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First, determine what is wrong with it. This one is too dark and has a red cast.

ex1.gif - 2kbThese tools at the bottom left of the workspace are the best ones to use for correcting colour casts and brightening. The minus buttons to the left of the colours remove colour, the plus buttons add. Same with the brightness and contrast below the colour correctors.

We need to take out red. If you remove a colour by using the minus button, it makes the picture darker. This one is too dark already, so adding the other colours instead will have the same effect as taking out red, and will lighten the picture a bit. So click the plus beside the green, then beside the blue. It will still be a bit too red, so click plus green and plus blue again.

It is still too dark, so click plus beside the brightness (the one immediately below the colours) 5 times.

Now it is light enough, but looks a bit dull and misty, so click plus contrast 4 times.

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The picture is better now, but there is a lot of noise in it - particularly visible on the back wall above and to the right of the door.

ex3.gif - 12kbYou can use Effect>Noise>Despeckle, but I prefer the Beautify Skin option on the Effect>Camera Lens menu. This is really intended to lessen wrinkles in portraits, but it does very well at removing noise too, and gives more control over the result than Despeckle.

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This is the beautify skin screen. Select the eye dropper (button shown depressed in this pic) and click on a spot in the left picture where the noise is. I clicked where I have put the white circle.

The skin tone colour will change to the colour where you clicked. Click the 1:1 button so you can see in the right picture exactly what effect you are getting. Then increase the level below the skin tone colour, watching the effect on the wall in the right picture as you go. I increased it to 9. Don't worry about the complexion settings cos we are not dealing with a face here. Click OK when you are done.

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With some photos you might need to sharpen a little. I tried it with this one, but did not like the result. There are various ways of sharpening in PI. Format>Focus, Effect>Blur & Sharpen>Sharpen and Effect>Blur & Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. I usually use Format>Focus, or if I want to control the sharpening very exactly, Unsharp mask. I tried Format>Focus for this.

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ex8.jpg - 12kb I used the option selected in the pic above - the smallest sharpen. (There are three degrees of sharpen and three degrees of blur). I thought it made the faces too harsh, (pic above right) so I undid it again (left arrow on top toolbar) (pic below right) and settled for what I had in the big photo above.

There are lots of tools you can use in photo tweaking, but for 99% of tweaking these are all that I use, with the addition of Effect>Camera Lens>Remove Red Eye if flash has made people's eyes go red or animals' eyes go green. If I resize a pic, I always use the Focus setting shown above, which restores the sharpness lost in resizing.

There are no set rules about how many times you click one of the colour, brightness or contrast buttons. I just do it till it looks right for the particular photo I am doing. Most of my photos that need tweaking may only want one click on minus red, or perhaps a minus or plus click on brightness.

If you are using the colour, brightness and contrast correction tools at the bottom left of the workspace, using the back arrow button in the top tool panel will remove everything you have done with the colour correctors, not just the last action. So if you do one brighten too much, undo it by using brighten minus, or you will have to start all over again. The back arrow button will only undo the changes you made with the current session of the correctors. If you did some earlier on, then did something else before coming back to the correctors, the earlier ones will not be affected.

BTW, PI can do something very like PS actions. Read the help section on Quick Command panel. Or, just for fun, when you have finished tweaking the pic, get the Quick Command Panel (click on bottom button on right hand side of workspace - it has a little dark blue arrow on it). Click the Task tab, and from the drop down menu choose 'Painting on the wall'. Click the Play button (dark blue arrow under the word Task) and let it run.

You can make your own tasks using the task manager, entering NEW to get a box to name your new task, and the record button to record what you do. If anything goes wrong you can edit the task to take out wrong steps and put in new ones.



Carol Brooksbank 2003
This tutorial may not be copied to any other website nor distributed in any way. It may be downloaded for personal use only. Links to my tutorials at are welcome.


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