You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality photo editor. Windows Live Essentials comes with Windows Live Photo Gallery, an all-in-one tool to help you tweak, share and display your pictures. If you do not already have Windows Live Essentials installed, you can get it from here for free. Along with Windows Live Photo Gallery, Essentials also comes with Mail, Movie Maker, Messenger and other popular Microsoft programs.
Popular Editing Tools in Windows Live Photo Gallery
There are a lot of tools to utilize in Windows Live Photo Gallery (WLPG). You’ll find you only use a few most of the time, but you’ll always have the option to get as detailed with your pictures as you want. Here are a few of the most popular tools:
Auto Adjust – Auto Adjust is one of the simplest things you can do to quickly fix a picture. While you can fine tune an image using the manual color correction, exposure and detail tools, Auto Adjust is a one-click fix in most cases. Try that first. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can always undo the change. Look at the examples below:
The top image is the original and the bottom is the result of using the Auto Adjust button. While the differences might be subtle, you can see the color, contrast and shadows are much more defined in the second picture.
Facial Recognition – WLPG has the ability to recognize faces in pictures once you define who they are the first time. Under the Tag and Caption button, select the People tag to put a name to that face.
You’ll see in the example above that we’ve tagged Leslie’s face with her name. In theory, WLPG will be able to recognize her in other photos.
Crop – The Crop tool allows you to drag a grid around the part of the photo you want to keep and eliminate the rest.
To crop a picture, select the crop tool from the ribbon menu. Next, drag the grid around a section of the image and hit enter on your keyboard. The part within the grid remains and the rest of the image is cropped out.
Other Photo Editing Tools In Windows Live Photo Gallery
Tags and Ratings – Tags are keywords you use to describe the picture. In this example, we might use “Birthday.” You can use the tag feature to geo tag a location or insert a caption into the picture. Ratings are an indicator of how much you like the picture. This helps organize your photos based on keywords and popularity.
Red Eye Removal – Remove the annoying red eye effect from people and animals using the Red Eye tool.
Retouch – Retouch is a tool that helps remove imperfections or blemishes from a photo. Select the Retouch tool and then drag a box around what you want to fix and it magically disappears.
When you’re done, click the Create tab in the ribbon menu to email or share your image on your favorite social media site. You can even set the image as your desktop background or order actual prints from printing companies in your area.
If you use Windows Live Photo Gallery, let us know what you think.