Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lighten that Dark Photo using Fireworks MX 101

A common problem in taking product photos is that the item may appear too dark or that there's not enough light in the room to really see all of the details. I'll show you herea few simple basics you can use to make the picture look great using Fireworks MX.

The original photo was taken in what I thought was bright enough light. I had also cropped the picture to be a square 480x480 pixels using plain jane Microsoft Paint.
1. Open the .jpg of your photo using Fireworks MX. Select the bitmap. You should see the handles around the bitmap turn blue. In the Properties box, click on the "+" next to the Effects. (Circled in purple).

2. Click on "Adjust Color", and move your mouse to the right to get the pull-out menu to show up. Since the picture has a problem of being too dark & I'd like to make it look brighter, I choose "Brightness/Contrast".

3. The Brightness/Contrast dialog pops up. Make sure you have preview checked, as this will allow you to see what effect moving the brightness and contrast slides will have. These are fun to play with to see what you can get.

As you can see from the two pictures below, Brightness set to 100 looks washed out. Contrast set to 100 is definitely not what we're looking for!. Somewhere in the middle is a happy medium that will make the photo look much improved.

4. I played with the sliders until I got what I felt looked pretty decent, with Brightness increased to 44 from 0 and Contrast increased to 33 from 0. These numbers will of course vary greatly depending on your own photos.

The final photo shows the finished product, all nice and bright. Makes me look like I know what I'm doing with a camera after all! As this is my first shot at tutorials, your comments are appreciated for improving the next ones!

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