1. Cropping 101
Cropping is an easy way to direct the eye toward your photo’s subject. Too many unnecessary background details can be distracting, so cropping out the non-essentials can add vibrancy to any picture.
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Nearly every photo-editing app offers a cropping feature of some sort. To find it, look for the icon that looks like two interlocking squares. Once you select it, you’ll be able to drag a box around the areas of your photo you want to keep. Once you tap or click “crop,” anything outside the box will be removed, so make sure to save your photo before continuing.
2. Flesh out details
Contrast refers to the scale of difference between black and white in your image. Even if your image is in color, your camera will still pick up bright highlights and dark shadows. Adjusting the contrast will enhance the difference between these extremes and can help bring out details you wouldn’t see otherwise.
As an example, we’ll show you how to adjust the contrast using the iPhone’s default photo app. Open the photo you want to edit, tap the picture to bring up the surrounding window, and tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.
Select the dial icon (which you may or may not have to do, depending on your previous editing activity) and swipe through the options that begin with “AUTO” until you see an icon shaped like a solid black and white circle. Scroll the bar beneath the icon right or left to adjust the contrast.
As you can see, decreasing the contrast will brighten the image and bring out the colors. Increasing it will bring out shadows and details.
Contrast adjustment is available in most photo editing apps. It will typically look like a shape with one half white and the other black, but the design may vary depending on the program.
3. It’s all about exposure
Exposure refers to the amount of light the camera lens allows in. In digital photography, you can adjust the exposure after you’ve taken the picture. This can help brighten a photo that turned out too dark.