This week I’m going to go over what I think are the fundamental elements of editing photos for your blog (I have another post specifically for Instagram planned later in the series!). Much like last weeks post on the basics of blog photography there’s a fair amount of content to cover under this topic so I’m just going to focus on a few key things such as how I edit my photos, useful free resources and a few tips & tricks for Photoshop users.
HOW I EDIT
On the whole I tend to use Photoshop to edit my photos as this is what I feel most comfortable with. I’ve been using Photoshop since my early teens and at first it was pretty daunting but there are plenty of resources available online as well as books and magazines that can help you get to grips with things. I don’t tend to overly edit my photos beyond recognition, I just like to tweak the exposure and brightness a tad and sometimes add a bit of text so if I didn’t already have Photoshop I would definitely just use a free editor such as Picmonkey – which I use for my collages anyway as it’s much easier.
My default editing process usually consists of upping the brightness slightly then raising the exposure by the tiniest smidgeon and changing to offset value to something between +0.10 to +0.90 which helps create a bit of a matte effect which I quite like for product shots or close ups. After this I will then play about with curves to make sure my image isn’t too “flat” then add any extras such as text or watermarks. If I feel like my photo could do with a bit of sharpening I use the “unsharpen edges” filter option in order to bring a bit more focus to the centre of the image.
USEFUL FREE RESOURCES
I’ve already mentioned Picmonkey which is a great free web-based photo editor however there are plenty of other choices available if you do a bit of searching. Gimp is a free downloadable software that is supposedly quite similar to Photoshop, but I never really managed to get to grips with it properly.
As well as free photo editors, the internet provides hundreds of other free resources such as tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest which I would highly recommend checking out if you want to learn a bit more about how to use your specific editing platform.
If you use Photoshop (or Gimp too I think!) then websites such as Deviant Art have loads of free actions, filters and brushes for you to download and use on your own images. Just be sure to check the terms of download before using them on anything and everything!
PHOTOSHOP TIPS & TRICKS
My favourite thing about Photoshop is the Curves feature which allows you to easily manipulate the brightness, contrasts and tones in your images. If you use Photoshop you can find Curves under the adjustments menu then have a mess about with the graph until you figure out what works best for you. It can be a bit of trial and error because the same thing wont work the same way for every photograph but it’s worth using and knowing about.
Actions are another great feature in Photoshop (think Instagram filters) so be sure to check out places like Deviant Art to make photo editing that bit easier. There are some actions that are created specifically to mimic everyone’s favourite Instagram filters, so if you love Walden, Valencea and friends then you’re sorted.
I found Zoe’s post on using Photoshop really useful as well as Sarah’s post which is a little bit more specific to fashion photography but the methods can be used for pretty much any photos – definitely have a read if you want to learn a bit more.
NEXT TIME: We’re talking layouts – HTML tips, things to avoid, handy widgets and where to find the best templates & designers.