Over the years my photography has grown an awful lot. Gone are the days of balancing a hair product on a bed frame and shooting with my iPhone 3GS in a dark room. Although I still don’t know the in’s and out’s of my cameras fully, I have learnt to use them in a way that suit me. This year I do hope to get to grips with my cameras properly and until then I will holding off on reviewing my Olympus Pen E-PL7 as I want to share an honest review once I understand it more myself.
I shoot the majority of my photos on an Olympus Pen E-PL7, unless I am photographing that camera or want a better depth of field I will use my Canon 600D. For my Olympus I just use the kit lens, I am saving up for the 45mm, but the kit lens suits me just fine, I like it and it’s a great lens. If I want a lovely blurry background I will sometimes use my Canon 600D with the 50mm lens.
As for camera settings, I shoot in iAuto on the Olympus and just adapt the brightness, background blurriness, shadows on this setting. This makes things so much easier and a great alternative if you just can’t get to grips with DSLR’s exposure/ISO etc. As mentioned though, this is what I want to improve on this year, to learn to shoot in other modes and use my camera to it’s full potential.
PIN IT! PIN IT!When I edit my photos I use Photoshop and only do a few simple steps to edit them. Nothing drastic or over-edited, just to brighten things and sharpen everything up. When I first started out I used Picmonkey to edit all of my photos, it’s a free photo editing service online that’s so easy to use and a great alternative.
The first thing I do to all my photos is up the brightness. This depends on how dark my photo was to begin with, if it’s a particularly gloomy day I may need to adjust it more. Never over do it as everything will become far too overexposed and washed out. I tend to stay under 50.
The next step I do is just add some of the shadows back in that were taken away when we upped the brightness. This just makes all the colours a little deeper, most noticeably black shades look nice and dark and how they would look in real life. Another way to change the shadows and make the colours darker is by changing the levels. You do this by clicking image > adjustments > levels and then adjusting the slider to the desired look.
I sharpen all my images a tiny amount as it just makes everything more crisp and clear. If you have an image that is a little bit blurry, sometimes sharpening it makes it unnoticeable. I do this in Photoshop or sometimes I do it in Preview, if you have an Apple laptop you can edit images in preview, however I have never tried it, I just use the sharpening tool.
PIN IT! TOUCH UP
To touch up any marks, stray hairs or fluff etc I use the spot healing brush tool. I know some people don’t like things like this but I’m a clumsy fool and have marked my white card with numerous things and scratched my marble adhesive in two big noticeable marks so I like to just get rid of these for a cleaner look. It’s also handy if there’s a stray hair/dust on a product that you didn’t know was there when you were taking your photos, it just smartens the image up.
PIN IT!THE GAME CHANGING TOOL
If I have a part of an image that’s slightly darker than the rest I will use the dodge tool as this brightens any areas. It’s such a magical tool and seriously saves some of my images now. I actually discovered this tip on Pinterest and was amazed when I first tried it out. I don’t use it on every photo but on the ones that need it, it works a treat.
I straighten any images that may appear a bit wonky, sometimes I crop them if I feel that looks better but these steps are optional. My files are usually about 4000px, so if this is the case I resize them to about 1800-2000px. This doesn’t effect the quality of your images but it will make them load more quickly.
PIN IT!PIN IT! PIN IT!I hope this post has helped you in some shape or form, if you have any questions you can leave them below and I’ll try my best to answer them. If you’re curious as to what my blog photos used to look like I will be sharing a post soon on how they have changed over the years, it’s very cringe-worthy but I love how seeing the difference.
How do you edit your blog photos?