10 Best Ways to Enhance and Improve Your Digital Photos

Photo editing session on a desktopNo matter how you take a digital picture, there's always a room to enhance and optimize the captured shot. There are several simple and efficient ways to enhance a digital photograph. Today, we're going to look at some of the ways we can use to add life to our digital photos. You don't need to be a techie or a professional to apply these techniques for improving your pictures. It doesn't matter which device you've used for capturing the stills. You can easily transfer them to your desktop and can use the methodologies discussed below to enhance your digital photographs. Here I must remind you of keeping the backup of photos and using a copy of the same before applying the enhancement techniques. This way, you can ensure the original copies remain intact in case you inadvertently spoil a copy. So, here we go to check out some of the best, reliable and easy ways to transform and optimize our digital photos in no time. If you've not yet saved all of your photos on the computer which need to be enhanced, do it right now.

Photo editing session on a desktop

#1 Red Eye Removal

One of the common problems we encounter while snapping digital photos is the red-eye effect as shown in the image below. This is caused by the flashlight situated close to the digital camera that is reflected prominently in creating this annoying effect.

Red eye removal process Popular photo editing software like Photoshop and GIMP include a handy option to quickly fix the red eye effect. If you frequently take photos from your Android smartphone and encounter this effect, there are several good Android apps to quickly fix it.

One can also use online web tools for fixing red-eye effect by uploading the affected photos in batch. This methodology suits best for correcting the photos in bulk.

#2 Photo Sharpening

And, now comes one of the most common problems we encounter while optimizing a digital photo. A dull and blurry photo hides the fine details of the photograph. In such cases, you need to sharpen the photo which reveals the minute details of the photograph giving you a better, crisp and clear image.

A fly photo with sharpening process Photoshop users can use filters like Smart Sharpen and High Pass Filter to easily sharpen their photographs. GIMP users can follow this excellent tutorial to sharpen their digital photos.

Website owners using WordPress as their content management system can use this plugin to automatically sharpen the images on upload.

#3 Photo Cropping

A human eye is one of the most sensitive organs in our body. While viewing a large canvas our eye and brain work in conjunction and interpret the available image in different ways. If we want viewers to focus on a specific object within a photograph, one of the easiest methods is to crop that object and completely exclude the unwanted parts.

Photo cropping example Photo cropping is one of the easy photo editing processes even a layman can do with ease. Most modern applications let the user select the area to be cropped via mouse and a simple cut and paste process follows it to grab the cropped image.

If you do not have a desktop photo cropping application, you can find tons of free online photo cropping tools one can use without any restrictions.

#4 Photo Noise Reduction

If a photo is affected by film grain, noise reduction is the way to go to get a crisp and clear version. Sometimes, the intensity of film grain is too much which almost spoils the entire image. Photos taken in dark and low light are often prone to film grain.

Photo noise reduction Fortunately, there are several good applications for photo noise removal. One of my favorites is Noise Reducer Pro software. It is available for both Windows and Mac platform.

Smartphone users can use it both for iOS and Android platforms. A free online noise reduction web-based tool can also be used to quickly optimize your film grain affected photos.

#5 Background Blurring

Earlier we've discussed cropping a photo to achieve focus on an object. What if we do not want to trim the original photograph and still want a focus on the target object? That's where background blurring effect comes into play.

Background blurring effect in a photograph All you have to do is to pick the target object and blur the entire or a part of the surrounding background. This is quite easy with most photo editors.

Most applications allow you to apply various types of blurring effects though you'll get the best results with Gaussian blur effect. This excellent application allows you to apply various types of blur effects without messing with complex photo editing steps.

#6 Removing Unwanted Objects

And sometimes, we do not want to blur or crop an image and rather look for hiding the unwanted object within an image. We can use a clone tool to achieve that. Almost every good photo editing application includes a clone tool to remove an object by filling it with the surrounding area.

Photo healed using a clone tool Some of the specialized photo editing applications provides a easy option normally referred to as healing or patching the image. Photoshop users can use this easy-to-follow guide to help them easily remove objects from their photographs.

Android users can use TouchRetouch app to easily remove objects from their snapped photos.

#7 Adjustment of Brightness & Contrast

Nothing can completely transform an original image than changing the brightness and contrast of an image. When applied, it can add life to a dull image. Fortunately, the process is dead simple when using popular photo editing applications.

Adjustment of contrast and brightness in a photo As I mentioned before, every popular photo editor like Photoshop and GIMP provides easy options to quickly change the brightness and contrast level of a photo.

Both Android and iOS provides brightness and contrast adjustment controls natively and one can instantly utilize them after snapping a photo. An online web tool can also be used for the same.

#8 Photo Resizing & Enlargement

A large photo can be resized to a smaller scale without many hiccups as it may not affect the quality of the photo at all. But if, the case is exactly the opposite, preserving the quality of an image is paramount. The smaller the image, the more challenging is quality preservation.

Digital photo enlargement If you do not have a professional photo editing software, you can use this web-based photo enlarger which easily creates a larger version without compromising on quality.

Mac users can use Pixelmator to enlarge their digital photos without losing the quality and crispness. Needless to say, Photoshop and GIMP users can also enlarge digital images without compromising on the quality.

#9 Photo Compression

Web publishers almost always use images within their content. Raw and unprocessed images are often bulky in size and if used as it is can consume a significant amount of bandwidth. Thankfully, lossless compression techniques can reduce the image file size without sacrificing the quality.

Original and compressed image comparison There are literally tons of image compression solutions on the web. My personal favorite is TinyPNG which I use for my niche blogs.

Its optimized algorithm yields a high compression ratio and yet preserves the quality of the image near to the original. In fact, all the images used in this post are processed using this service.

#10 Photo Annotation

And last but not the least is highlighting key objects and information within a digital photograph with the help of annotation and marking elements. Doing so completely transforms the image making it more interesting and meaningful.

Annotated digital photo I frequently used this technique to pimp up my blog post images. My favorite tools for the same are Snagit and SimpleDiagrams.

If you're comfortable with regular photo editing applications, you can annotate the photos using GIMP and Photoshop. Just make sure you do not overdo it else it may spoil the photo instead of enhancing the visual.