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Up until recently, I seriously thought that professional photographers just knew how to take good pictures.  I thought that once the shutter button was pressed, that was it.  You either had that perfect picture or you didn’t.  This is one reason why I have welcomed the digital age.  No longer do I have to wait until my film is developed to know if I got “the shot” or not.  With a digital camera, I can see the picture right away, and usually know if someone has a stupid look on their face or a piece of background looks like it’s growing out of someone’s head.  Or maybe there was a glare from something, or the color didn’t come out quite right.

Anyway, it was only recently that I learned the big secret: photographers edit their photographs.  Apparently photographers have been doing this since the dawn of photography, even long before the invention of the word, “digital.”  I had no idea!  Since I am the most amateur of picture-takers, this idea fascinates me.  True, the better the starting shot, the better the final image, so there is skill needed from the start of the process, but if you just can’t get it quite right in person, you can fix it later, and that’s OKAY.  Awesome!!

So, yesterday morning I woke up to some beautiful snow around my parents’ house.  I say beautiful because it was pretty and white and only deep enough to be pretty, not so deep it was tough to walk or drive through.  (I have a love/hate relationship with snow, but that is for another post.)  I grabbed my camera and headed outside to take some pictures of the snow on the trees and such before it all melted away.

Today, I pulled up the pics on my laptop (which is not my primary computer) and discovered that the only photo editing software I have on this machine is Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  So far, I like this.  It’s simple and basic, like me right now.  Maybe someday I’ll find the time to get more complicated and learn to use the Paint Shop Pro software I have on my desktop computer at home.  Doing that is up there with loading up my copy of Rosetta Stone and finally learning Swedish, but it’s on the list.  But, I digress.  Again.  Sorry.  I pulled up my pics on MOPM, fiddled a little, and Ta DA!!  Pretty pictures!  The originals are pretty bare and bland, but just a little fiddling has made me VERY happy.  Since I know a lot of you folks are far more advanced than I am, I welcome any tips on software or tricks that you might have! Enjoy!