Image editing encompasses the processes of altering images, whether they be digital photographs, traditional photochemical photographs, or illustrations. Traditional analog image editing is known as photo retouching, using tools such as an airbrush to modify photographs, or editing illustrations with any traditional art medium.
Photo manipulation (also known as airbrushing or photoshopping) is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception after the original photographing took place. A mere enhancement or correction is known as retouching.
The color of images can be altered in a variety of ways. Colors can be faded in and out, and tones can be changed using curves or other tools. The color balance can be improved, which is important if the picture was shot indoors with daylight film, or shot on a camera with the white balance incorrectly set. Special effects, like sepia tone and grayscale, can be added to an image. In addition, more complicated procedures such as the mixing of color channels are possible using more advanced graphics editors.
The red-eye effect, which occurs when flash photos are taken when the pupil is too widely open (so that light from the flash that passes into the eye through the pupil reflects off the fundus at the back of the eyeball), can also be eliminated at this stage.
We have provisions to simultaneously change the contrast of images and brighten or darken the image. Underexposed images can often be improved by using this feature. Recent advances have allowed more intelligent exposure correction whereby only pixels below a particular luminosity threshold are brightened, thereby brightening underexposed shadows without affecting the rest of the image.