Thursday, October 08, 2015

How I Edit My Pictures | Photography ♥

Edited just for fun in black and white with bokeh effect.

Recently I've been getting a lot of compliments on my photography - which is absolutely amazing by the way so thank you so much - so I've decided to share how I edit my pictures. I'm by no means a professional, I just enjoy taking pictures so much and love to share my images with the world. 

To be quite honest I don't do a lot of intensive editing as I take most of my pictures in natural light which give the best results on my camera in terms of image quality. I use a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera and I usually use it on the no flash setting as I hate how flash makes pictures look - I'm so picky when it comes to my pictures. Hopefully this post will give some tips and ideas to those who want to improve their pictures and if you've any questions please feel free to ask in the comments or email me and I'll reply as soon as I possibly can. 

The photo editor I use is PicMonkey which is free for the basic settings. I have the royale account though which I think was like €14 for the year with two months free. I would love to try Photoshop someday soon but for now PicMonkey is doing just what I want it to. I have also messed around with Fotor in the past but when they changed the layout of the site I just moved back to PicMonkey - I can't deal with change!

Original picture with no crop and unedited brightness.

 Cropped picture with increased brightness. I think this shows off the products better.

Crop - It is SO important
The crop tool is probably the most important tool you can use on your pictures and it's always the first thing I do when I go to edit a picture. Some pictures can really benefit from a crop and I always favour a horizontal rectangle crop to fit in with the look of my blog. I see a lot of pictures with unnecessary space around the picture subject and think they look quite sloppy so I always crop where I can to focus more on what's predominant in the image. I think cropping is so important when it comes to product pictures. I want the products to be centered in the picture and focused on, having lots of background which makes the products smaller in the image is pointless to me.

 Unedited picture in natural light. It's quite pretty as it is but I really wanted to make it pop.

 I edited this picture, first putting it in normal black and white and then putting the daguerreotype filter on top of it, sliding the bar to get the right intensity to suit the picture. This is the only way I edit pictures into black and white, I find normal black and white pictures far too light. I think this picture just pops in black and white and gives it an old Woodstock festival type feel to it.

Black & white versus colour
Sometimes my creative eye really loves something in black and white rather than colour, even if the colour in the picture may be equally as beautiful. I think everything is so beautiful in black and white and it can really change the tone of a picture. I always am torn on whether to change my pictures to black and white but at the end of the day, if I was really happy with it the way it was would I be wanting to change it? Some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen have been in black and white so if you want to remove the colour from your picture just go for it.

 Unedited picture, already pretty perfect as it is due to the natural light but I wanted to make the colour a bit lighter and vibrant. (Not the exact same as below picture but it was actually the shot taken just before it).

Edited with the boost filer to 30%. This has made the sky lighter and bluer as well as making the green in the grass lighter. These are just subtle changes but I think they make a big differences.

Making colour more vibrant
I take a lot of pictures outside with nature as the backdrop and I want the colours of the nature, especially grass and flowers to be as vibrant as they most possibly can be. I use two filters to achieve vibrant colours, both which are found on PicMonkey - burst (which is a royale feature) and boost (which is free). Boost makes the colour extra bright and I usually tone it down on the slider to just under a third but this gives an amazing impact to the colour to the picture. Burst works to immediately change the tone of the picture and makes the colour just pop. I usually slide this down to 30% depending on the picture but it's my new favourite editing tool.

 Original picture. The colour is quite dull and it needs adjusting.

Colours adjusted by using the dusk filter on PicMonkey at a very low percentage and increasing the brightness to 12%. I also cropped the image to focus on my son and the bunting.

Adjusting picture colour & brightness
Sometimes a picture just needs a slight adjustment to make it perfect, this can be due to the colours appearing duller than you'd like or the light being slightly darker than you'd like it to be. PicMonkey has an auto adjust feature which I use sometimes but it can be quite harsh on colours - which I really don't like so I usually just manually adjust the colour and brightness myself. I always seem to end up adjusting the brightness in a picture even if it doesn't really need it as I love very light pictures, they have quite a clear, ethereal look I think.

Unedited picture, quite lovely as it is but I just wanted to have fun with filters and see how it would change the picture.

Edited with the time machine filter on PicMonkey on the flo setting - fast becoming one of my favourites along with the norma setting. It just gives the picture on old-fashioned, soft feeling I think and I think the tone suits the old-fashioned clothing of my son in the picture.

Have fun with filters
Filters can really make a good picture great - as long as they're used correctly of course. I sometimes like to mess around with filters and see what effects they can have on my pictures, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't but even if I do use a filter I always tone it down to under a third and I think that gives the best effect to my pictures, giving them a subtle change but not too gawdy or in your face.

So that's basically how I edit my pictures. Editing can take me quite awhile but I always do it as I think it's so important to my photography and I want my blog and images to be displayed as best as they possibly can be. I just can't abide sloppy looking pictures and really, editing is such as simple thing to do, especially with all the free editors about so I don't know why anyone wouldn't do it? I hope I've imparted some of my very basic knowledge across in a good way - it can be hard to talk about the technical stuff and make it sound interesting!

Whatever you do with your photography make sure to have fun! After all, it's a creative expression and if you think something looks good just go for it.


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9 comments

  1. I love the way you edit your photos! They're not over edited.
    I used to use Pic Monkey for my blog title.

    LAURA THINKS ABOUT BLOG

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  2. I love that you've shared this Fi, as your photos always look amazing. I need to up my photo game, and now I think I know how :) x

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  3. Interesting and useful. And I agree a crop is so important - makes all the difference :) x

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  4. Some great editing tips here, I love the way you crop your images and it really makes a difference! Xx

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  5. These are really good tips. I love pic monkey for editing pictures! I Just play around and am slowly getting better! Angela x

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  6. I know you say that you are not a photography expert but you do have a good eye for editing I love how you intensified the black and white photo it looks magical. I use Pic Monkey too would you recommend getting a royale account?

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  7. I use picmonkey too but I'm still trying to get my head around it. I used to use Photoshop and was very good at it until I got a new laptop and I haven't uploaded and used it since.

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  8. Great tips, thank you for sharing. I love PicMonkey too - and too have a Nikon DSLR - I hardly use it, I really must, Kaz x

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  9. Ive only just started editing my photos but only when i need too.
    I love picmonkey - Its such a great online tool.
    Your photography is spot on (love it)
    Charlotte x

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

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