As a general rule, Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons. It’s full of excitement and festive cheer with a lot of celebrations packed in to a couple of months. But, as a blogger, winter sucks. Whilst you have to be super organised at all times of the year, if you want to take a decent picture, you need to be smart about your timings. Oh and if the weather changes? Your day can be completely wasted.
Now I am definitely not the world’s best at blog photography. When I started out, I used grainy phone photos and didn’t even know how to rotate a picture on blogger. Everyone has to start somewhere right?! After asking other bloggers for tips and tricks and having a play around with things myself, I’ve got my photo editing routine down to a couple of minutes max! And thanks to a rainy Manchester afternoon spent messing around on my computer with an old photo, I can now make bad winter lighting a thing of the past.
Whilst this guide may be extremely basic for some of you tech-savy extrodinares, for us mere mortals, it may just give you an extra 5(0) minutes in bed on those cold Sunday mornings.
So, let’s start off with the original photo, taken mid day on a particularly dark and dismal weekend morning. Doesn’t exactly show off the project in the best light (hehehe) does it?
I’ll be perfectly honest here. I can’t afford fancy dance photo editing software, and to be honest, it would be wasted on me. Nope, I get my photo editing fix for free and we can all say thank you Mr Internet for that. Whatever your need, collages, re-sizing, cropping, the internet has got you covered. The site I mainly use is Pic Monkey, a one-stop shop for all your editing needs. You can so so much on this site, but for today, we are sorting out the horrendous lighting.
After clicking Edit and selecting your chosen photograph, you should then be presented with this screen.
On the left side you have a platter of tools you can choose from to enhance your photo. The Basic ones are free, and the Royale ones are for fee-paying members. In order to improve the lightening on your photograph, click on exposure.
In the exposure section you have a couple of options to choose from. I only tend to use the Brightness and Contrast options. Have a play with increasing the different levels and finding a combination you like. Once you are happy with the result, click Apply. It’s really important not to click apply before your happy with the final combination, as that will save the combination on to your edited photo, so if your not happy you will have to start the entire process again.
Although I’ve not used it on this picture, the other tool I use is in Colors. If you think the colours in the photo are a bit washed out (either from over-exposure, or just naturally), just increase the Saturation to pep them up a bit a make them pop. Similarly, if your photo is a bit too cold, have a play with the Temperature, to get a warmer look.
So let’s have a look at the final look.
I hope this has helped some of you who are struggling with the winter lighting or can’t take photos during the day.