I know many us stalk instagrams of famous people with a mixture of envy and amazement. Those pictures look good don’t they? As if they have their own personal photographer to snap a picture at an awesome angle with an amazing landscape background, and the images are just so crisp and beautiful – the same satisfaction you’d get when you see clothes that are neatly folded and piled. I know those feelings too, guys. And I know that feeling of despair when I realise that I can never take pictures as good as theirs because I just can’t afford the technology.
But here’s the beauty of current technological advancements. You don’t need expensive cameras to take really awesome photos. You don’t need to burn a whole in your pocket just to make your pictures great. Nowadays the current photo editing apps and tools are extremely brilliant that we can edit pictures and make them look stunning!
Like me, I’m still using phone camera to take pictures. They don’t have high reso like DSLR, but it’ll do until I can save enough to get myself a good camera. But otherwise, I’m not fretting too much about it because I edit the pictures a lot and they still look pretty anyway. So I’m going to tell you how I do it.
But before you proceed, I’m telling you now that I’m no expert. Hardly. I still have A LOT to learn. What I’m sharing with you now is just based on my own editing experiences and personal opinion.
This photo was taken in a city centre of Northampton, UK (or was it London? I just can’t remember haha). Anyhow, I wanted to point out that regardless if the background is mundane or beautiful, a good angle will give a different light to it. Take these buildings for example, they looked pretty ordinary; they were just red buildings. People would just walk by without a second thought. There was nothing special about them but, when taken in this angle, they suddenly looked interesting. So play around with the angles, and see what you’ll get. Don’t just slap the background at the centre of the photo. It’ll look dull and flat. Make it interesting. Lie on the ground, snap pictures of the buildings tilting towards the sky, etc. Check out the rule of thirds on google which explain how to align your object on the photograph.
2. Natural light
Granted, camera phones will never produce an image as good quality as a DSLR. But there is one thing that will help you snap a good photo: natural light. Lighting is so important when taking pictures. It’s your camera phone’s best friend. I try to avoid baking at night so that I can take advantage of daylight and snap a photo of my desserts. They make such a huge difference, trust me. I tried taking pictures at night, and even using strong light bulbs, my pictures still looked dull and flat. So if you have a crappy phone camera, then bear in mind of one thing: timing. Get your timing right if you want to take photos with a poor quality camera.
3. Taking pictures at night
Sometimes it is unavoidable that you need to take pictures during night time. For example, you go to a place where it’s already dark, you can still take a photo even with that crappy camera phone of yours. I’m warning you though, it won’t come out fantastic. So, one thing that can only help you make the photo look presentable is through the power of editing.
I snapped this photo using my old phone, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo. This phone camera only has 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Half of the time my photos are usually blurry because the megapixels are so little. And because it was taken at night, it looked much worse. So I used one photo editing app that I absolutely LOVE, and it’s called Snapseed. Snapseed is such a cool photo editing app. It can mostly do a lot of things, from the basics like contrast, exposure, basic filters etc, to sophisticated editing like enhancing the details of the photo. So I used Snapseed, and this was the result:
Looks so much better, right? The picture is much more clearer and brighter 🙂
Play around with the app, it’s really a powerful photo editing tool in my opinion. You can look up on google for tips and tutorials on how to use Snapseed.
4. Editing apps
I do take my time to edit my photos before I upload them to my blog. And I don’t just use one editing app, I use several. Some of my favourite editing apps are:
- Adobe Lightroom
These 4 are superb when it comes to photo editing. Snapseed is so powerful when it comes to HDR photo editing, bringing photos to a more defined look, and you can easily change the contrast, highlights, etc. I love their vintage filters, their blur tool, glamour glow, etc. I really like their ‘perspective’ tool as I find many of my photos aren’t 100% straight. So I would use this tool to straighten and rotate my photos until I’m satisfied with it.
Lightroom is amazing. It has so many filters, tools, camera features etc etc. It might be difficult to get the hang of it at first, but trust me, you will love it! It can even change the colours of my photos, even on certain parts of the photo too.
VSCO has been an old favourite. With so many filters to choose from, you can totally make your photo look however you want it to be! Alot of their filter presets are really amazing, and there are just too many choices!
What I love about Pixlr is that I can do double exposure on it by adding another image on my current image, and then overlay my two images together. It also has auto-correcting editing tools like red eye removal, heal, smooth, blur etc.
But because my phone has very limited space, I only use two of these editing apps: Snapseed and VSCO. They compliment each other very well. I would first edit using Snapseed, until I’m comfortable with the colour balance, sharp contrast, depths, etc, and then I would add a filter using VSCO.
For example, here are some photos which I edited using Snapseed and VSCO.
There you have it 🙂 It’s pretty simple, but if you take a bit of time just to edit your photos, it will come out better and more impressive. I don’t use any editing software on my laptop. I haven’t got around to those yet. I’ve purchased Lightroom on my mac but I’m still new to it. As of now, I’m just editing my pictures on my phone. It’s convenient and free.