Chapter 3: Understanding Photo Pos Pro editing principles part B

In this chapter we will continue to learn and to understand the principles of editing photo with Photo Pos Pro. In order to follow this chapter please click on the above sample photo in order to download it:



In order to load/open the sample photo you just downloded please click on the File -> Open... menu and select the photo "ch2a_SamplePhoto1.jpg" from your downloads folder.

Fix, adjust and enhance photos

The first and most common editing tasks when dealing with photos is fix, adjust and enhance photos to make it look better. There are some common editing steps that normally can improve a great deal almost any photo wich we will discuss them on this chapter

Almost any photo taken can be improved by applying some brightness/contrast to it, therefore a nice start and a good first step by default will be to apply the Brightness/Contrast function to the photo

In our example photo, as you can see the photo is very dark so we'll need to apply some high Brightness/Contrast levels in order ro improve it. In order to apply brightness/contrast to a photo click on the Adjustments -> Brightness Contrast.. menu (or on the top right upper shortcuts toolbar icon), (figure no. 2)


figure no.2

Once clicking the Adjustments -> Brightness Contrast, the Brightness Contrast dialog will be open (figure no. 3)


figure no.3

Now let's try it out, play a little with the brightness and the contrast levels and watch the effect on the screen. As you can see the function runs automatically on the entire image (since no area is selected as mentioned before, we will discuss this in detail later). Now, please set the brightness level to 70, the contrast level to 50 and click OK (figures no. 4)


figure no.4

As you can see the brightness/contrast function greatly improved the photo.



How to select the brightness contrast values? Rule of thumb is to first slowly set the brightness level by steps of 10 each time, once look good set the contrast level to the half size of the brightness level. For example if you set the brightness level to 70 set the contrast level to 35. From this point change the contrast level by a steps of 5 until getting the desired results

The next and second step you can normally do in order to improve photo is to apply some sharpness to the photo.

Photo Pos Pro has many photo sharpening options (can be found under Filters -> Sharpen menus):

  • Standard sharpening function (can be found under Filters -> Sharpen -> Light/Medium/Extreme/Custom... menus), this type of functions works on the principle of highlighting the "edges" of the objects in the photo
  • Unsharp mask function (Filters -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask...), this type of function works on the principle of masking the blurred areas and by that get the effect of fine tuned natural sharpness
  • Super Sharp function (Filters -> Sharpen -> Super Sharp...), lite type of unsharp mask function
  • Macro Enhance - A special sharpness function specially adjusted for macro scene taken photos (closeup photos)
How to select the best sharpness function for the photo? Rule of thumb is to first try the unsharp mask function as this normally gives the most natural results. If you unhappy with the result of the unsharp mask function try out the other sharpness functions until you'll get the best result

In order to apply some sharpness to the photo we'll use the Unsharp mask function, click on the Filters -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask... menu (figure no. 5)


figure no.5

Once clicking the Filters -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask... menu, the Unsharp Mask dialog will be open (figure no. 6)


figure no.6

The unsharp function has three parameters:
  • Amount - The amount of sharpness to apply, as higher the value as higher the sharpness you'll get
  • Radius - The radius of the masked (blurred) areas, as higher the value as higher the sharp "roughness" you'll get
  • Threshold - This value set the threshold (= contrast) level tha't will be applied to the final result
Set the Amount to 70, the Radius to 60, the Threshold to 10 and click OK (figures no. 7)

How to set the best unsharp mask values? Usually the best way to get best result is to start with the Amount level. Increase it by steps of 10, if you got to the maximum of the range and still not happy with the result reset the Amount level back to 50, increase the Radius level by 10 and reincrease the Amount level again by steps of 10. if you got to the maximum of the Amount range again and still not happy with the result reset the Amount level back to 50, increase the Radius level by 10 more and return the all procees again until you'll be happy with the result. Last, setup the Thresold level by steps of 5 until you'll get the final best result


figure no.7

The next step you can probably do in order to improve photo is to tune the colors and the tints of the photo in the same manner you do it on a TV set. To do that we will use the HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminosity), click on the Adjustments -> HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminosity)... menu (figure no. 8)


figure no.8

Once clicking the Adjustments -> HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminosity)... menu, the HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminosity) dialog will be open (figure no. 9)


figure no.9

The HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminosity) function has three parameters:
  • Hue Controls the tints of the photo, via the hue slider you can control and adjust the photo tints or use it to apply some tints effects
  • Saturation - Controls the colors level in the photo, works in the same manner as the color control on a TV set. As higher the value the photo will become more colorful (color saturated), as lower the value the photo will become less colorful (on the lowest range the photo will become black & white)
  • Luminosity - Controls the luminance of the photo, as higher the value the photo will become more luminance, as lower the value the photo will become darker
Set the Hue to 0, the Saturation to 15, the Luminosity to 0 and click OK (figures no. 9)

How to set the HSL values? Usually you'll want to start with setting up the color level via the saturation slider. Next if the photo tints needs to be adjust set up the hue slider to the desire value. And finally if you wish to change the photo lighting use the luminosity slider to adjust it


figure no.10

Finally you should get the result shown in figure no.10 - A great improvement over the original photo taken by the camera!


figure no.10

Next, Chapter 4: Understanding Photo Pos Pro editing principles Part C >>>


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