If you missed it last week, I went over how I go about taking great photos on my phone. You can read all about that here. Next, let’s get into editing. Most of what I’ve learned has come from trial and error. It’s not an exact science for me, and by all means presets can be a life saver, but it’s possible to edit your pictures for free, and have them turn out crisp and clear.
I’m hoping that this post will be a type of “editing for dummies” tutorial. It’s obviously not exhaustive, and just what works for me!
I mainly use A Color Story app when editing. It’s got just about everything I need in it, but now and then I’ll use Lightroom Mobile for more detail work.
The very first thing I do is crop the photo. You can find the Crop Selection by clicking on Tools and then Crop & Frame. Typically I use the square/1:1 option because the majority of my shots are for Instagram. Also, if the perspective is off or your lines aren’t perfectly straight, you’re going to want to take care of that before moving on.
Curves is probably my favorite function on all editing apps. You can get to it by heading into the Adjust area. My go-to is always to pull the middle circle over to the left a bit to increase the brightness and the bottom circle to the right to add depth and dimension creating a very loose crescent moon line. Play around with it. Again, this is just what works for me!
Next up I blur the entire picture. It seems counter productive, but it’ll make sense in a second. You can choose the strength you want to blur it, but I usually go all the way baby.
Now that everything is nice and blurry, I come in to sharpen the focal point. Using the Selection tool (that little circled plus sign in the corner) I create a circle around what I want sharpened and the main focus of the picture. Again, you can decide what strength you want to sharpen at. I’ve found that sometimes if you sharpen too much it can look unnatural and grainy. For this shot I decided to sharpen at full strength because it doesn’t pixelate Ash’s face.
If you’re trying to create or grow a brand, pay attention to this section. When creating a consistency within your photos, you want to keep the temperature similar in every single one of your shots. It doesn’t matter whether you choose cool (more blue/grey tint) or warm (yellow/red tint) what matters is that it’s consistent. My photos lean warm, and by lean I mean ever so slightly. So I always adjust the temp warm a bit.
Overexposure is a well played card by many on Instagram. You know the blown out pictures of stark white houses? Yeah, those can be a bit much. However, upping your exposure a bit can help your pictures look so much crisper. I try not to go crazy here and depending on the photo I’ll up my exposure or the brightness a small amount. I rarely do both because it can end up looking blown out and foggy.
There ya have it! I’d love to hear what apps or tricks you love for editing!