Using the FSpot Editor

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Learn Photo Editing

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Not only can F-Spot organize your photos, but it also provides an image editor with some advanced features to help you clean up your photos. After importing an image, you can use the image editor to apply various effects. Follow these steps to work with an image:

1. Open an image for editing from the browse window. You can open an image for editing by double-clicking on the image or by single-clicking the image and then clicking the Edit Image button in the toolbar. The selected image appears enlarged, and the other images in the library appear in a scroll area across the top, as shown in Figure 10-15.

2. Enter a comment for the image in the Comment text box. You can store comments, which are hidden in normal view but appear when you edit the image. This feature is great for adding notes about things you need to change or what the image is for.

3. Select an editing constraint from the Crop tool's drop-down box. Editing constraints allow you to specify guidelines for the image size, ensuring that you don't crop the image too large or too small. The available editing constraints are

• No Constraint: Allows you to set any size for the crop area.

• Same as Photo: Maintains the current dimension ratio of the image.

Figure 10-15: The F-Spot Edit Image window.

• 4 x 3 (Book): Sets the dimension ratio to 4 x 3, a common size used in photo books.

• 4 x 7 (Postcard): Sets the dimension ratio to 4 x 7, the size of a postcard in the United States.

• 5 x 7 (L, 2L): Sets the dimension ratio to 5 x 7, commonly used for mid-sized photos.

• 8 x 10: Sets the dimension ratio to 8 x 10, a common size for larger photos.

• Square: Restricts the crop area to a perfect square.

• Custom Ratios: Allows you to set your own custom dimensions to ensure you don't crop outside those dimensions.

The editing constraints prevent you from changing the image dimensions beyond the specified size. This ensures that your image will fit as desired. Select an area of the image you want to work with. When you click and drag inside the image area, the total image becomes grayed out and the selection area becomes brighter. The image selection area is constrained by the editing constraint, if selected.

Click the Crop icon (the first icon in the bottom row of buttons). This action removes the excess image area from around the selected crop area. The new image area should now correspond to the editing constraint size you selected in step 3.

6. Edit the image using the Edit buttons in the bottom area. The image editing tools that F-Spot offers are

• Redeye Removal: Select the area around eyes and click this button to help reduce the redeye effect from flashes.

• Manually Adjust Colors: Alter the image shade and color.

• Convert Image to Black and White: Change the image to black and white (grayscale).

• Convert Image to Sepia Tones: Change the image to a brown-tone image, similar to old-style photographs.

• Adjust the Image Angle: Align the image with the background.

• Create a Soft-Focus Visual Effect: Slightly blur the image to produce the effect of using a soft lens in photography.

• Automatically Adjust Colors: Allow F-Spot to determine the best color shading for the image.

When you select the Manually Adjust Colors tool, the Adjust Color window, shown in Figure 10-16, appears.

You can adjust common photo features such as exposure, saturation, and brightness of the image.

7. Exit the Edit Image window by clicking the Browse button in the toolbar.

Figure 10-16: The F-Spot Adjust Color window.

When you edit an image in F-Spot, it automatically saves the original and creates a copy of the edited image. The version setting in the Image Information area indicates that you're viewing a modified version of the original image. This setting continues when you return to Browse mode.

You can reset back to the original image by selecting the image in Browse mode, clicking the Version drop-down list in the lower-left corner of the screen, and selecting the original entry. Each time you edit an image you create another modified copy of the image. F-Spot maintains all of the modified copies and allows you to easily switch among them using the Version drop-down list.

You can assign a specific name to a version by creating the new version before editing it. Select the image, then select Photo O Create New Version from the menu bar. A dialog box appears, asking you to name the new version. Once you assign a name to the version, you can use the Edit Image feature to edit that version. All edits to the image remain in that version.

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