Evaluate your photos before editing
Discover which editing techniques can fix your photo flaws
Support & Drivers
Photo editing software makes it easy to reveal the true potential of any photo. However, it's important to inspect your image with a critical eye before editing. We'll show you what to look for in your pictures, and how to decide what to keep, what to delete, and what to edit.
Learn to identify photo flaws
The correct cropping can eliminate this photo's blurred foreground and yield a keepsake portrait.
Washed-out colors diminish the appeal of a beautiful beach shot.
Don't let red-eye ruin an otherwise great photo—especially when it can be quickly fixed with editing software.
Ask yourself these questions to help determine what you should edit within your photo:Is the photo tilted?
- Check to see if your photo is crooked or level. Are people or structures tilted at an odd angle?
- Nearly all editing software includes tools that allow you to rotate and straighten your pictures.
Does the photo need cropping?
- Is the main subject of your photo overshadowed by objects in the background or by other details within the image? If so, you may want to crop out the distracting elements of your photo to focus on the portion you like.
Is the photo blurry?
- Look to see if your photo is blurry, and if the main subject is clear.
- Most photo editing software, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery or Adobe Photoshop, offers tools for decreasing the amount of blur within your photo.
Does the photo seem faded or discolored?
- If your photo appears underexposed (not enough light) or overexposed (too much light), use your software to adjust the lighting.
- Use the color correction tools in your photo editing software to boost or downplay the colors in your photo.
Does anyone in the photo have red-eye?
- Red-eye can be one of the easiest photo flaws to fix.
- Your editing software should have a tool specifically designed to remove red-eye.
Decide which editing techniques to use
Rotate the photo to ensure the main subject isn’t tilted, and then crop to remove distracting portions of the image.
After cropping, enhance the colors and lighting within your photo.
Sharpen your image for a final editing fix that will truly transform your photo.
Look closely at this photo: The colors are faded, it’s slightly blurry, and the main subject is lost behind a distracting foreground.
At first glance, you may be ready to hit delete. Yet the photo has the potential to become a treasured birthday shot, making it an ideal candidate for editing.
Make it level
- Use your Rotating or Straightening tool to rotate the image until it's level, and to ensure that the main subject is not tilting or slanted.
Crop to emphasize
- If you crop out the other elements, this photo could make for an endearing portrait. Use your software’s Crop tool to grab the part of the photo you want.
Improve the lighting and color
- The next step in editing this photo is to adjust the lighting and the color saturation.
- Look for an Adjust exposure tool to brighten the image, and Adjust color or Saturation tools to boost the color.
Sharpen the focus
- Now that you've cropped and enhanced the lighting and color within the photo, it’s time to improve its clarity.
- Depending on the software you use, select your Enhance or Sharpen tool. For example, the Windows Live Photo Gallery offers an Adjust detail tool that lets you quickly and easily sharpen the focus of your image.
Discover two photo editing fundamentals
Keep your original photo intact in case you’re not happy with your edits—such as cropping—and want to start over.
In addition to understanding the different techniques available to you, it's important to keep in mind a few essential photo editing tips:
Always edit on a copy of the picture
- Working from a duplicate of your image allows you to keep the original photo intact if you don't like the changes you’ve made.
Do as little as possible to get the picture you want
- Every edit you make to your photo degrades the quality of the image.
- Image quality doesn’t matter as much if you're going to e-mail your pictures or post them to a website. However, if you want to print your favorite shots, try to retain as much of the original as possible to ensure a high-quality print.
Get Windows Live Photo Gallery or Adobe Photoshop software
Visit Windows Live Photo Gallery to download the free software application.
From basic editing techniques to advanced photo adjustments, find the software best suited to your image editing needs.
- Try Windows Live Photo Gallery for simple digital photo editing. The free, downloadable software allows you to perform basic photo edits such as adjusting your picture’s exposure and color, straightening and cropping your image, removing red-eye, and more.
- Adobe Photoshop software offers a few additional tools to let you perform more advanced edits, like repairing photos with torn or missing pieces, or editing specific sections of your image.
- Get help choosing photo-editing software.
Find a photo printer
Once you’re done editing your digital photos, you can easily print them using an HP printer, like an HP Deskjet or Photosmart printer. Plus, each of these wireless e-All-in-Ones feature the mobile printing technology HP ePrint—now print from your smartphone or tablet virtually anywhere!1,2
- Print, scan, copy
- 2" mono touchscreen
- ISO print speed up to 8 pages per minute (ppm) black, 7.5 ppm color3
- Print, scan, copy
- 3.5" color touchscreen
- ISO print speed up to 11 ppm black, 7.5 ppm color4
- Automatic photo tray holds up to 20 pages
- Print, scan, copy, and eFax (send faxes without a phone line)
- 4.3" color touchscreen
- ISO print speed up to 13.5 ppm black, 9 ppm color4
- Automatic photo tray holds up to 20 pages
- Lab-quality photos from 5 individual inks
Visit the HP Photosmart printer buying guides to see the entire selection of HP Photosmart printers and All in Ones.
- 1Wireless performance is dependent upon physical environment and distance from access point, and may be limited during active VPN connections.
- 2Requires an Internet connection to the printer; may require a wireless access point with usage fees/data plans, registration, firmware upgrade, etc. ePrint setup requires email and internet access and works with any Internet-connected, email-capable device. Print times and connection speeds may vary. Some smartphones and tablets require data plan purchase. For HP ePrint details, see www.hp.com/go/ePrinterCenter.
- 3After first page or after first set of ISO test pages. For more information, see hp.com/go/printerclaims.
- 4ISO speeds measured using ISO/IEC 24734 or ISO/IEC 29183. Excludes first page or first set of test documents. For more information, see hp.com/go/printerclaims. Exact speed varies depending on the system configuration, software application, driver, and document complexity.