look for all the features you will need. Some cheaper software packages use absurd image compression, this degrades the quality of the image and could render it useless. Compression should be configurable and optional, if the need arises for smaller image sizes only.

Most DSLR cameras also embed information about the camera settings within the image file (EXIF is one format used). This is very useful information that you can use to learn the best camera settings for various subjects and illumination. Some editor software will strip out this data, it is important to choose a software editing package that preserves the camera information.

Cataloging your photo gallery is another critical element that (or this, or whatever) a good photographer must not be lax about. Some digital photo editing software has built in organizational options, others may require the use of a separate software package. The free Picasa software from Google is a very powerful catalog and management tool, but only offers very basic editing features.

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