Improve your Favourite Photos for Free

While I am sad at the passing of summer, autumn does bring its compensations, especially for a photographer. I have siezed every opportunity to go out with my camera to try to capture the autumn colours in the soft light.

But I find that I am increasingly less fanatical about getting exactly the right camera settings in terms of shutter speed, aperture and ISO, preferring to concentrate on observing the subject, and compensating or honing the results later in Adobe Photoshop.

The three most common ‘mistakes’ I make are over-exposure, wrong colour balance and tilted horizons. The first two tend to occur after I have been photographing indoors, using a high ISO setting and forgetting to lower it when I go outside, or setting the colour balance to tungsten light, and forgetting to set it back to daylight.

All three ‘mistakes’ can be corrected in Photoshop. But even the very best photographs can still be improved: lightening shadows, increasing or decreasing the contrast, adjusting the colour saturation, increasing the clarity, sharpening the detail, reducing digital noise.

I have recently been going through old rejected photographs, and after improvement, some of them were real gems! And it suddenly occurred to me, perhaps this is a service I could offer my readers.

So, for a limited period, you can send me your digital photographs, and I will improve them for you absolutely free! The only limitation is that it is not possible to improve the focus. Out of focus will remain so no matter what.

  • Attach up to 10 photos and mail them to
  • RAW format work best (.cr2 Canon, .nef Nikon), but .jpg can also be improved
  • Pictures taken on smartphones are also eligible
  • If possible, say which make of camera was used (Canon, Nikon, Apple etc)
  • If you want the photo cropping, then give a brief description
  • I will try to mail the improved versions back within 24 hours of receipt

If you would like to see some examples of what is possible, below I proudly present my Rogue’s Gallery of incompetent photographs that I have subsequently improved.

Under Exposure:

Over Exposure


Colour correction:

Lightening shadows to reveal details:

Improve sharpness and clarity:

Perspective correction:

Softening the background:


All-round improvement:

Remove unwanted detail:

Improve the sky:

Mobile phone example:


Vegetarian Full English Breakfast Fry Up

Vegetarian Full English Breakfast Fry Up.

A number of my recipes contain tinned/bottled white haricot beans. I love the silky texture in pasta, and mashed they make a great alternative to potato, on their own or say in fishcakes. It is cheaper to buy a 1kg jar, but the trouble is I tend to have quite a lot left, and they do not freeze well, or keep longer than a few days in the fridge.

Anyway, this morning, I decided to eschew my usual breakfast of fruit, and hummus on toast, and turn the leftover beans into homemade baked beans…Well, you know how it is, one thing leads to another, and it ended up as a FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST! And mighty nice it was too, though I am still groaning from the amount of food as I write this.

The Complete Vegetarian Full English Breakfast Fry Up Menu

  • Homemade baked beans
  • Vegetarian Sausages (click for recipe)
  • Grilled Tomatoes
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Fried Eggs
  • Chunky Garlic and Rosemary Chips (I also had some leftover potatoes in the fridge)
  • Homemade rolls (Mrs DAVEggie likes to keep some in the freezer)

I would recommend saving this for special occasions, as it is a lot of effort, and dare I say has more noughts in the calories than would fit on this page. Unfortunately, such was my hunger and anticipation, I ate the lot without taking a photograph. So it looks like I am going to have to do it all again tomorrow.

As a matter of interest, I looked up other ideas for a vegetarian FEBFU on line, and I can confidently claim that in comparison to what is on offer, the above DAVEggie combination is superior and THE BEST THERE IS. Indeed many of the ideas seemed more like culinary punishment than indulgence, such as a joyless sounding unfried gluten-free vegan version.

Serves 2
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: **
Origin: Britain

Baked Beans

1 tbsp olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle or smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
400g cooked white haricot beans, washed and drained


  1. Chop the tomatoes and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and fry the tomatoes until they are mushy and the oil has turned orange.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Then add the chipotle, paprika and oregano and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  4. Add the beans and a good splash or water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water as necessary.

Vegetarian Sausages

  • I like to keep a quantity in the freezer.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive or sunflower oil in a frying pan which will be large enough for frying 2 eggs as well.
  • Fry the sausages for about 5 minutes over a medium heat, turning frequently so they are nicely browned on all sides.

Grilled tomatoes

  • Cut 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes in half. Sprinkle with salt and brush with oil. Grill for about 5 minutes until the tops are nicely browned.

Sautéed Mushrooms

100g chestnut mushrooms
5g butter
1/6 mushroom stock cube
lemon juice


  1. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms (I reserve these for stock.)
  2. If the mushrooms are larger than about 5cm then cut in half.
    melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan and add about 1 tbsp of water and the stock cube.
  3. Add the mushrooms and a squeeze of lemon juice, add swirl round to coat.
  4. Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms should release quite a lot of water which will make a nice mushroomy gravy.

Chunky Garlic and Rosemary Chips

1 garlic clove
50ml olive oil
4 rosemary sprigs
200g cooked or parboiled potatoes


  1. Cut the potatoes into chunky wedges.
  2. Crush the clove of garlic, but do not chop.
  3. Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed frying pan.
    Add the garlic and rosemary to the oil and heat gently until it is
  4. just bubbling. Regulate the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, making sure that the garlic does not burn.
  5. Add the potatoes, turn the heat up to medium, and fry until golden, turning frequently.
  6. If the garlic and/or rosemary should begin to burn, then remove.
  7. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little salt.

Fried Eggs

  • About a couple of minutes before the sausages are cooked, fry the eggs as you like them. My preference is for a crispy base, white just set on top, and yolk very runny.

To serve

  • Place everything attractively on warmed plates.

To Simplify Things

Use tinned baked beans (shudder) and oven chips.

© DAVEggie