Editing Your Digital Photos

Learn how to do some basic photo editing using Pixlr.com, a free online photo editor that has many Photoshop type tools. (You may need to install Adobe Flash to use this editor). Explore the handout and tutorial.
We all have some photos that can use some "tweaking" to bring out better detail.
Photo Editors
  • There are many different photo editors available to correct color, take out scratches & dust and such from old photographs, that go from expensive to free and in between.  Probably the most well-known is Photoshop, which also has a still robust but not as extensive app called Photoshop Elements. However, there is also a FREE web based app called "Pixlr" that has a toolset that will do most all the needed repairs on your pictures.  As your skills improve, you can consider other more robust photo apps, but for now learn the basics.
  • There are a FEW basic photo editing tools that you can learn to use to manage 95% of your pictures. It's amazing how a really poor picture can be improved with a little skills practice and a basic photo editing toolbox to help you.
  • We will cover tools such as the Free Transform, Clone, Healing Brush, Cropping, Color Balance, Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Free Distort and both the "Burn" and "Dodge" brushes. Use the online tutorial below to show you how to use these tools.

  • NEVER do the editing on an original file. Always FIRST make a copy and then edit the copy. You will look back at your edits at times and think, "I know how to make this photo look better". If you no longer have your original photo, your editing results will not be successful.
  • Over time, as you open, edit, and save a photo that is saved in a .jpeg or .jpg format, you will tend to lose data with each "save". Try to do all your editing of that photo in one session, then save it, and do not change it. The quality should be fine. If you need to do edits over several sessions, save the file in a TIFF format, until you have completed ALL your edits. If you are really into photography, most pros will have you save your files in a .tiff format, which will not lose data with each save.

After clicking on the "Download" button to download the 4 photos we use for the tutorial, a browser window will appear and the file called "Pix Archive.zip" will be downloaded to your "Downloads" folder. Double clicking on this zipped folder will create a new folder called "Pix Archive" that will contain the four photos.