A Less Expensive Alternative To Photoshop
If you choose to use Corel Paint Shop Pro, also known as Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, as your photo editing program, you will find that it will take care of just about anything that you need. This photos software is similar to Photoshop, but without the hefty price tag.
Below is some basic information on some of the simple enhancements and adjustments. Many of the features of Corel Paint Shop Pro are easy to use. You can also move on to more advanced features if you like.
* Take a look below at some different types of editing I did on the same photo.
Locating Your Digital ImageWhen you first open it up, you will want to bring up the digital photo that you want to work with. Corel Paint Shop Pro makes this interesting by giving you different choices. You can navigate through your folders the usual way.
However, what I found interesting and fast is doing a search by putting in the file name.....and all pictures in that file appear. Not only that, but you can type in an individual picture name and that will come up too. I don't know about you, but I like that because it is so much faster than systematically going through your photo folders.
This is assuming you have named your files and/or folders and you can remember those names.
ResizingWhen you want to resize a photo in Corel Paint Shop Pro, you can do so by both the physical size and the file size. To reduce the size of a photo as you see it, go to Image at the top toolbar and select Resize. A window opens where you can change the size for on screen viewing. Once you have resized your image you are finished.....unless you want to check out its file size. If so, simply go to File - Export - Jpeg Optimizer. A Before and After of your photo will appear. Below, you will see text for both Uncompressed, with a corresponding number, and Compressed, also with a number next to it. Uncompressed corresponds to the original photo. Compressed is what it will be....as you adjust the file size (compression value). You do that in the box next to Set Compression Value To.
You can see what the quality of your photo would be as you adjust the compression/file size. The key is to make it as low as possible while maintaining a good quality. Easy!
Saturation, Hue and LightnessGo to the top toolbar and select Adjust - Hue and Saturation - Hue/Saturation/Lightness. What's nice about this is that you can do all three actions in the same window. There are separate sliders for each one. At the top is a Before and After of your image, so that you can look at them together as you are making your adjustments.
This window appears as a smaller one over your main screen, so that you can also see your image on the main screen at its larger size. Would you like to see how your larger image looks with the changes also before you actually make them? Just click on Preview In Image, and the changes will appear in the main photo as you are adjusting the photo. This is a great time saver, as you don't have to go back and forth to see your changes!
By the way, if you need any Paint Shop Pro help, they have an extensive help menu.
Smart Photo Fix ToolThe Smart Fix Photo choice is very cool. Upon clicking it, Corel Paint Shop Pro will make what it "thinks" is an improved overall adjustment. However, it doesn't just leave you with its choice. It then allows you to increase or decrease the brightness, shadows, highlights, saturation and sharpness with individual sliders. Once again, you can watch the changes as they are happening to the original.
Photo editing Examples
I took a walk this morning with my camera. Here is the original photo. There is a lot that I could do with it, as you will see below.
The types of editing available in this program are extensive. You can keep it simple or explore.
There is a free Paint Shop Pro Trial for you to try out. You can download it at their website.
In Corel Paint Shop Pro, I decided to sharpen the image slightly. You can see a bit more detail in the photo, particularly in the lawn area. Sometimes this enhances a picture, but other times it is best to leave the image as is.
What's nice about this software program is that you can see the difference that the editing makes in the original and the edited image together.
I could have gone further, but wanted it to still look natural.
By the way, notice the frame around this second image? Not only can you add a frame and customize it, but also select a frame color from your image. There is a dropper which you can drag along your photo, and an enlargement of that color appears. Very cool.
At the other end, you can perform a soft focus on your picture. The landscape now looks soft and dreamy.
There are sliders for you to make these manipulations more or less dramatic. I could have made the picture even softer, but didn't want to lose too much detail...just enough to make it attractive.
As you can see, the image on the right has more color to it. This is one of my favorite editing procedures...saturation. You have to judge how much to do so that it remains realistic looking.
All the colors are now more vivid. The sunlight is more pronounced, the grass is a little bit greener, and the sky is more blue.
If I never did anything else in Corel Paint Shop Pro, this alone, in my opinion, has greatly improved the picture.
If you want to get creative, you can explore many artistic effects that are available. I wanted to see how the digital photo would look in sepia tones. And here it is.
This is rural land in Virginia, barn and all towards the back of the photo. The sepia takes you back in time.