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First things first: I’ve finally managed to update my Bloglovin account to have this web address on it, and you can head over there to follow me by clicking the link above!
Now, on to the important stuff: photo-editing. Photography is one of my passions, but I only have my phone to take photos with. And so if I want a shot of a beautiful plate of food for my @eating_with_em account, or a sunset for my personal IG account, then I need to know how to make the best of that. Thankfully, you guys think that I do make the best of it- and I’ve had a couple of DMs asking for photo-editing tips.
Though the individuals who sent me DMs have been given a couple of tips already, this is my complete list of getting great photos with minimal equipment. I don’t have the time to learn how to use photoshop right now, nor the money for professional editing equipment, so I have six IG-based tips to edit your photos…
Consider what exactly you’re photographing
Obviously, taking a picture of a bowl of porridge and of a sunset are slightly different. I would encourage you to think about how the photo needs to come across before editing. A shot of food is better off being brighter and clearer, whereas a sunset can be a little darker and more atmospheric, with warmer colours and more blurred lines. If you like certain filters, then I would personally keep these for more artistic shots, and not ones of food.
Think of it as bringing the photograph closer to how it looks in the flesh
When editing my photos I try and compensate for the barrier that the lighting/camera quality can place between the viewer and the object as I see it. When editing photos (unless you want to make them slightly less true-to-life) think of it as working toward that goal. I often now simply adjust the editing features without looking at them, focusing on the picture itself, and stopping once it looks how I saw it in the flesh.
Reduce the shadows
In Britain, particularly in the north, we often have incredibly bad lighting. And so I usually have to reduce the shadows. When I first started IG-ing I didn’t cotton on to this, and my food pictures were embarrassingly shady. If you reduce the shadows all the way up to 100, then you can see the image more clearly. Of course, once you’ve used all of these tips you may need to add some shadow back in.
Alternatively, if it isn’t food you’re photographing you may want to increase the shadows slightly. If you have a great sunset shot, then try increasing the shadows a little, to make the lighter areas and richer colours pop.
Increase the brightness
This follows on from the first tip. By increasing the brightness you can see the image more clearly, and it looks more attractive to the eye. I like a light and airy IG feed, so these first two tips are my priorities.
Now adjust the warmth
If it’s super sunny out the image can often look, well, orange. Ideally you want a good source of natural, clean, bright light in place of this. Try not to take your photos in direct, super bright sunlight (try standing near a good natural light source, but with your back to the window if the light is extremely strong). Once you have a picture, you can then reduce any remaining orange tints by reducing the warmth slightly. Too much though, and the image will go too far the other way, and become blue.
Then the saturation
After removing the shadows, some colours can lose their intensity. If this happens bring the saturation up slightly, to regain their original true-to-life intensity.
Contrast if needed
These last two tips can help give clarity to pictures. The contrast helps different elements of the picture to stand out, and often makes it clearer. Too much and it looks unrealistic and messy though, so I never tend to go above 3-4 on the contrast tool.
Sharpen it slightly
Again, use sparingly. This can help to clear up messy lines, but too much and the image will become unrealistic. Use only to tidy up the nearly finished image.
There you have it: my Instagram based photo editing tips. I hope that these simple tips help those of you who asked how I edit my food photography over on IG. To see some examples head on over to my IG account, @eating_with_em, which you should be able to find a link to on the right hand side of the screen. To keep up with my blog posts as they’re published you can either follow me here on WordPress, or use the link at the top of this post to find me on Bloglovin!