For Beginning Photographers

Editing Your Photos

Adobe® Photoshop®

A good tool for editing your photos is Adobe® Photoshop®. If you are a student, you should buy the educational version of it and fax your student ID in.


Your photos can be cropped using Photoshop, so you will not have a lot of extra empty space, such as in soccer or football photos. As long as you have a high resolution, your photo will still be a good size when it is cropped.

Color Correcting

To color correct your photos, you should select the layers tab and then select the half-black and half-white circle at the bottom of the box and then select Color Balance. This action creates a new layer for the color correction so you still preserve your original image as long as you save your file as a psd file. Color Balance allows you to add or take out certain colors. However, the more you change your photos, the more resolution they lose. This is fine for viewing on the computer, but they will not come out well when they are printed. If you access Color Balance in the top menu, the result will be the same but you will not preserve your original image, so if it is not saved separately from the modified one, you will lose it.

Black and White

If for some reason you want your photos to be black and white, there are multiple ways to do this. For photos taken outdoors, you can either select Remove Color or you can desaturate it. However, in a poorly lighted room (like a gym) this will not come out so well. If you color correct the photo first and then do that, it might come out well. However, it will probably be grainy either way. There is nothing you can do about it without having Photoshop CS or some updated version of it. If you have that, you can go to Channel Mixer under the Image > Adjust Image menu and check monochrome and then adjust the color balance. To get rid of graininess, you should add more to the green scale, perhaps plus thirty and maybe add eight to the blue scale.


In Photoshop, your images often look much bigger than they actually are. If you access Image Size then you will see that your photo is something like 1600 x 1200 pixels and will print at about 11 x 9 inches at 180 pixels per inch. For web viewing your photos should probably be at 72 pixels per inch. However, for printing on good photo paper, your photos should be at about 300 pixels per inch (definitely not less than 250 and more than 300 if you have enough pixels for it), and you can resize your photos' inch sizes to any size you want. However, you should try not to size them bigger since you will lose quality. Check your pixel count before you start making changes and then when you resize the images and then change your pixels per inch to 300, make sure the pixel count is smaller rather than bigger. Your image will look overly large but in Print Preview you will be able to see that it is the right size.


For printing your photos, you should have a good printer and good photo paper. You must print out of Photoshop since printing from a web browser will keep the pixels but reduce the pixel per inch size to 72, so your photos will be much larger. When you select print, you should click Properties and then select the proper print quality and whichever type of paper you have. This will take a while, but the photos will come out well. If you are printing 4 x 6's, put three of them on a page so you do not waste paper (two vertically and a horizontal one below). The HP glossy paper is very good but do not use it if you want to put your photos in some sort of plastic sleeve because the photos will stick to the sleeve and your prints will be ruined. The glossy paper also shows scratches very easily and obviously. I've found that the Epson Luster paper is the best since you can put a print in an album straight off the printer and it won't stick at all. For color, I have found that Adobe RGB works the best since the colors are brighter and the print looks nicer. In Photoshop (if you have CS or higher) select Edit > Color Settings and choose Adobe RGB instead of sRGB. Then in the Properties box of the printer, go to the Color tab and select either Adobe RGB or Managed by Application. I used to use Managed by Application but oddly enough it stopped working for me one day and I had to switch to Adobe RGB, so you should try both and decide which one you prefer.