Getting Started Using PicMonkey to Edit a Dark Photograph
Editing photographs is a certain fact with digital photography. Once mastered, editing can be just as fun and rewarding as taking photographs. Let’s look at a photograph that may have been lost to poor conditions and or camera settings and use PicMonkey.com to salvage to would be tossed out file.
- Navigate to www.picmonkey.com from your browser.
- Select EDIT in the menu window. (PicMonkey has many editing tools that are available for free.At some point, you may be interested in using the free 30 day trial upgrade which gives you access to all tools.)
- Upload a photograph of your choice. In this case, we will be using a photograph of a yellow wildflower that that I took when traversing back roads in Texas. This image is very dark, but I have delayed tossing it to the trash.
- When in PicMonkey, you will see several menu options on the left. The first menu option is Basic Edits. In Basic Edits, we will use Exposure, Sharpen, and Crop.
- First let us start with Exposure. This dark image can most benefit by adjusting the sliders to increase the brightness. Adjust the sliders noticing the changes to the image as adjustments are made. When the exposure is as you like, select Save. At any time you do not like the results of your adjustment, select Cancel to being that setting all over.
- Next we will select Sharpen and then select Unsharp Mask.
- After selecting Unsharp Mask, adjust the sliders to achieve the desired effect.
- Radius means only the pixels next to the edges will be sharpened. It is often effect to select only 1 to 2 for this slider. Otherwise, the results will be a weird halo effect.
- Threshold determines how much contrast there needs to be between colors for them to be sharpened.
- Clarity is used to adjust local contrast.
- Select Save when finished sharpening the image.
- Next, we are going to select the Effects menu and scroll down to Camera Effects and select HDR. HDR stands for high-dynamic range and basically pulls out the light, medium, and dark tones in images. In the case of PicMonkey, this filter allows us to use one image. Select Reverse Effect. Apply the HDR filter with a medium to large size brush to the petals of the flower only. Then select Save.
- While still in Effects, under Basic, select Boost. Selecting a small brush size and applying Boost only to the anthers of the flower will provide for the desired effect. Always save changes.
- The final adjustment to be made will be to Crop the image ideally placing the flower off center which is more pleasing to view. We will again select the Basic menu and choose Crop. Crop as desired, and Save.
- Now to complete our PicMonkey experience, it is necessary to save the image back to your computer. At this point, you can rename the image if desired.
- Notice the comparison of the original image and the final edited image.
- The final image:
Disclaimer: These adjustments are arbitrary and used on the particular image as indicated and only for demonstration purposes. While this author does not claim to be the expert on PicMonkey, sharing this tool with other hobbyist photographers might allow for alternatives for creative manipulation of images.