On Modifying a Still

A friend of mine, whom I did not get any written or verbal permission from to mention their name, posted on Facebook a picture of him and his fiance. The photograph’s composition was bad. The picture was visible, at least, however it was so overexposed that half of his fiance was a bright light and her features were not complimentary, at least to me as a beholder.

I took it upon myself and modify the picture. This was what I was working with:

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He was sitting on the right side smiling with a slight stubble on his chin. His fiance was seated beside the airplane window where the excessive light was captured in the image. It was so bright that half of her body can’t be seen and her whole face was white.

To give an insight of my skills, or lack thereof, in photo editing. I’ve used Photoshop when I was in college 10 years ago.

I don’t have any program that I paid for to edit photos. I know a little about Photoshop, but I don’t have any subscription or legitimate installer for this program.

The first obstacle I had was getting a program I can work with to modify the picture.

Paint is not an option because its toolset is very crude. There are not other photo editing software on the computer I am using.

Since Google recently made the Nik Collection available to the public for free, I tried to give it a shot. After browsing through a couple of videos on Youtube (I think I looked at 3 videos), I said to myself “Let’s give this a shot”.

So the first thing I had to do was open the file using the Viveza 2 (64-bit). My God there was no File > Open option. You had to Right click on the image, open with, then you had to manually select the Viveza 2 program. Why did they not have the File > Open option?

Getting back to editing the photo. Once I loaded the file, it was all very easy from there. The control points made it a lot easier to modify the different brightness for each part of the picture.

The biggest challenge for me was the half of the photo that my guy friend was on. It was dimly lit and if I increase the darkness of the picture, the composition would look dark on his side of the photograph.

I created 3 control points. one on the left, another on the right and the last one in the middle of both of them. I tried to adjust the photo just right so that the light looks balanced throughout the photograph. Most of my modification was used for brightness and contrast.

It probably took me a total of 1 hour to get familiar with the program and also adjusting the photo, just the way I was comfortable with.

The end result was satisfying enough. There was little more that I could do regarding the light source, so I did the best I could without making the photograph look weird. I gave it to my friend and he said that he would save the photo for safekeeping.

Overall, as a “newbie” to photo editing, my experience with Google’s Viveza 2 was very easy supported by the couple of videos I watched on Youtube. My goodness, information is very easy to come by nowadays.




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