I know it seems every blogger out there has written a post on how they edit their Instagram photos, but with the myriad of editing apps out there, it can be hard to figure out which one to use or simply how it works. Firstly, I should note that I take all my Instagram photos on my Olympus Pen and the ones within this post were all taken with the 45mm lens. What you take the pictures with doesn’t matter but the process I go through to edit my pictures is the same.
My photo setup is also a little bit unconventional too but it works for me and that’s what matters. I have a bedside table with a glass top and I’ve covered the glass with marble sticky back plastic and I’ve done the same with an offcut of kitchen worktop that I picked up at B&Q for about £2 which helps when I have a larger picture/flatlay to take. Just to shatter the illusion completely I don’t have perfect white walls in the room that I take my pictures in. My white background is a painting canvas from the works that sits at the back as a background to my pictures. To provide some extra light in my images, I also picked up some gorgeous copper battery operated fairy lights from a pound shop and a cheap Kilner style jar from Ikea. I use the lights on their own or in the jar and I love the effect they create.
I edit my pictures on both my laptop and my phone using Afterlight (yes it is a paid app but it’s under £1). I use Afterlight because it’s easy to use, which is the main selling point for a photography newbie like me. The photo below has the original image on the left and the edited image on the right. Yes, I did take a photo with barely any light and turn it into something bright and Instagram worthy.
Each stage I go through is simple but all depends on the image I’m starting with. Below, (with screenshots) is the process I used to edit the image above. One of the things I love about Afterlight is that it is truly idiot proof. If you make a mistake you can revert the image to the way it was before you started editing and try again.
This is the home screen and where you can choose which picture you would like to edit either from the camera and take a photo or open the albums and choose the photo you want.
The options along the bottom are the ones you will be using to edit the picture (from left to right)
- revert image to original state
- edit options
- various crop and align options
The first thing I do to edit my images is make them brighter as often when I’m taking pictures it’s dark or there just isn’t enough natural light to make it work but I need to anyway. I would love some professional lights but I just don’t have the space for them.
This image was particularly dull, so I increased the brightness on this image twice and also increased the contrast so it didn’t look too washed out. This step is one that can be different, depending on the original image. This is where you need to use your judgement and make the image the way you want it. What works for me may not necessarily work for you but the app is so easy to use I can edit my pictures on the bus on the way into uni in the morning.
The last step in my editing process is to add a slight blue tone to my images. The reason I do this is the room I’m taking my pictures in has a very warm tone to it and although this can be fine in the summer, during the winter I like my images to have a slightly colder feel about them.
The last stage is to save your picture once you’re happy with it. I save mine as small so they don’t take up too much space on my phone but the quality and sizing is still fine for my blog. You can also share your pictures to social media from here as well as starting a new project.
The icons on the desktop version are exactly the same and although the layout is slightly different, it’s still very easy to use and is the only app I use to edit all my pictures.