As a professional VFX artist, I have to say that this article is a little on the juvenile side. Some of the "after" photos contain less information than the "before" photos. You never want to clip information in your photograph, and always want even exposure. Never underestimate a good matte for affecting only certain portions of your image. Furthermore, a good levels adjustment never hurt, and can always add some "punch" to your image.
The article text provides a reasonable introduction to basic photo editing, but the "fixed" photos are perfect examples of what happens when a beginner goes way, way overboard. It's too bad because the miserable "after" photos significantly undermine the credibility of the article.
Why do people insist a bluer sky or greener trees make a better picture? Isn't the point of photography to capture what actually is, not whimsically change it to what you want it to be? Sure I understand if you underexposed the photo, or your white balance is off or whatever, but shouldn't the goal generally be what the subject actually looked like?
This reminds me of the millions upon millions of teenage girls who see a picture of themselves and say, "Oh noes!!! ACNE!" *cries for hours and then suddenly has epiphany* "WAIT! I've GOT IT! I'll just crank up the brightness and make the picture black&white! THANK YOU COMPUTER!"
[citation][nom]idisarmu[/nom]This reminds me of the millions upon millions of teenage girls who see a picture of themselves and say, "Oh noes!!! ACNE!" *cries for hours and then suddenly has epiphany* "WAIT! I've GOT IT! I'll just crank up the brightness and make the picture black&white! THANK YOU COMPUTER!"[/citation]
I can't help but agree with most guys... the raccoon looks like it's hovering, the sea looks like mouth wash, the waterfall trees look like plastic, and the desert highway looks boring and cold.
Anyone that has actually been in a tropical island will tell you that the waters ARE emerald green, and there's no hint of pollution. Also, clouds at sunset tend to be yellow, then orange, then even purple! Turn them all white, why don't you!
On the other hand... if you keep giving people such advice that will make all photographs boring and amateurish, that will really deify us photographers...
It's free, very easy to use and works very well for the sort of basic image editing you covered above. Not that it completely removes the need for photo impact. I got the originals of some professionally taken family photo's that were blury - needed the full power of the more advanced PI sharpening tool to sort that out. Then used picasa to fix colour, contrast and it's diffuse glow tool to get the right effect. Wife was so impressed she had me get a 24 inch print of one of the pictures
I like to think that the overuse of effects was to really highlight what each one does. Subtle is better for real use but for theory you want the effects to show. As a complete beginner to this stuff it's good to get a basic intro to some features that would scare most happy snappers. Good article.