Digital cameras are increasingly popular and accessible to a wide range of consumers as they become “faster, smaller, cheaper, better,” according to Stephen Manes’ Forbes article “Digital Camera Guide.” As more people use digital photography, digital image manipulation is becoming more common. By downloading a free editing program, you can adjust your photos to change contrast and hue with just a few simple computer clicks, making professional-quality photo editing possible at home. Such free software is not difficult to use, and, with the proper steps, even a first-time user can change several properties on any photograph.
For this specific walkthrough, you’ll be working with Paint.NET free image editing software, but many other free and paid programs exist, such as Microsoft Picture Manager, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Photoscape, and Pixia Graphics Editor.
Getting the necessary software
1. Access the Paint.NET download page on-line (see resources) to download a free copy of Paint.NET image editing software.
2. Right-click on the downloaded “Paint.NET.3.36.zip” file and click “Extract All.”
3. Double-click on the extracted setup file and follow on-screen prompts to install Paint.NET.
4. Restart your computer; this is always a good idea whenever you install new programs.
Changing your photo
1. Open the downloaded Paint.NET program.
2. Click on “File,” located at the upper left-hand corner of the screen, then select “Open.” A new window will pop up, allowing you to browse your computer’s picture files.
3. Click on the photograph that you want to change and click on “Open.” The photo will then appear in the center of the Paint.NET interface.
4. Click on the “Adjustments” menu, located near the top left-hand side of the screen, to the right of the “File” menu used in Step 2.
5. Select “Hue / Saturation” to open a window with three “slider” bars labeled as “Hue,” “Saturation” and “Brightness.” Click and drag the sliders and watch the image change, pulling the sliders to the right to intensify hue, saturation or brightness, and leftward to decrease these values. Click “OK” to confirm the changes.
6. Click on the “Adjustments” menu again.
7. Select “Brightness / Contrast” to bring up two sliders. The first one is a duplicate slider from the “Hue / Saturation” sliders, allowing you to adjust brightness, and the second slider is for contrast, allowing you to sharpen or soften the image’s contrasting colors. Click “OK” to confirm any changes.
8. Resave the changed image by clicking on the “File” menu and selecting “Save.”
9. Change Photograph Editing Digital Picture
Stephen Manes, “Digital Camera Guide,” MSNBC News: Forbes.
Paint.NET, Get Paint.NET – Download, Paint.NET.