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Photo Re-Touching | Image Enhancement

I wrote a short blog yesterday which discussed my take on photo editing and in particular "the less is more" approach to editing. Here I thought I would take a particular photo and look at how this could be enhanced / improved without losing the integrity of the photo I took while improving it enough to make a difference to the viewer.

Here's the photo I have in mind.

The most notible thing about this image is that it's dark. There are several reasons for this but I suspect that on the day, I shot it using a manual mode rather than automatic or better still, P mode, and this resulted in the flat, under exposed image I created. The first job then is to lift the exposure, light, shadows etc to deliver a more pleasing image while retaining as much as possible the colours embedded in the image. Using Cyberlink PhotoDirector 8, for no other reason than I know how to use this software reasonably well, I set about doing just this and here's the resulting image after some basic lighting, exposure and contrast modification.

Other than the fact that Kevin has managed to look remarkably like "Man at C&A", the other interesting thing about this photo is that by modifying light, exposure etc, we imediately become aware of imperfections in the photo such the blooms and dark spots floating in the water. While these did of course exist, they tend to drag the eye to them rather than let it settle on the person as was the primary aim / focus of the photo. Stage two then was to look through the photo and to remove any "imperfections" that would detract from the image.

This last photo is the final edited photo, cropped a little to remove unwanted peripheral space on the top and side and with the floating debris removed.

Overall, a far better image than what I started with but not overly edited as to reduce it's truthfulness as the photo I originally took. 


Footnote: Kevin is the CEO of The Academy of Music & Sound, Exeter, one of the UK's leading music tuition colleges and an amazing local musician in his own right. You can learn more about Kevin's music by visiting his website at

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Photo Re-touching | Lifting Detail

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