We are in an amazing age when people can relax more about taking pictures. No longer do you have to wait until you have the perfect lighting to be able to snap a good shot. Nowadays, you can use the photo software that comes with most new computers or digital cameras to make even so-so pictures look better with just a couple adjustments.

It might take a bit of experimenting with your new photo editing software to learn all of the tools and the different options available. But many of the newest versions have some basic automated functions that can very quickly improve your photos without the need of a degree in graphic design.

One of the most basic adjustments that can be made with good photo software, such as Adobe Photoshop, and also one that quickly makes a big difference, is the adjustment for lightening the picture. Every brand of photo editing software includes options that allow you to adjust the brightness and the contrast levels of a picture by simply moving a couple sliders in a special dialog box.

As you move the sliders you will be able to see the changes to the picture. When you get it just the way you like it, you can choose to make those changes, usually just by clicking on "OK." Just remember to also go to the file menu to save the pictures permanently.

If you are not sure about the changes that you are making with the software, then you can go up to the file menu and choose "Save As," which will let you create a copy that has your changes and will leave the original file untouched. You might want to re-name the photo so that you can easily recognize the file, or you can just add a letter or number at the end of the original file name.

If you are working with files that come from a digital camera, then you will find in most cases that the file names are just a series of letters and numbers that almost seem random. If you are going to be doing a lot of editing with your photo editing tool, then it is a good idea to develop some sort of standard naming system and convert the file names so you can easily identify your digital pictures. Using a combination of a good file naming scheme with a good system of file folders will be helpful and will help you keep your hard drives organized as well.

Many photo editing programs also have a function that helps you to organize and categorize your digital pictures. This is important if you will be taking digital pictures on a regular basis, as you can soon find that sorting through folder after folder of digital images to find that one photo can be frustrating. It is best when dealing with a lot of photos to use image management software to make your life easier.

Once you have had a chance to do some basic adjustments to some of your images with your photo software, you may decide you want to delve in and learn about some of the more advanced features. There are some great software downloads sites that have some plug-in software tools to add features to different photo editing software. And, while you are online searching for those, drop by some of the forums for tips and tricks from power users.