How I Capture & Edit My Photos (Without Photoshop)

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

Little did I know when I first decided to start a blog that photography plays a big part of it, no it's not everything and you don't have to be a professional using a camera to have worthy blog photos, you should have seen mine when I first started, they were awful and too be quite honest they still aren't as good as I want them to be but it takes time and lots of practice just like anything, even the professionals are still learning, I've figured photography has so many aspects to it you'll never run out of things to learn, especially as technology is becoming so advanced, for example, Panasonic has just released a mirrorless camera, who'd have thought it?! 

 You don't need to have all the equipment straight away, not at least until you know you want to stick with blogging, I used my iPhone to take all my photos when I first started out as I didn't want to invest in a camera only for it to gain dust once I figured out blogging wasn't for me but evidently that hasn't happened and so I have got some equipment but I haven't gone overboard, I don't have a cupboard full of cameras and equipment just a camera you're comfortable using will do until you find your feet with what style of photography you like.

I think there are three things to help make your photos as best as they can be in my opinion, some more beneficial and more essential in photography depending on your style. Here are my top three things that help me make my photos as good as they can be without being a professional behind the camera: 

LIGHTING


I always try to take my photos in natural light as for one, it's completely free and you don't have to pay out for expensive lighting equipment. Secondly, you don't have to waste time adjusting lighting as it's everywhere, you might have to adjust what you're photographing to avoid harsh shadows but I've found that so much easier than faffing around with electrical equipment, although I do get out my studio lights in the winter when the days are darker and natural light doesn't last long just to help brighten up my surrounding but I do try to make it look as natural as possible, another great thing is reflecting disks, those are pretty cheap to get hold of and they work a treat and if you don't want to part with your pennies another great way is using mirrors by positioning them in certain areas of the room, particularly where the natural light will bounce back into the room. 

BACKGROUNDS/PROPS


Depending on what you're photographing always consider what the background is going to be in order to help highlight what it is you're taking the photo of, I tend to stick with pure white backgrounds as it makes the objects I'm photographing to stand out as that's the main focus but I do switch it up sometimes depending on the style of product etc. If you have a theme, for instance, you prefer moodier looking photographs you can use darker background colours, I find using wallpaper samples are amazing especially to take flat lays which is what I mostly photograph, I can sometimes spend a whole day ordering a ton, there are so many websites out there that offer to send samples for free or even for a small price, I like using Ilovewallpaper. I also love using props to make my photos less boring, I find flowers and greenery is a great way to do this or just things that tie into the main focus point. 

EDITING 


In my experience, I would say editing is the most important part when it comes to photography for my blog, of course, that is once you've taken a photo you're happy and content with and the quality is a best as it can be then you can adjust everything else by editing it. If I'm completely honest I feel a bit of a fraud writing this post as I still have no idea how to use photoshop! I don't know what is it but I just can't get my head around it, I've watched countless youtube videos and my sister who I'd say is a photoshop pro has tried to teach me but I just can't figure it out, I think it's because there are so many aspects to it and I'm scared to get it wrong, which I shouldn't be because I won't learn otherwise but I found another editing website which I'm much more comfortable with and that is PicMonkey, it's pretty much a basic version of photoshop which I love and it's so easy to navigate and it doesn't cost a fortune either! 

I tend to start off by adjusting the brightness, highlights, shadows, and contrasts and then move onto the temperature then I normally sharpen and clarify and that's pretty much all I do (mini tutorial below), I don't want to completely change the photo just enhance it to make it more eye-catching and clearer but have a play around and see what works best for you, you can use the same setting on photoshop too. If you're using your phone to take photos then this should be a walk in the park as most smartphones have this option installed when you want to edit a photo, Instagram is great for editing photos too! I'm sure there are plenty of websites out there that you'll find more comfortable to use more than any others just keep exploring until you find it and you sure will.  

I also always leave a watermark on my photos too, as this protects them from getting stolen and stops someone else getting credited for your work, this doesn't have to be spattered over the whole image I just type in my blog name and hide it somewhere in the photo so you can barely see it unless you're looking for it but as long as you know it's where you can prove that it's your image. 

BEFORE

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

First Step, I first start out with changing the Brightness, Highlights, Shadows, and Contrast as you can tell this makes the most difference, you'd be surprised how much it enhances the photo but play around with it and see what you prefer. 

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop


Next, I adjust the colours changing the saturation and the temperature as this brings back some colour that you might have taken out in the first step and also makes the colour in the image more vibrant. 

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

Third Step, I tend to sharpen and add clarity to add texture to the image and especially if you have text within the image it makes it stand out, clarity basically does the same thing but is used to increase local contrast which separates between tones and just makes it pop that bit more. 

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

Lastly, I ALWAYS add a watermark to my photos even if it's not visible to everyone,(I prefer to make mine as discreet as possible so it doesn't "ruin" the image) but as long as you know it's there somewhere in the image you can identify it to be your work and stops people claiming it to be theirs. Consider it a signature on a piece of art because technically that's what is it! 

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

AFTER

How I Take/Capture and Edit My Blog Photos - Without Photoshop

It's as simple as that, and I know you photoshop pros out there are thinking it's equally as simple on photoshop and you're most certainly correct but when I get comfortable using a certain tool I can't help but go back to it, time and time again.. Don't get me wrong I'm still learning to use photoshop but if I want to get my photos edited quickly for a post this is "my go to" as its just quick and easy just until I get faster as using photoshop, I may even have to update this post in a few months with a photoshop version! 

How do you capture and edit your photos?










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28 comments

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  2. Great informative post :) See I personally use Photoshop Express to edit my photos, it's pretty much like picmonkey (and free as well), I find it easier to navigate and there's more filters to select from (if you want to have a filter on your photo)

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