Author Topic: One-touch photo editing  (Read 1409 times)

fernman

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One-touch photo editing
« on: 13:05:41, 18/04/20 »
Although I praise the freeware PhotoCleaner http://www.photocleaner.com/download.html for bringing the washed-out photos from my compact camera to life, one thing I have noticed is it reduces the size of each file drastically from typically 1 - 2 MB down to 100 - 200 KB.

While the results look splendid to me with Windows Photo Viewer on a shared Windows 8.1 pc and with Honeyview on a Windows 10 laptop, they are clearly suffering after I have posted them using PostImage in my recent trip reports on the forum.

So I am asking if anyone knows of any other software that will achieve the same results without greatly altering the file size of the original? Please take note of my criteria below:

1. It must be one-touch or close to it. I know there are a number of free photo editing softwares available, while I also have access to both Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. But life is too short for me to spend time fiddling about with those, I want something that  will do the donkey work for me, which PhotoCleaner does admirably well.
2. It must be free.




fernman

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #1 on: 13:36:46, 18/04/20 »
An update to add that the next nearest I have since found is Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2019, but Techrader's review wasn't wholly impressed with it because the auto optimize didn't work well on all subjects, and you can only edit one image at a time, unlike PhotoCleaner which does batches.

But given that I am happy with PhotoCleaner's results when viewed on a computer, perhaps I should be thinking about a different way of posting photos on the forum, that will retain the quality of the originals?

vghikers

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #2 on: 13:52:23, 18/04/20 »
Quote
...one thing I have noticed is it reduces the size of each file drastically from typically 1 - 2 MB down to 100 - 200 KB.

Is this reduction from the original in-camera size down to forum-posting size?. If so it's about what I would expect.
My originals from my RX100 are 5472x3080 pixels and around 7-10Mb. I process them (manually) for our website and forum posts to 850x478 at JPEG quality-level 80%, giving around 100-250Kb.

I can't see why yours should look worse on the forum than in a local photo viewer, they should look exactly the same, unless PostImage itself is doing some kind of quality compression. Mine look identical locally and when posted here.

fernman

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #3 on: 15:24:50, 18/04/20 »
To clarify, it is the PhotoCleaner software that is making the reduction in the file size from the original.

The results are quite satisfactory when viewed on a desktop, but I am guessing that PostImage reduces the size further still so that the images are deteriorated when posted on the forum.


Owen

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #4 on: 15:33:17, 18/04/20 »
That's always going to be the case with JPEG. Every time you alter the original image you lose information.

SteamyTea

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #5 on: 15:35:39, 18/04/20 »
If your images are looking a bit washed out, which I assume is overexposure, have you checked your camera setting.  With digital photography it is often better to underexpose, then correct in software later.
Most cameras have an option to reset to default setting in the menu.


I am not sure what you mean by 'one touch'.
Do you mean a photo editor that has limited options i.e. brighten, darken, reduce in size or enlarge.
Or something with several option that you can choose from i.e. Convert to greyscale, increase/decrease colour depth, colour correction, auto-adjust colour, sharpen.


I am not sure why your current package is resizing them, it may be a preset option that needs resetting.
But while on the subject of resizing, it is not as simple as it sounds.  There are quite complicated algorithms that achieve it, but they can be caught out if the image is 'complicated' i.e. lots of contrast, changes in hue, saturation and brightness.  And that is before you look at printing option where there can be a clash between RGB and CMYB.
Computer monitors can also be set up differently, though this is generally less of a problem these days.  Took me days to realise that one PC I used was set to 16 colours (4 bit).  My current monitor is set to 32 bit, which is 4,294,967,296‬, or a silly amount of colours.


For quick image manipulation, I use Irfanview.  It is pretty basic and only has one 'undo', but is a small package that does most things.
It is also available as a Portable App, which means that it does not scatter files all over the computer as it is not really installed as such, it just sits in its own folder.  This means that a shortcut to start it needs to be created and file associations made need to be changed so that images open up in it by default.
But it does have some simple 'one touch' presets to enhance the image and an easy resizing option.
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SteamyTea

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #6 on: 15:37:43, 18/04/20 »
That's always going to be the case with JPEG. Every time you alter the original image you lose information.
Yes, eventually you should end up with a single, mid grey, box.
Always keep the original and work on a copy.
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richardh1905

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #7 on: 15:54:31, 18/04/20 »
From the photocleaner website -


Resizing. PhotoCleaner provides an ability to specify both the width and the height of the enhanced image. Obviously, you cannot arbitrarily modify both width and height because the image will become distorted (for example, circles will turn into ellipses). That is why the width and height values in PhotoCleaner specify the “bounding box” into which the enhanced picture will fit. For example, specifying 800 for both width and height will mean that all pictures are guaranteed to fit the square 800x800, so wide pictures will have the width of 800 and tall pictures will have the height of 800. The picture below explains the concept further.


