Over the past few months I have worked really hard on finding a way of editing my photos that I could really call ‘me’. I used to do the usual super bright, white, saturated photos that a lot of bloggers are a fan of. And don’t get me wrong, I do like that style of photo, I just decided it wasn’t what I wanted for my blog. So now, while I still go for white, I prefer a slightly darker, more contrasted style of photo. And I definitely stay away from the saturation option! So today I thought I would share with you all how I edit my blog and instagram photos.
Before I actually get into the editing I should probably do a quick over of how I take my photos. All of my blog photos are taken in RAW format on a Canon 700d using a 50mm 1.8 lens. Using the RAW format means I can fully edit the components of my photos in Photoshop, which is what I use to edit every single one of my blog photos, and 99% of my Instagram photos.
1. Edit in RAW Mode
As I’ve already mentioned, I take all of my photos in RAW format. You can tell if a photos is in RAW by looking at its extension: if it’s photoname.CR2, then it’s a RAW photo. I simply open this up in photoshop, and it takes you straight into the RAW edit box.
This is the control box that comes up when you first open up the image. The first thing I always do is edit the White Balance. The way I change this really just depends on the image, and the biggest tip I can give you is to try and get the white balance correct when you first take the image.
For the rest of the edits, I pretty much always make the same adjustments: I increase the Exposure, Contast, and the Whites, and I decrease the Blacks slightly. As with the white balance, these edits all depend on the image in question, but generally I don’t have to make huge differences to these. Next I move on to Clarity and Vibrance. I always increase clarity to 20, and vibrance to 10. There is also a saturation option here, but I never touch this.
This is how my settings looked after I edited this particular photo. Please ignore the random red lines, they show up due to my outdated laptop, but they don’t show on the actual photo.
Next, I hit on the second tab ‘Tone Curve‘. I only ever make 2 edits to these settings: I increase the Lights and decrease the Darks. After this my RAW editing is complete, and I hit the ‘Open Image’ button.
2. Adjustment Layers
The next step I do, is to edit my photos using adjustment layers. The first edit I make is Levels. To do this, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. When the properties box pops up, I always click in to Presets > Darker.
Then, I go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Similar to Levels, I always click into Presets > Darker.
Then, I go to Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Black > White. Again, I went to Presets > Darker. After this I adjust the Opacity: normally I choose 40, but I go up or down slightly depending on the image.
3. Resize, and Crop.
Last but not least, I resize and crop. To resize, go to Image > Image Size. I always resize my blog photos so they have a width of 1700, and my Instagram photos are always resized to have a width of 1080 since this is the recommended optimal size. Finally, I sometimes crop my Instagram pictures into a square format, though to be totally honest I normally just crop them in the app itself.
Well there you have it, how I edit my photos! This might seem like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t. It takes me an average of 5 minutes to edit a blog photo. I’ve even made my photoshop steps (aka the adjustments levels) into an Action in order to make this a quicker process for myself, since all I have to do now is click a button and they are all done. I’m definitely happy with this whole process, and I hope this post will be of use for some of you!