Saturday, 25 July 2015

How I Edit My Blog Photos

Before (left) After (right)

One thing I love about blogging is how it has developed my love for photography and editing photos, and I like to think that my photography style has changed over the years. I did actually do a post on my photography setup a little while ago, but never really touched upon how I edit my photos and so wanted to share with you all how I transform my photos from the before (on the left) to the after (on the right). My editing setup is one that I have used for around the past year and all the steps remain the same, I just tweak those steps to fit each photo if that makes sense. I will disclose here I'm in no way professional this is just a setup I find that works for me. 

Taking photos to start my editing process I always take my photos in both JPEG and RAW formats, and like to edit the RAW photos. This isn't really something necessary but as I use a DSLR (Cannon 600D for reference) I like the control you have over the RAW image, once you open this in Photoshop you can begin editing the photo for example lightening it using the exposure bar - and to be honest that's all I really do here is just brighten the photo taking the exposure between 1 and 2 depending on how dark my photo is, or sometimes just click the auto button to bring a bit of life back into the image. 

The first step I then take is by using the Brightness/Contrast tool (Images > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast> and this is where I just add a bit more brightness to the image and then give it some depth with the contrast tool. As a rule of thumb I tend to go for around 10-30 on brightness and just double the contrast so anywhere between 20-60. Once that's done I then go to Curves (Images > Adjustments > Curves> again to add a bit more depth to my image, most of the time I will just click auto and that gives me the look I'm after in my photos. If they end up looking a bit woah (too overexposed), I tend to just up the curve slightly on the right and lower it slightly on the left under the RGB settings. 

After that I'm back on the Exposure tool (Images > Adjustments > Exposure) where I just add a bit more brightness - because let's be honest I'd rather have a brighter image than a darker one. I only really add around 0.1 - 0.2 exposure just to brighten up slightly. Lastly I go to the Hue/Saturation tool (Images > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation) and just up the saturation by around 5-10 to add a little warmth to the photo without changing the colour of the image too much.

Once that's all done I will move the photo into my blog PSD which just resizes the image to my standard blog image (1370 x 923) and I can change the composition depending on how I feel it looks. Sometimes I'll resize my image and completely move the product from being central to slightly to the side (rule of thirds) but it does just really depend on how it looks when resized. When I'm happy with that I will just Sharpen (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen) the image either once or twice just to give a cleaner, sharper look. 

And there we have it, that's how I edit my photos, I hope you found this useful. I'd love to know what you're go to editing tips are for your blog photos!

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