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Old 11-25-2012, 07:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Auto correcting colour on photos

I shot a lot of photos yesterday at my sister-in-law's vow renewal and some of them really didn't come out as I'd hoped. I'm still getting used to my Panasonic Lumix and it's nowhere near as good as my old Sony for some things like indoor shots. It doesn't like low light on the automatic setting, so I used manual and a high shutter speed with flash to get the photos, which was fine - they came Ok in terms of sharpness, but the colour was very dull.

I'm now using Windows 10 and that's got Windows Photo Viewer or Windows Live Photo Gallery, neither of which have auto correct for colour. With older versions of Windows, I had a programme that was very similar to those, but gave you the option to do things like that, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it. Anyone else?

I've been trying to use other programmes, like Photobucket, Paint and Microsoft Office to auto correct the colour, but to be honest, it doesn't seem that easy. I don't want to try and mess around with shading and hues, as I really don't know what I'm doing, which is why I wanted something simple - any ideas?
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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One Free program that many swear by for Windows users is GIMP.

Picasa, Google's Photo editor/organizer is also free. Not sure it will be a lot better than others, but it may be worth a look.


Another option - have you ever tried Adobe Lightroom? While it isn't free, it is one of the easiest and most flexible to use. You can get a free 30 day trial download. (I'm assuming this is available to UK residents).


Is the problem with saturation (washed out, dull colors), white balance (probably a yellowish or bluish tint)? If you don't get this sorted out, maybe upload a sample pic to show what the problem is.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Simple, one-click solutions are hard to come by - I could philosophize about the reasons, but it doesn't change the basic reality: the individual software developers who used to produce relatively simple shareware and freeware programs for Windows migrated first to Linux, and now are making apps for smart phones and tablets. What's left, for the most part, are the big-time operators, and they tend to sell higher-priced software with enough features to justify the high price.

I'm not up to date on Windows photo editing solutions, but I did take a look at the web page for Windows Photo Gallery (current version) and it does seem to offer a form of what you describe - an auto-adjust function, plus a function for automatically adjusting a batch of photos. Perhaps it deserves a re-look. Paint and the graphics tools in Office were never really intended for photo editing. It's no surprise they're hard to work with.

Another option would be Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 - it's a complex program, though far less complex than full-strength Photoshop (and far more affordable - it's currently on sale in the States for around $49). Adobe Lightroom offers similar features, plus lots of tools for organizing your photos, at a higher price.

Basically, the photo editing program, whether full strength like Photoshop, or the "light" versions, are a replacement for the darkroom, a place for getting the most out of a photo, regardless of what happened in-camera. While there's a bit of a learning curve for any of them, for basic tweaking of the sort your describe, it's possible to adjust photos quite quickly for the issues you describe, and even to get a whole lot more out of your better photos as well.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not up to date on Windows photo editing solutions, but I did take a look at the web page for Windows Photo Gallery (current version) and it does seem to offer a form of what you describe - an auto-adjust function, plus a function for automatically adjusting a batch of photos. Perhaps it deserves a re-look. Paint and the graphics tools in Office were never really intended for photo editing. It's no surprise they're hard to work with.
Thank you so much - that's what I was looking for. I just couldn't see it anywhere when I looked originally. Amazing what a difference a day or two can make!
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It could be your camera. Make sure you have set your white balance properly. That is extreamly important. When adjusting your photos you also need to make sure your monitor is calibrated.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It could be your camera. Make sure you have set your white balance properly. That is extreamly important. When adjusting your photos you also need to make sure your monitor is calibrated.
I figured the camera out by the evening - it was just the earlier shots that weren't right. It's so frustrating having a camera that doesn't work off "auto" mode and having to fiddle around with the manual settings to get it right.
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