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Canon Rebel Series: No Fancy Software Required

I got a great response from the last Canon tips blog entry and thank you to everyone that commented! (I love getting comments, they make me smile!)

I have several photographers working on some future guest posts for this series, so look for those soon, but today I'm going to talk a little about editing. Most, if not all, of the photos you see from professional photographers have been manipulated by what are called Photoshop Actions. These are mostly custom, sometimes purchased actions that make photos look pretty much however you want them to look. You can sharpen images, adjust colors, convert to black and white, add or adjust shading, take off 10 lbs, smooth baby skin...the options are endless.

You've probably heard about Photoshop, and LightRoom and tons of different photo editing software packages, and some can get pretty pricey. I am lucky enough to have copies of several packages on my computer, but when I'm quick editing, I use the Microsoft Picture Editor, which you probably already have on your computer.

Below I've explained a couple of ways you can make just an ok picture really pop through different adjustments and features in the picture editor. First, open your picture with the picture editor. On my machine, all jpgs are set to open with the Microsoft Picture Editor. Here's the photo I'm gonna work with, in it's original form, pre-editing:

This is a cute photo of my little guy, but I don't like the oil spot on the concrete and I'd like to focus in more on his tongue touching the donuts, so I decided to crop it a little, using the crop option under the picture menu. I'd also like to make it a vertical photo vs. its current horizontal layout.

Then I decided to keep cropping it a bit more to get that blue cooler out of the back, so just play with it until you get it like you want. Always keep the original so you can go back and start over if you want.

To make the colors pop a bit more, I go to the picture menu again, and click on color to play with the saturation (this is one of the tips I stole from Mckmama). In this option, I increased it by 12. So not a huge difference, but just makes the colors a bit more vibrant.

Then, the final adjustment I make is in the brightness and contrast section under the picture menu. Just play with the brightness, contrast and midtones until you get something you like. In this case, I decreased the brightness by 4, increased the contrast by 22 and increased the midtones by 36.

Which, together, gives me this:

Do remember that to zoom in on a photo like this, you have to keep it as a high resolution file, or it will get fuzzy when you crop in. Hope you guys learned something! Let me know if you have any questions and send me your results! I'd love to see them!


  1. wow, what a cute pic! great tips! can't wait to try them! that picture is adorable!!

  2. very cute! is that ketchup? or bbq sauce? or maybe chocolate?

    sandy toe

  3. Totally saving this as I'm currently trying to talk the hubs into a Rebel!

  4. Cute this shot!


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