Photo Editing | Getting A Bright, Airy Image

20.1.16



In my opinion, one of the most important parts of my blogging content to me is my photography. Writing is obviously important too, but I when I visit a new blog I am immediately drawn to the photos I see, I'm a very visually orientated person in this respect. And even if I love the creator's writing, it'll be the photos that make me stay.

So, because of this, I had a think. Do my photos make people want to stay, follow and revisit? I don't think I have a particular 'niche' as of yet, but I know that my aesthetic is bright, light and airy. It's something I've struggled - and still struggle with, so I thought I'd share a few of my post production editing tips, for getting that not so great shot, and turning it into the perfect one.

CAMERA SETTINGS | ISO

Now, technically this isn't a post production element for getting a bright, airy photograph. However it's a simple tip which you can play around with to get your desired photo, and this reduces editing time in the long run.
I can't stress enough how important it is to use your camera on manual mode whilst taking blog photos, or at least it's key for me. The best thing I find for getting a bright and clean photo is adjusting and taking advantage of the ISO. ISO is, in a nutshell, your camera's sensitivity to light - the higher the ISO, the brighter/lighter the photo. Beware though, as setting the ISO too high can be detrimental to the quality of your photo. I try to keep my ISO as low as possible, usually about 100-400 when I have a lot of light handy, but if you're photographing in more gloomy conditions, a high ISO is incredibly useful.

EDITING

To edit my photos I always use my old faithful, photoshop. We have it in the art department at college for free, however I pay monthly to be able to use it at home. Three things I edit are the brightness of my photo, the contrast and the warmth. I'm still a photoshop amateur, so I barely know how to work the programme, but I'm learning!
One thing I always do is up the brightness of my photos, I like them to be as light and clean as possible; to do this, I use the 'screen' levels adjustment layer. This gives an immediate overlay of brightness, usually when on maximum my photo becomes far too washed out, so I reduce this to about 75%.



Once I've applied the screen layer, I find that my photo contrasts seem to have gone a little crazy, and I like to bring back some of the definition using 'soft light'. I duplicate my original layer and I click the 'normal' drop down menu on the layers window, and change this to 'soft light'. I usually reduce the opacity to about 50-60% so the contrast isn't too strong.

Finally, after completing my first two editing steps, I tend to see a warm, yellowish tinge to my photos - I think this comes from the soft light layer. To combat this warmth and balance the tones, I go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter, and I change this from a warm filter to 'Cool (82)'. I reduce this right down to about 4% and this works amazingly at neutralising the photo, and keeping the whites in the photo as bright as possible.


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So, that's everything I do post-photography wise to edit my photos so they become bright, light and airy. I plan on doing a huge in depth post on all of my pre-photography tips (set up, equipment etc.) So if that's something you'd like to see, leave a comment and keep your eyes peeled!

Was this useful to any of you? How do you edit your photos?
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Love, Isabelle.



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