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I really enjoy editing photos. To me, it is calming, fun, and a great creative outlet. Sometimes I use it to wind down to sleep or to pass the time on a long car ride. I have collections of photos where I’ve removed the backgrounds of photos and replaced it with cat pictures and I keep them on my phone just to laugh at them.
On a more serious note, I really do love editing photos for my Instagram, Blog, and Facebook. For my camera photos I use Adobe Lightroom. I am absolutely not a pro at that so if anyone has some good blogger lightroom tutorials, plz send. But as for iPhone photos, I consider myself an editing snob. In the best way possible!! You don’t like that car in the side of your picture? I can remove that. There’s an electrical wire across your cute house picture? I can edit that sucker out. Here are my favorite editing apps, their best features, and some before and afters so your editing game can take off!
General Image Tuning
My newest discovery and go-to app is Snapseed. There are so many great features to this app, so if you’re going to get any app, get this one. If you don’t feel like fine tuning your image, there is an auto button that will do it for you. I love the face editing feature that highlights your face, brings out your eyes, and smoothes your skin. The perfect selfie tool. I also love the healing tool and the brush tool. The healing tool will remove a light switch on your wall or a pimple on your forehead. I once removed an entire BBQ grille from my photo. The brush tool allows you to adjust the exposure, saturation, and temperature of certain areas of your photo instead of the entire image.
I’m sure most of you have this, but the queen of filters is VSCO. Most people are moving away from heavily filtering their images (#nofilter), so this app allows you to determine the strength at which you want your filter to be applied. I also love the skin tone tool, clarity tool, and highlight save tool. Once you download the app, make sure you go into the store menu where you can download more packs of free filters. Something that I’ve learned since I started blogging is that people like to see a consistent feed with similar colors. So I finally bit the bullet and picked a VSCO filter to use on every photo. It makes everything so much easier!
Sometimes you just don’t want to lug around your DSLR or Mirrorless camera and that’s where Tadaa comes in. Instead of radial or linear blur, you can actually paint where you want the background to be blurred out in your photo. So if you don’t have the coveted portrait mode on the iPhone yet, here is your quick fix.
By this point you probably think I’m a freak, but I just really enjoy this creative outlet. A few years ago, light leaks and grainy filters were really popular. But ya know when you hit that sunset just right and you get a beautiful sun burst in your photo? No? Ok well you can add that too. A Color Story, great for so many things, has the option to add light leaks and bokeh to your images. All my secrets have been laid out on the table.
Finally the last trick up my sleeve, removing unwanted objects from your photos. You can always use the healing tool in Snapseed, but when it gets really tricky and detailed, try TouchRetouch. You can really pinpoint skinny lines and objects and it uses content aware software to fill in the spot with the correct subject matter. It’ll cost ya at $1.99, but if your picture is so good just without that heinous object in it, that money goes a long way in Instagram street cred. (Maybe the first applicable scenario where the skills developed from spotting the difference between two photos in a kids magazine will come in handy) Also peep the furry wall photo above… can you tell what’s missing?
My Editing Process
I thought I’d leave you with some screenshots of my actual detailed editing process in Snapseed so you can see exactly what I use. I recently picked a filter in VSCOCam that I use for every photo now to give them all the same coloring and feel, so that is technically my first step, although I don’t show that here.
Ok so here is the original photo. It’s a little dark and bland.
My first step is adding the Brighten filter in the Curves tool. Bam! This is a preset so you don’t even have to think about it.
Then I hop over to the Tune Image section and do some miscellaneous adjustments that you can see above. The ambiance adjustment really warms the photo in a beautiful way.
Next I wanted to remove this basket from the side of the photo with the Healing brush to make a clean shot. I draw this blob around it and MAGIC it’s gone! It uses an incredible Content Aware software that fills in the spot and it’s typically very accurate.
I always add a little sharpening under the Details tab. But not too much so it doesn’t get a weird grainy look. Do you know what I mean?
My last step is to add a little more warmth to the photo back in the Tune Image section to give it some cheer! I like this app because you can tune the image and then do it again if it wasn’t enough the first time.
And that’s the whole process! For this photo I could also use the Brush tool to decrease the exposure on the light up words, so that you can read them better!
I hope you have fun trying out some new editing techniques! If you have any questions or have a photo issue that you are trying to fix, let me know! Tag me in your pics on IG so that I can see your finished product!
One Final Thought
I hope you never stare at a photo on your phone thinking “this isn’t good enough to post” because of what you’ve seen others do. I feel that way a lot and it’s not okay. Instagram can be a creative outlet for some, but it’s not for everyone. And it is absolutely not the center of the world. For some it’s a business, others a passion, and others a way to share the people and places they love. Creativity is so unique among each person that God created. Look how God made you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. If we all edited photos the same, how boring would the world be. I love scrolling through and seeing each beautiful face, scene, relationship, and design.
SHOP MY LOOK