photo autocorrect.jpgIf you’ve ever toyed around with any digital camera for five minutes, you know that the pictures it takes often look different than what you saw in real-life. Common complaints include photos being too bright/dark or having an odd-looking color balance. Looking for a one-click fix to these problems? Read on.

The tool we’re going to use is the recently overhauled Paint.NET. It has been around for some time now and gained quite a following since its inception. It’s great for the occasional photo resizing and cropping job and supports layered picture editing. It was only recently that I discovered that it also has an auto-fix function to make your pictures look better. Here’s how it works.

  1. Open an image in Paint.NET.
  2. Go to the Adjustments menu and select Auto-Level.

Pretty easy, right? I’ve taken a few pictures with my cheapskate digital camera to test it out. The results range from pretty good to downright awkward. Let’s have a look. (Click a thumbnail to enlarge it.)

Before After
before 1.jpg after 1.jpg
before 2-1.jpg after 2.jpg
before 3.jpg after 3.jpg
before 4.jpg after 4.jpg

As you can see, your mileage may vary. Still, for that tiny bit of extra production value, it’s always worth a try before showing off your pictures to friends and family . For a look at some of Paint.NET’s other functions such as red eye removal, click here.

Download Paint.NET (Windows only; Freeware)