This post will cover techniques for brightening your images using Adobe Photoshop and Picnik. Picnik is free and has lots of fun effects such as the Holga camera as well as brightening settings.
The reason I use photo editing software quite a lot is that the weather can often be quite unpredictable in the UK. I just take what I can get with regards to the weather and my little point and shoot! I would love to master the use of lights as I take almost all my Blythe pics indoors. Perhaps I will learn more about that technique over Winter!
Anyway, on to Photoshop! I don't imagine it matters what version you use as these are very basic functions.
Click the little black and white circle on your layers palette to add a "new fill or adjustment layer". Select curves and a new window will open depicting a chart. Drag the line on the graph to brighten your image to your satisfaction.
Next I open the exposure window. This is also accessed by clicking on the black and white circle.
You will want to play around with the bars until you settle on something that looks right to you. You probably won't need to wildly change the exposure settings after adding the curves layer. I can't tell you what specific values to change the settings to as your images will all be different, not just to mine but within your own image set.
I then fiddle a little bit with brightness/contrast (also found in the adjustment layer menu) for the final touches. I know it might seem like a bit of a faff but I honestly think it's worth it! You can then merge the layers and save for web once you're done :)
You can also use Picnik which is a free software that you can access here. You don't have to download anything to your desktop. Well, except your finished picture!
As you can see the exposure setting is comparable to curves. Not too shabby!
I hope this post wasn't too vague but this really is something you have to play around with.
Ask Clem will be back next Wednesday and I'll have tips on photo effects the week after. Good times!
p.s Little Val is modeling a prototype dress design for my shop. Keep your eyes peeled! The hat is currently available here.