Photoshot Tutorial Video


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Photo Editing Glossary

By: MJ Johnston

Learning to use new technology is always a confusing experience. They are often full of complex jargon and you may feel lost without some kind of reference. If you're interested in trying your hand at editing photos in order to share them online, then read on for some definitions of common terms you might find.

Cloning Tool

A cloning tool is a basic copying tool that allows you to copy a part of an image to essentially create a "brush." Once you've copied the part of the image that you want, you can just use your mouse to paint that same like you would draw a line in a basic paint program. This is most useful when you have a specific texture that somehow ended up with some sort of blemish. You can simply paint over the blemish and, if done correctly, it will look like the natural texture. Some software programs have a feature that can automatically do this for you.


Fill-flash is sometimes referred to as a highlight or shadow adjustment tool. This tool can help you fix a photo in which the background is too dark, or the subject of the photo is too light (or vice versa). As with the cloning tool, many software programs have an option to perform this automatically for your convenience.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layers are a fairly advanced feature that allows you to edit a photo with affects without actually altering the photo itself. That is, instead of making changes to the picture itself, you create additional layers that are superimposed on top of the standard picture. You can edit the main photo or any of the additional layers at any point, or even delete the extra layers without affecting the main picture. Depending on what software you're using, you may even be able to adjust the transparency of the extra layers to whatever level you desire.

Type Effects

This term refers to effects that can be placed on text entered on your image. Depending on the type of software you're using, you may have to use a text tool to input your text, or you may be able to add text directly onto the image. In either case, type effects allow you to add effects like shadows, 3D effects, warped text, and many more.

Selection Tools

Selection tools are the tools that you use to select a part of an image that you want to manipulate. For instance, basic selection tools might commonly come in shapes like squares or circles. However, there are also advanced selection tools that allow for more unique interactions with the image you're editing. For instance, one type of selection tool might allow you to select all parts of an image that have the same color. Or, for maximum flexibility, you can use a lasso type tool to select exactly which parts of the image you want to work with.

Obviously the world of photo editing is very complex and these are just a few basic terms. If you run across other terms that you don't understand, you should just make a backup of your picture and experiment to find out what they do. You may be able to really improve the quality of some pictures and make your online photo sharing experience all the better.

No comments: