Let's face it, photo editing isn't everyone's forte—yet getting photos right is a key part of being able to present products well and turn them into sales.

We've previously covered the inkFrog image editor as an overview, but we thought it might be useful to provide some visual illustrations to help users that aren't familiar with common photo editing terms.

Here are some examples of what each of the most commonly-used inkFrog photo editing tools actually does.

Our Original Image

Let's start with a basic product image. In real life, we'd set out to get the camera's exposure, white balance, and other basic settings a bit more bang-on than this before taking the photos—but for illustration purposes, this image will do just fine.


In our next post, we'll actually fix this image up completely by stringing multiple inkFrog editing tricks together, but for this post, we'll use this image to illustrate what many of inkFrog's tools do, one at a time.

Here we go!

Enhance (Hi-Def)


The "Enhance" tool has three sub-tools. "Hi-Def" is the first of these, and it literally increases the definition visible in the image by lightening the edges of light areas and darkening the edges of dark areas.

Enhance (Illuminate)


"Illuminate" is the second of the options in the "Enhance" tool, and it's used to simulate dramatic lighting when your lighting is otherwise flat.

Enhance (Color Fix)


"Color Fix" is the last of the options in the "Enhance" tool, and is used to try to automatically remove a strong color cast. Notice how the yellow-greenish cast of the original image has been significantly reduced here.

Effects


Use the "Effects" tool to apply a variety of pre-determined adjustments to color and lighting to your image. What you see is what you get here—select an effect from the preview list whose look you like, then click it to apply the effect to your full-sized image.

Frames


"Frames" does exactly what you might imagine it would do—it draws a frame around your image. There are a number of different from styles to choose from, from wood simulations to film edges to this textured black frame. Click on each option to preview it full-size until you find one that you like.

Stickers


"Stickers" adds little icons to your image. Select an icon (a "sticker") that you'd like to add, then click and drag to move it around or click and drag on its corners to rotate or resize it. (The black square around the sticker disappears when you click "Apply" to save your changes.)

Orientation


Use "Orientation" to flip your image horizontally or vertically (the "Mirror" buttons) or to rotate your image clockwise or counter-clockwise (the "Rotate" buttons). Here we've flipped our original dragon image horizontally so that he's facing left instead of right.

Brightness


The "Brightness" tool provides a slider that you can use to increase or decrease the overall brightness of the entire image. This can be used to turn light areas white, to turn dark areas black, or simply to lighten or darken the image overall.

Contrast


The "Contrast" tool makes light areas lighter and dark areas darker, not just at the edges where they meet (as is the case with the "Enhance" tool's "Hi-Def" option) but everywhere. Images that look flat, weak, or washed out can often benefit from a boost in contrast.

Saturation


Use the "Saturation" tool to increase or decrease the intensity of the colors in your image. Drag to the left to decrease color intensity, or to the right to increase it. Drag all the way to the left edge to turn your image black-and-white.

Warmth


Use this tool to make your image seem "warmer" (more yellow) or "cooler" (more blue), particularly in light areas. Here the image has been made just a little bit cooler. Notice how the yellow cast has become a more green-blue cast.

Sharpness


The "Sharpness" tool enables you to either increase or decrease the degree to which the fine details and edges in your image "pop" as you look at them. Just be careful—adding sharpness is addictive, but it can also make your images look unnatural.

Splash


Use "Splash" to turn the entirety of your image—except for parts that you select—to black and white. When you start the tool, your entire image will turn gray. Then, use the brush to "restore" colors in just those areas where you'd like to have color back again.

Blemish


Use the "Blemish" tool to hide little marks, bits of dust or debris, or other photo defects that you don't want visible in your photos. In this case, we've hidden dust spots on the dragon's horns and feet, and some of the stray glitter on a wing. Look closely—the effect is subtle—but it's supposed to be.

Remember not to edit out actual defects in your products—these should be visible in your photos so that shoppers understand they're there. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a return later when your shopper finds out that key details about your product weren't represented in photos.

What did we leave out?

It's tricky to do a post like this one because there are a lot of tools—yet the post is already really, really long. For this post, we've left out a few tools that most sellers know about or that are most easiest to understand or use without seeing them visually.

These include:

  • The "Crop" tool, which enables you to trim edges off an image by clicking and dragging.

  • The "Resize" tool, which enables you to resize an image if it's too large or too small for effective use on eBay.

  • The "Focus" tool, which enables you to blur all of your image but an area that you select, to draw shoppers' attention to that area.

  • The "Draw" tool, which enables you to simply draw on your image freehand style.

  • The "Text" tool, which enables you to type text over your image.

  • The "Redeye" tool, which enables you to click on red eyes caused by a camera flash to turn them black.

  • The "Whiten" tool, which enables you to whiten just certain parts of your image by brushing (clicking and dragging) over them.

Whew! That's a lot of tools available to you in inkFrog's built-in image editor.

You've now seen how a large number of them work—but you haven't seen them used together yet to really clean up and improve an image with multiple defects, like this one.

We'll do that in our next post.

For now, review the tools in this post and become familiar with what each of them does, so that you'll be ready to use them whenever the need arises with your own images!

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