Make your photos look better the easy way

If you like to get the best out of your photos you certainly have to go for professional software like photoshop (quite expensive) or maybe The Gimp (quite complicated). But there is also a lot of free software that could help you in doing easy improvement jobs.

For my private collection I am sometimes working with jpg-Illuminator these days. It’s free for private use… but unfortunately only available in German so far.

The thing I like most about jpg-Illuminator is that it is a very slim piece of software that needs less than 8 MB of disk space and runs without need for installation. You could copy the program files to any USB flash drive and could start it directly from there if you like.

Some workflow basics:

  • Start jpgIlluminator.exe and drag-and-drop the image you would like to improve into the program workspace (or just select Datei – Öffnen from the menu)
  • Orientation of the photo not correct? Go to “Bild” and select “Ausrichtung”. Left-click into the photo and move the grid so that it matches the horizon in the photo. Tick “automatisch beschneiden” on the left side and select “Bild ausrichten”.
  • You would like to crop your photo in order to emphasise a certain detail? Click “Beschneiden…” in menu “Bild”. Select “Seitenverhältnis” 3:2 and select the area you like. You could always enlarge the area by clicking on any edge or move it by clicking into the area.
  • Picture too dark? Move the “Belichtungskorrektur” marker slightly to the right.
  • Colors not correct? Select the pippet right of “Farbkorrektur” and choose a grey spot in the photo.
  • and so on and so on

All these information are much better explained in the manual and I strongly recommend using the available options by trial and error in order to see how they work.

Just one hint: If you save your result in the end by clicking “Datei” “Speichern unter…”, jpg-Illuminator will automatically suggest adding an “_ji.jpg” to your file name (this will leave your original file as it is). In the same folder you will afterward find a file name .jif. This file contains just the changes you made to that file. You could drag-and-drop this file into any other photo you open in jpg-Illuminator in order to use the same settings on a new photo.

Again, this is basic image processing only and these information are intended not for professionals.

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