You may wish to edit your images before printing or using in a photobook. Editing is sometimes required to improve an image in some way.
Having the ability to do some basic editing will help with the quality of your pictures so that you can be more satisfied with the final result.

Basic Editing

Basic Editing is available on tablets and smartphones with a variety of apps that can be selected to suit each person.

Basic Editing could include:

  • Cropping
  • Contrast and colour balance
  • Rotation
  • Sharpening

(see below for further explanation of these terms)

In some cases the image also needs to be resized to be used for some uses. It is not generally recommended to try to 'upsize' the image but downsizing is often practiced to make the image more suitable. Typically web applications like web-pages, blogs or social media require smaller image size to make sure that online pages load to the computer quickly. Some social media sites restrict size and shape of images although sometimes the image may be automatically resized for you when it is uploaded to the social media site.

Resizing affects the dimensions on the computer screen but also affects the file size of the image. There is less information to be stored when the image is smaller. Images suitable for the internet are not generally good for high quality prints of even modest size.

Advanced Editing

Advanced apps are available on tablets and phones to suit personal needs for quick editing or in-depth changes but more advanced editing for high end cameras would usually be done on a laptop or desktop computer to have enough memory and power to make sophisticated changes. Software that is able
to edit large images (or longer videos) is going to be beyond a phone or tablet due to the amount of computer processing needed. The larger screen on a laptop or desktop computer also makes viewing images easier for improved editing.

With higher quality concerns, it is important that colour balance of the screen of the device is carried out. It is difficult to colour balance correctly on smartphones or tablets so that colours may be dissappointing when printed.
Basic colour balance on a computer monitor can be done with software on the computer.

A more accurate result is by adjusting with a device called a 'colorimeter' and associated software but this is a very professional and costly approach.

Explanation of Terms

  • Cropping - the selection of only part of the image to get improved composition or appearance
  • Contrast and Colour balance - improving the appearance of the colour to better reflect reality of the colouring desired in the image
  • Rotation - this is usually done to adjust verticals like buildings or horizontals like the horizon to improve the appearance of the image
  • Sharpening - although many cameras will sharpen the image, for some purposes it may need additional sharpening to have a pleasing image
  • Colour Balance - the 'white balance' settings are rarely used on phones or tablets and not always on cameras. In some conditions then, colours may be too 'warm' or 'cool'. An image may look too golden or green when taken inside a room, too blue or brown taken outside in some environments or have some sort of other colour variation. This is caused by the type of lighting and can be corrected by correct white balance adjustment. (click for details)

Colour balance can also affect printing, particularly with printing at home where calibration of both screen and printer are needed for high quality results.

Colour Balance Example

The first image below has a problem with the 'white balance' in the camera.
The auto white balance has not corrected the picture properly and it has too much blue.


This image has had the white balance corrected when editing. The warm yellow of the sandstone rocks has been recovered.


The effect seen above can be reversed when printing.
If the computer screen has not been colour balanced properly the image might seem correct but when printed it may have quite different colour to what was seen on the computer.

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