Quick Picture Treatment
As some of you know, I advocate the use of Irfanview (free image manipulation program). I use it for quick jobs, visual navigation, preview, and batch conversions. It is quicker and easier to use than Lightroom (my opinion), very stable, and easy to learn. I also recommend it when a photographer is first starting with image processing programs.
One of the most common uses of photo processing software is modifying an image to bring forth a feeling or mood. This is the basis of the wildly popular Instagram. Instagram has taken the world by storm because of how easy it is in only a few clicks, to emotionally modify an otherwise well color-balanced picture. However, quick fixes are always limited and Photoshop professional can create much more ‘tuned’ modification that better suit the subject of the composition.
My favorite ‘instant’ modification is something that can be done very easily in Irfanview. If you are just starting out, this will also be a great little introduction to what this amazing program can do.
Assuming you have Irfanview already downloaded and installed on your computer, open an image, any image, in the program
Now shift + G to bring up the color correction dialog box (or in the menu; Image >> Color Corrections)
See the section for Color Balance in the lower left part of the interface? Enter these settings:
For R (Red); 20
For G (Green); -6
For B (Blue); -40
These setting work great. You could call them golden but they work differently for different images.
A quick Google search will bring you to a site that downloads Irfanview. My favorite is Download.com (CNet): Irfanview from Download.com
You can use the settings ‘as is’ but I am guessing that now you know how they work, you will try many (many) variations. Get the hang of tools on the right hand side and your pictures will start to really sing. BTW – these color settings applied to a B&W picture will create a Sepia tone!
(Note: I don’t make nothing from nothing on this program or website. There is no affiliation, its just stuff I use).