Zen and the Art of Photo Editing

HEY! HEY!! Guess what I just did….

I edited a photo! On my new Mac! I didn’t realize how incomplete I felt without photo editing capabilities until I just figured out how to do it on my new computer just now. I feel so relieved. Since at least 50% of the time I spend on computers seems to involve tinkering with and uploading photos of yarn in varying states of knitted-ness, not being able to do that for the past month and a half has REALLY been cramping my style.

The best part? All I used was the Preview app on the MacBook, which is a very basic program that came preloaded on the computer. Unlike any Photoshop-type program I’ve ever used, every single tool in Preview is something that I can actually understand and use. And, I dare say, it even produces far better picture quality than I ever got from Corel PaintShop Pro on my previous laptop. Here, let me show you…

Here’s the completely untouched photo:

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Rogue (one of a kind color)

And here it is after cropping and using the “auto-level” function, which was always the first thing I did in PaintShop:

After that, the only other things I really would do in PaintShop would be to remove the color cast by clicking on a white space (one of the main reasons I rarely deviate from the white background), and if the color of the yarn still seems a bit off I would play with the saturation, shadows, and highlights a bit to see if I could get it closer to reality. I know there were other things I could mess with to manually adjust the color, but I could never figure out how to use them. In Preview, all those elusive adjustments I wanted to make are super easy. Here’s what a bit more tweaking (and about 5 more seconds of editing time than the previous photo) in Preview produced:

Other things I can mess with now in addition to what I’m used to doing in PaintShop include:

  • Exposure – I can make it brighter without screwing up the color!
  • Contrast
  • Temperature – more color control!
  • Tint – still more color control!
  • Sharpness – OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU SO HARD TO USE IN PAINTSHOP!!! This is the #1 thing I wanted to be able to adjust quickly and easily and NOW I CAN. Look at that nice crispy photo! It looks like you could just pluck that yarn right off the screen (except you can’t because it’s MINE).

*Huge sigh of relief* I feel so much more like myself now. And I haven’t even touched iPhoto yet…

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