Let’s lift the curtain a bit, shall we? What do I really look like before my pics are editied???
Heather from Closet Case Files took us through her editing process, and offered advice on editing for a clean, modern look. She swears by Lightroom, but I go with two free options: iPhoto and Snapseed. It’s a combo I’ve been using for years, but I’m excited to try out some other options this month too.
I prefer to spend some extra time taking photos and less time editing them after. Editing photos is great, but it can only do so much!
For example, here are some photos from my recent Appleton post – for all these examples, the original is on the left, and the edited version is on the right.
This picture has had 2 simple edits in iPhoto, and that’s it. For most of my pictures, that’s all I do. Like this:
For each project, I play around to find the basic edits needed, given the lighting, time of day, exposure etc for that particular photoshoot. In this case, and for the portrait above, all I did was bump up the black 3% (so the darks are darker) and increase warmth 4% (to counteract the blue light in the shade where I took pictures.) Then I copy those edits, and paste them onto the other pics in the series. Easy! There are always some shots that need more work, but for that, I prefer to use Snapseed.
Snapseed is a free app and computer program for picture editing. It does all the normal stuff like brighten, increase contrast, crop, tilt-and-shift, apply filters etc, but it also lets you adjust certain areas independently. For example, in the picture above, I use the “Centre Focus” tool to brighten the dress, and then I used “Add Control Point” under “Tune Image” to select the shadows on my skin and brighten them up. Adjusting just those specific points means I can make the clothes pop without affecting the whole picture! You can also save your favourite edits as presets, and apply them to any photo later.
Here’s what Snapseed looks like:
It has all the same functionality on the phone/iPad app, but it might take a couple of minutes to get used to the interface.
Here’s a picture that needed a bit more work:
As I mentioned in my Appleton post, this pic was underexposed, but I loved the bright colours in the background. I used the same tools as above to brighten my dress and face, and did a little bit of overall brightening. I can’t decide if I should have pushed the colours warmer, or if that would ruin the blue sky! When in doubt, I’m trying to do less, so I won’t regret it later.
Speaking of which – wanna see my editing style in 2012???
AGHHHHH! Look at the overuse of the tilt-and-shift (making some parts blurry) and the dark vignetting in the corners. What was I thinking? (Actually, my Dad recently pointed out his love for subtle vignetting, to draw the eye the eye inwards, and he’s totally right. I was just going to far!)
Sometimes though, all you can do is make the best of a mediocre picture, like this shot from Me-Made May.
This shot was taken at 7am while the sun was still coming up, and I was heading off to a (disasterous) class trip. Dim lighting, poor choice of background colours, and no time, so this was GOOD ENOUGH! I edited it to be a bit brighter, and moved on with my life.
Sometimes a picture is almost great, but the camera settings weren’t quite right:
In this case I darkened things a bit. Overexposed pics are heard because there just isn’t any picture information in the blown out white parts to rescue – see how the skin on my cheeks is a bit grey in the edited version, because it essentially just photographed as white? I think maybe shooting in RAW could help this, but I’ve yet to experiment!
I hope that’s a helpful view into how I edit pictures – I can’t wait to start reading your posts and see how you go about it! Remember, the “homework” this week is to try a new editing method, and show us the before and after pictures. (Or maybe show us your before and afters for how you edit now, or maybe show us one picture edited for different looks. I’m not a strict teacher – make the assignment your own!)
Do you edit your pics? If yes, how do you do it? If no, is there anything you’d like to learn to do?