Start Up Tips

Here's some hints to help you get right off to a good start, and begin learning DPM retouching skills really quickly.

  • Start out by learning and using PhotoScape. This is a solid, easy-to-use freeware program, and it can handle the bulk of your regular retouching or "post-processing" tasks. It has clear and practical user instructions right below the editing screen. It also has super tutorials available on the Web, in fact you can reach them right from the opening or startup screen of the program.

  • Always take as many tutorial exercises as you can find on the Web. Yes, even though they might be for PhotoShop or PhotoImpact or some other high-horsepower photo editor, you will pick up good techniques and methods that you can also use with the simpler freeware and shareware programs. You can often borrow the methods and techniques from the "high-end" tutorials.

  • Spend a little bit of money on some of the automatic processing software. I'd recommend you for sure purchase Retouch Pilot and Recolored. These two programs will let you do some heavy-duty professional retouching work in just the shortest time. They provide you with real power in corrective retouching and in colorization of black & white photo images. And you'll do it in 4 or 5 minutes instead of 45 minutes or an hour!

  • Outsource your serious printing work - No, I don't mean pricey printing at a professional photographer or commercial photography studio. If you want some good quality prints, and don't want to or haven't yet spent money on better computer printer equipment, quality inks and photo paper, then head for the nearest cheap photo-printing outlets. Yep, I mean Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens, etc. These places do really decent quality photo printing for rock-bottom prices. I mean, like $2 - $4 for a pretty good quality 8x10 color print. You literally can't miss with these services. If it's not up to your standards, of how good you think that particular photo image ought to print out, well, just tell 'em, "No, thanks," and refuse the order. You'll soon find out which of your local outlets will deliver good quality prints. Plus, many of them won't mind at all sending a poor quality or defective print order back for a second try!