As a photographer for JPC Virtual Tours in Boerne, Texas, I don't always have the best conditions to workwith. This means we sometimes have to make some corrections to the photos before we create a slide show or virtual tour. I am always looking for ways to enhance or tweak my pictures to make the colors pop, or remove a blemish. In my search for perfection, I have found that there are many different techniques and programs on the market that can perform these tasks, everyone has their favorite. Having the right tool can make all the difference in world. Many of these programs are expensive or have a long learning curve. Adobe Photoshop is touted as being the premier program for photo manipulation and creation. It is also very expensive. Of course there are others but the one I think comes closest to Photoshop is a free open source program called "The Gimp." You can down load the program at http://gimp.org. It is so similar to Photoshop you can use Photoshop brushes to use with Gimp. Now that you have the program you have to learn how to use it. There is a users manual at (http://docs.gimp.org/en/), and there are tutorials at http://gimp-tutorials.net/home, or you can do an internet search for Gimp tutorials. Next thing to consider is what needs to be fixed. Usually just some minor adjustment of the contrast or brightness is all that is necessary. But sometimes, the picture just doesn’t seem right. A technique that I have found interesting is called High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI or just HDR). HDR is actually a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of luminance between light and dark areas of a scene than normal digital imaging techniques. There are several programs that were created just for HDR photo manipulation. These programs all require you to take several shots using different setting on your camera then combining them to get the HDR effect. I found a Gimp tutorial that shows you how to create a fake HDR effect with just one photo. (http://gimpology.com/submission/view/fake_hdr_look_in_gimp/). I'll just insert a couple of before and after pictures.
These are from the tutorial:
These are from my archives:
You can really see the difference.
If all this seems a little daunting, you could just call me it’s what I do for a living.