Correct Your Exposure
Bad exposure--whether it's underexposure or overexposure--is the most noticeable photo problem you'll run into. The good news is that many of your pictures can be easily improved by using your photo editor's Levels or Histogram control. Open a photo in Adobe Photoshop Elements, for example, and choose Enhance, Adjust Lighting, Levels.
You'll see a graph called a histogram that shows how all the bright and dark pixels are distributed in your photo. If a lot of pixels are crowded against the right side of the graph, it's probably somewhat overexposed. A lot of pixels at the left extremity of the graph mean underexposure. To brighten the entire photo, drag the White Point on the right side of the graph to the left. Likewise, to darken the photo, drag the Black Point on the left side to the right. If you only want to adjust the midtones in the photo, drag the middle arrow to the left or right.
Resizing the Photo
Click for full image.To get started, pick out the photo that you'd like to use as your cover image. If you prefer, you can experiment with my snowy tree.
Open the photo in your favorite photo editor. (I use Adobe Photoshop Elements, but the steps are similar no matter which program you use.) Choose Image, Resize, Image Size, and set the photo dimensions to fit on the front of the card, with a small margin around the edges.
In this case, since the card will be 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide, let's enter a height of 3.5 inches and let the width set itself automatically to keep the photo in proportion. That will make the picture a little smaller than th card, so there will be a snazzy blank border around the image.
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