From this, I deduce that you can specify the size of the final image. But for posting on this forum, there's no point on going much more than 800 wide.
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #8 on: 15:59:20, 18/04/20 »
If your images are looking a bit washed out, which I assume is overexposure, have you checked your camera setting.  With digital photography it is often better to underexpose, then correct in software later.
Most cameras have an option to reset to default setting in the menu.
Under exposure is not the best option for digital photos, as increasing the exposure in post processing will create more noise, making the picture grainy. The best approach is to ‘expose to the right’, getting the exposure as high as possible without blowing out any important parts of the picture. Reducing the brightness when editing will then minimise the noise. If you shoot in raw format rather than JPEG, the file will tolerate more overexposure, as you are not throwing away data.


As the OP has Lightroom, that would be a good place to start. It isn’t that complicated and a photo can be edited in a few minutes. There is even and auto mode that may get you close to a good result.

SteamyTea

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #9 on: 16:09:19, 18/04/20 »
Under exposure is not the best option for digital photos, as increasing the exposure in post processing will create more noise, making the picture grainy. The best approach is to ‘expose to the right’, getting the exposure as high as possible without blowing out any important parts of the picture. Reducing the brightness when editing will then minimise the noise. If you shoot in raw format rather than JPEG, the file will tolerate more overexposure, as you are not throwing away data.


As the OP has Lightroom, that would be a good place to start. It isn’t that complicated and a photo can be edited in a few minutes. There is even and auto mode that may get you close to a good result.
There has been an ongoing debate about exposure with digital photography for the last 20 years.
I am of the school that says that for most people, slight underexposure is safer.  It is amazing how much detail can be got out of what looks black on the screen.
But agree, using RAW, or cameras native setting, is best as it is a lot more forgiving.  It is the main thing I look for in a cheap camera.

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fernman

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #10 on: 16:58:52, 18/04/20 »
So many replies since I last looked, thank you all.

@ SteamyTea
I fiddled with my compact camera settings a year or two ago after discussing the problem of my washed-out pictures on this forum, but I was unable to improve them much. Using PhotoCleaner software is a quick and easy solution, it visibly removes dullness, brightens colours and sharpens.

By "one-touch" I mean software where that does every bit of editing in one go, at one click on a button, rather than one where you use one slider for sharpness, one for saturation, and so on.

I think the reduction in the file size is simply a limitation of the way the freeware works.

@richardh1905
I've not been resizing with PhotoCleaner, I have it set for results at original size.
It is PostImage where I set the size for posting on the forum.
But if you look at my last TR, with photos added via PostImage, steeples are wobbly and text is almost unreadable.
I feel sure that if I were to post any pictures on the forum prior to improving their appearance with PhotoCleaner they would be clearer. But I don't want to do that because the colours etc would look horrible, which is why I am seeking something better.

SteamyTea

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #11 on: 17:25:34, 18/04/20 »


By "one-touch" I mean software where that does every bit of editing in one go, at one click on a button, rather than one where you use one slider for sharpness, one for saturation, and so on.

The software I suggested can do that using the Batch Convert.  You have to set it up first, then any picture you drop in the package can be 'worked on'.  You can do 1 image or 1000, it don't care, there are no limitations on it.
https://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_pictures/irfanview_portable
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richardh1905

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #12 on: 17:47:49, 18/04/20 »
@richardh1905
I've not been resizing with PhotoCleaner, I have it set for results at original size.
It is PostImage where I set the size for posting on the forum.
But if you look at my last TR, with photos added via PostImage, steeples are wobbly and text is almost unreadable.
I feel sure that if I were to post any pictures on the forum prior to improving their appearance with PhotoCleaner they would be clearer. But I don't want to do that because the colours etc would look horrible, which is why I am seeking something better.


Hmm - now that I look at your last TR, the Lockdown one with Harrow School, I see the problem. The bungalow roof in particular looks bizarre.
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fernman

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #13 on: 20:22:57, 18/04/20 »
Thanks, SteamyTea, I gave IrfanView a try, I also found a plugin for it, ImageSkill Magic Enhancer, though I think many of the features in its free Lite version are crippled. But Irfanview was way too much of a learning curve for me and I gave up on it.

fernman

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Re: One-touch photo editing
« Reply #14 on: 12:25:22, 19/04/20 »
A test with photos I have uploaded to ImgBB https://imgbb.com/
I didn't find it as easy to use as PostImage, it gives you too much BB code to paste into the forum's Insert Image field, so you have to delete some of the code till you are left with what is needed for the picture to appear, but after a few goes you know what you must save. There is also no choice of sizes but happily they are the right size for the forum.
I am pleased with the results, they are an improvement on those I posted in my TR with PostImage, so I will continue to use PhotoCleaner to improve the photos from my compact camera but from now on I will be using ImgBB to post them on the forum.

« Last Edit: 12:34:20, 19/04/20 by fernman »