LumberJocks

Improving Dark Photos for Posting in LumberJocks

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Blog entry by SawTooth1953 posted 1488 days ago 1452 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There are a lot of photos posted in LumberJocks that are barely passable for letting everyone see what you want everyone to see. I use Irfanview as my default photo editor. It is not Photoshop by any stretch, but with Irfanview (a free program) I can improve a dark picture in 10 seconds or less. I tested this last week by improving a project photo where I couldn’t see much detail and I emailed it to the LumberJock member that posted it. He agreed it was an improvement and replaced his original with the improved version.

This is a different example with step by step description of the 10 seconds or so it takes to make the improvement: (Prep work is to open Irfanview, then switch to your browser and get the dark photo onscreen)(more about getting Irfanview after this example):

BEFORE:Dark image; hard to see

Rright-click on the dark photo and choose Copy Image to copy the dark photo to your clipboard, then Alt-Tab to switch from browser window to Irfanview and Ctrl-V to paste the dark photo into Irfanview. In Irfanview’s menu system, the feature I use for this is under Image/ColorCorrection, but I prefer the keyboard shortcut Alt-I,C. This is where it took me:
COLOR CORRECTION DIALOGUE:

Unless the colors are way off because of fluorescent bulbs or whatever, we only need to use two sliders: Gamma and then Contrast, both slowly slid to the right until you like what you see.

PHOTO IMPROVED USING GAMMA & CONTRAST SLIDERS:

Click Okay and then save the photo (or you’ll lose the changes). Since we copied the dark picture off the screen with the right click, it doesn’t exist on your hard drive yet. So use Alt-F,S and choose a hard drive location for saving it. Then delete the dark pick from your projects page and then upload the improved one the same way you did the first time.

This is the photo as saved on the hard drive and ready to upload:

If you’re editing photos from your hard drive before uploading to LumberJocks (as opposed to Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V to get it into Irfanview), you can save pics to their original location with the same or a different filename (using Ctrl-S) or you can save in a new location (Alt-F,S).

Now… getting Irfanview is easy enough: google “Irfanview” and go to their website. Download the latest version and install it. Then download their Plug-Ins/Add-Ons and install them.
http://i753.photobucket.com/albums/xx179/SawTooth1953/Irfanview%20to%20Improve%20Photos/001-DownloadInstallIrfanview.jpg
They don’t take a lot of space and I like Irfanview for so many different reasons (only one was shown so far: improving dark photos) that I make it my default photo viewer for jpg gif tif etc

The following examples deal more with color than darkness. The procedure is identical except the first 2 seconds in the Color Correction dialogue screen I moved the blue slider a little to the right (to about 45) and then the red slider a little to the left (down about 15) before teasing Gamma and Contrast sl. to the right.

Original, as captured onscreen from a blog and inserted into Irfanview:
before pic, as captured onscreen

Irfanview’s Color Correction dialogue after a few seconds of adjustments, as described above (blue up to ~45, red down -15, then Gamma and Contrast each nudged up a little):
Irfanview Color Correction screen shows 'as if' results immediately (on the right)

After clicking OK…
the improved pic; now save it to your HD and then upload to replace the old pic

then save the corrected image (I suggest overwriting the pic w/the improved one) and then upload as the substitute pic in LumberJocks.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL



7 comments so far

View SawTooth1953's profile

SawTooth1953

276 posts in 1903 days


#1 posted 1488 days ago

I don’t know how to get all the photos to show up in the blog… only the first one showed and the rest are links to click on, which is a lot less convenient. If someone can tell me how to get all the photos to show I’d appreciate the help. Thanks

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

614 posts in 1728 days


#2 posted 1488 days ago

Put a ! at the front and end of the link, no spaces. so it should start !http and end .jpg!

-- Gerry, http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/CNC_Woodworker.html

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

614 posts in 1728 days


#3 posted 1488 days ago

Oh, and you might want to try Gimp. Supposedly a lot like Photoshop, and free as well.

-- Gerry, http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/CNC_Woodworker.html

View SawTooth1953's profile

SawTooth1953

276 posts in 1903 days


#4 posted 1487 days ago

Gerry, Thanks for the help with the pics in the blog. I choose to work with Irfanview because it does so much, it is so easy to use and it does it with little overhead and a very short learning curve. A free Photoshop-like program doesn’t sound like any of those things… Photoshop (and presumably Gimp) are powerful programs, but have you ever noticed how many very large, thick books are written to try to help users understand the powerful features? I don’t think our needs require that kind of power nor the complexity that comes with it.

I’m not in the graphic arts… I haven’t ever needed more ‘power’ than Irfanview offers, and my guess is that most of us don’t… at least not for posting pics on Lumberjocks. I am hoping that this short tutorial enables all those members who posted projects with dark, hard to read photos to easily improve their postings… existing ones and future ones. I suggest Irfanview for them because it doesn’t get any easier than this and they apparently don’t yet know how to improve a photo once it is on their hard drive or once it is posted in LumberJocks. In future installments I’ll show how easy it is to add arrows and text for photos that teach techniques and jig-making and for combining pics into one pic so multiple views can be seen in one photo.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View bluchz's profile

bluchz

187 posts in 1971 days


#5 posted 1487 days ago

Picasa, a Google photo editor has a simple to use fill light adjustment that can bring detail to dark photos. It is a free programthat is a simple way to organize all your photo’s it also has an online photo sharing that can be set to allow only friends and family to view photos.

-- flash=250,100]http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/sprxtrerme/BANNERS/thornax.swf[/flash]

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1595 days


#6 posted 1487 days ago

Alternatively, you can post them and have someone fix them for you. Thanks :)

I didn’t realize that they were so dark. I have my monitor pretty bright. Looks better. I should have done it when I had them in Ifranview to resize.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View SawTooth1953's profile

SawTooth1953

276 posts in 1903 days


#7 posted 1457 days ago

I just lengthened the blog to add an example of color correcting before gamma and contrast adjustments. They’re all done in the same dialogue window and color correcting takes about 2 seconds or so.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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