Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Fix those Pix!

I spend a great many hours looking at other designers digital layouts.  Many hours.  That is where I get my ideas, after all.  One thing I notice in the member galleries of the scrapbooking sites I visit is the often poor quality of the photos adorning the gorgeous layouts.  It seems to be the last thing people think about.  It is pretty much the FIRST thing I do.  After all, I am dealing with heritage photos and downloads from FB that were mostly taken with cell phone cameras! I was forced to learn lots of editing tricks because the very first digital scrapping I did was scanned photos from as far back as the late 1800's.  Most of them were from the 1930's and 40's.

A yahoo group I joined awhile back recently "woke up" and we are discussing digiscrap.  Big Surprise.  Anyway, to get this problem with photo quality off my chest, I posted the following and thought I would share with any digiscrappers who happen this way.  And for my friends and family, this is my secret for my digipages.

I love to browse through galleries for inspiration. I also like to join
challenges and then see all the other layouts. Something I notice way to many
wonderful layouts have really bad unedited photos

The first thing I do in my layouts now is fix those photos.
1. Check the picture levels...Control>L. Move sliders as needed

2. Duplicate the photo (Control>J) and use a blend mode, usually overlay or soft

3. If that does not help I desaturate pic to remove most of color, which tones
the bad colors down. Control>U and use the sliders.

4. Convert picture to black and white if all else fails. B&W photos scrapbook

5. I also use lots of the free photo actions from These let your plain photos cross the
threshold into "art". And your layout soars.

So, before you spend hours on a fabulous layout, or even playing around with apps on your phone, take a minute to fix those
precious photos. you will be so glad you did. (there are lots of apps for editing photos on your cell phone out there, too)

You can also fix your photos in Picasa, a free windows download. I did that
before I got PSE

So:  from this: (an old polaroid from 1969)
to this:
and maybe:
And then for a more modern, digital picture fix: (too dark)
Don't have a fancy software program? Download Picasa and fix it for free. I might like this version even better, it toned down the camera flash on Sawyer's face.  I need to remember to use Picasa first, don't I?  It is the program my son uses.
So, remember a digipage is only as lovely as those pictures you are preserving!
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