Ever take what you expect to be a "perfect" photograph, only to later find that it has just one little unexpected problem that keeps it from being "perfect"? You know the ones, a phone or electric cable shows up in your "perfect" sunset, that "perfect" smile on your childs face - along with a tiny piece of spinach in their teeth, etc, etc. A "perfect" photo is an elusive thing, but a lot of otherwise "flawed" photos can be made "perfect" with just a little bit of re-touching.
Save the picture, and your money
Pro photographers have for years turned to computer applications such as Adobe Photoshop and similar programs to take care of these little "imperfections" that pop up, but let's be honest - those programs are expensive! Unless you're a professional, it's hard to justify shelling out hundreds of dollars just to be able to work on your pictures that way. Fortunately, there are other alternatives, some of which are actually free! If you've purchased a digital camera in the past couple of years, chances are that your camera came with software you can use to remove "redeye" or correct brightness and other minor issues. A quick search of the internet will take you to several free applications that can do even more! While there are far too many worthy programs to mention in this article (and we don't want to endorse any one particular product over another) I will mention just a few to get you started.
Help yourself, it's free!
As mentioned before, many professionals turn to Photoshop from Adobe for their "image tool" needs, but now even amatuers can take advantage of many of it's features. Simply point your browser to "http://www.photoshop.com" and you can sign up to use many of their tools for free - right online! Want something more "in-depth"? Another really useful application is called "GIMP" (that's "GNU Image Manipulation Program" folks) and it too is absolutely free! Just go to "http://www.gimp.org" for all the information you'll need to download, install and learn to use this handy set of image tools.
Share and share alike
Once you've made your photo repairs, there are numerous sites on the internet on which you can publish your photographic masterpieces. The popular social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc., all include the ability to post pictures to share with others. Some sites are even primarily dedicated to photo's, such as Flickr, Picasa, DailyBooth, Sneppi, etc., and include editing tools you can use as well. With such a wealth of resources available to help you "fix" your pictures, and with so many places to publish your photo's, there's really no reason to keep those "great shots" all to yourself! Get out there, take some great pictures, and let the rest of the world enjoy them too!