Oh, you mean like a digital lightbox?

This one definitely needs filing under “things I wish I’d known two months ago”.  I’ve been trying to make a lightbox for about a week now. It’s been a pretty tragicomic experience, what with having the wrong size of poster board for the box and then not having a lamp, then getting a lamp, but with the wrong kind of bulb. Let’s put it this way if this lightbox had been the subject of a sitcom episode it would have come to a sticky and hilarious end by now. I will persist, I think the lightbox is a really useful tool. But guess what? I’ve discovered something else even more useful. Paint.Net.

I say Paint.Net, because that’s the paint program I use to crop photos. I suppose there are lots of other photo editor programs, although I think Paint.Net is open source which means it’s free if you have a super-techie on hand who understands all the reconfiguration you’d need and has about a week to get it to work. This is an area I know nothing about. Actually, less than nothing. I have a guy who comes in and does all this stuff for me, he’s called Mr Natty Knitter.

Anyway, I thought I was getting pretty clever last week when I used the “clone stamp” tool to remove a greasy mark in the background of a photo I took for the Etsy shop last week. Of course what I should have been looking at was the “brightness” and “contrast” settings. Look, here’s an example. This is a photo taken using the lightbox, it’s alright, not very light, but you can see what’s going on:

Real Life Light

Real Life Light

And this is the same photo when I’ve used Paint.Net to up the brightness and contrast by 40%:

Computer Enhanced Light

Computer Enhanced Light

Now if you’re sitting at your computer saying “err yes, that’s pretty obvious”, then well done you. I’m guessing that either you’ve already been through this or you’ve taken a course or you’re under 25 years old. But if I’ve just helped one other ageing Luddite to have better photos then I’ve done my good deed for the day. Go, look for the brightness setting on your paint/photo editor software! I said go…

1 Comment

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One response to “Oh, you mean like a digital lightbox?

  1. Mr. Natty Knitter

    Just for your information, Paint.NET isn’t actually open source, but it is free. Also, there is no configuration or anything required. It installs just like any other Windows program, is very easy to use and has quite a few professional quality features. http://www.getpaint.net/download.html

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