Just like every other year, this New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and an opportunity to make a few new resolutions for ourselves.
These are often filled with good intentions aimed at making us better people, but sadly the vast majority of us never keep to them beyond the end of January.
However, instead of sticking to the tried and tested resolutions such as vowing to start exercising, being more helpful around the house, or learning a musical instrument, why not expand your horizons with the help of all the technology that surrounds you?
Edit with iPhoto
An image that’s perfect just as you’ve taken it is an extremely rare thing indeed. More often than not, you need to tweak it using an image-editing program. Since iPhoto comes free with your Mac, it should be your first port of call. Editing images is incredibly straightforward with iPhoto. If you don’t know much about photography, select a shot, click on the Edit button (lower right of the interface) and then choose the Enhance option. If you need a little more control over your settings, select the Edit section’s Adjust menu where you can manipulate many parameters (place the cursor over any of them to see a brief description of what they do). You can also crop your image, straighten it or even remove any red eye.
Trick of the trade
You don’t need an expensive DSLR to take better a photograph. Here’s a simple trick to help you create depth of field, so your subject is in focus but the background blurred.
First, move your subject as far away from the background as possible, then move away from the subject. Next, use the zoom to bring yourself back up close to your subject. Doing this helps narrow the depth of field and therefore creates that lovely blurred background look.
Edit with Aperture
One application that’s not too far removed from iPhoto, is Apple’s Aperture (£54.99 from the Mac App Store). If all you’re looking for is a set of powerful tools to bring out the best in your photo, then this is the only program you’ll ever need.
It lets you, for example, turn tools into brushes that only affect one part of your image, so you can create highly specific alterations. You can even create a number of brushes from the same tool, which will affect different parts of your image in distinct ways, all without altering the original file.
Pick the right camera
When choosing a camera there are a few factors you need to consider. For instance, megapixels is not an indication of image quality. What’s more important, is the size of the sensor – the larger this is, the more light the camera takes in, giving you better colours. This is why DSLRs produce better photos than point-and-shoot models. Comparing sensor size can, however, be tricky, so go to www.sensor-size.com, which has a built-in converter to help you do just that.
Edit with Photoshop
Photoshop is a powerful program that lets you do just about anything to your image, hence its hefty price tag – over £600. Thankfully, there’s a more consumer-orientated version (Photoshop Elements) for less than £80 that should offer you everything you need. If, however, this is still too much, you could try Pixelmator (£20.99 from the Mac App Store). Each of these programs let you go far beyond both iPhoto or Aperture in terms of image creation and manipulation.