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Editing photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery

Windows Live Photo Gallery has some great tools for fixing things like red eye and dark pictures.

They’re easy to use, and the changes you make don’t become permanent until you want them to be.

All the editing tools we’ll look at here are in the Fix menu. Just select the photo you want to edit, click Fix, and have a play.

Auto adjust

This senses which tweaks will make your picture better, and does them. It’s very handy, but the changes it makes might not result in your photo looking exactly the way you want it to. Using Auto adjust is a good starting point though – and because it tells you the changes it has made, it gives you an insight into some of the features you might want to have a go at using yourself.

Brightness

This makes your photo lighter or darker.

Contrast

This makes the darker shades of your photo stand out against the lighter shades more obviously.

Shadows and highlights

This lets you adjust the amount of light and darkness in different parts of the picture.

Histogram

This chart shows you the overall levels of brightness in your photo. On the left hand side you’ll see information about your photo’s darkness. Information about its brightness is on the right. You can use this information to help you estimate what adjustments to make – or to show you how much exposure to use when you take similar photos in the future.

Adjust color

This command lets you adjust the colour ‘temperature’. What this means is the level of blue tones (cool) and red tones (warm). You’re also able to change the tint and saturation. Tint adds white to an image. Saturation is how intense your colours are. Highly saturated photos have brighter, richer, more vivid colours. Images with less saturation are less intense. At the extreme, an image with very low saturation will be made up entirely of greys.

Adjust detail

Sharpening lets you make your picture look more in focus. A lot of cameras take ‘soft’ pictures. You can make these look more defined by using the sharpen tool.

Crop photo

If you just want a part of your photo, you can crop it to get rid of the other bits. When you click on the crop feature in Photo Gallery, a frame pops up over your image. You just position and adjust it over the area of the photo you want to keep. Everything outside of the frame will disappear when you click Apply. You might need to use it a few times to get the composition of the photo exactly how you want it.

Rotate photo

Use this feature to reposition the image.

Fix red eye

Select Fix red eye, and then drag the mouse over the affected eyes. This can be tricky until you get the hang of it. It’s often easier if you use the magnifying tool to zoom in on the eyes first.

To magnify your photo, click the Zoom button, and then move the slider up or down.

Undo/redo

This feature lets you play without ruining your pictures for good. It lets you undo or redo the changes you make.


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