If you're interested in freelance photography or are looking to pursue a career as an image editor, you may be wondering what type of education and training is necessary for your goals. Image editing encompasses the mechanical processes of modifying digital photos, whether they are traditionally-printed photos digital photos, or film-based illustrations. Although the term 'image editing' connotes the more mechanical process involved in changing images rather than simply adjusting levels or brightness, there are a few online programs that are designed to simplify the process and provide basic editing capabilities. Before enrolling in an online program, however, it's important to consider the different options so that you can make an informed decision about which is best for your unique needs.
A common misconception of an image editor is that all they do is compress and/or resize photos. However, image editing involves far more than simple adjustment in photo size. Most programs allow you to perform image file transformations like flipping horizontally or vertically, resizing, renaming, correcting white balance, and others. It's also not as easy as just clicking your mouse and making changes to an image file.
The job of an image editor includes much more than just adjusting a photo's size or colors. An editor will use hue, saturation, value, brightness, and other optical properties to manipulate your image. In fact, these four properties are the most commonly used by an image editor to enhance your picture. Here are the four primary optical properties that your program should be able to detect and adjust for:
The hue or brightness of an image editor is often the first thing you'll notice when editing. The ability to easily identify hue and brightness is the first step toward editing software that is both intuitive and powerful. Many free online image editors provide an interface that displays the current hue and brightness of your image file. To enhance your editing experience, experiment with different values of the hue slider until you find the best match.
Another key part of the Adobe Photoshop editing software experience is the ability to adjust images for sharpening. This includes removing red eye, removing background noise, and brightness balancing the image. Depending on the graphics software you're using, you may be able to adjust color and contrast with the hue slider. Some graphic programs offer chroma keying, which makes corrections such as red-eye easier to identify and remove.
Image compositing is a term that describes the blending of multiple images or layers into one. It's often used in animations and is an integral part of graphic design. It refers to the transformation from one color to another. Layers are composited in Photoshop and similar programs. The Photoshop compositing tools include channels, curves, and masks, among others.
If you're interested in learning Photoshop or other graphics software, there are several options for getting your learning started. One option is to visit a local computer or school and sign up for a class. That option gives you the opportunity to work with instructors and fellow students in a small group setting. Sometimes a tutorial is offered in class, which is an additional plus. You'll get the benefit of expert instruction and help with every question you have, which is an added value of buying a home study course. Whether you choose to purchase a book, attend a tutorial, or work with an instructor in a small group setting, there are several high quality photo manipulation tutorials available free on the internet that will guide you through every step of a graphic editing or photography project.
Another way to learn Photoshop or other graphics software without having to pay for it is to use one of the many online Photoshop tutorials. A comprehensive video tutorial will not only teach you how to use Photoshop, but will also show you how to perform a variety of common image editing tasks. Some examples include: cropping, flipping, warping, coloring, and retouching. Using a video tutorial to learn Photoshop or prepare editing will save you time and money, and it's an excellent introduction to graphic design software for beginners.