Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How I Edit Photos (And Make Graphics)~ Using A Beautiful Mess, iPhoto, Picmonkey, and Instagram

Photography has been a passion of mine for a really, really long time.  I had a very fancy SLR camera back in high school and I was obsessed with photography. Then in college, I got really into digital photos (oh yes ma'am, I had an elph), and although I've had my share of point and click cameras, as soon as the iPhone was released— I was on board, for iPhone photography et al. I'm married to a programmer who has his eye on all things Apple at all times, so go figure.  Honestly, I get excited about iPhone photography, probably more than most people.  The fun thing about it is that I can create fun graphics in addition to editing photos. Here are some ways that I use a beautiful mess app, instagram, and iPhoto/picmonkey to edit my photos and create fun images and graphics for my blog.

1. A Beautiful Mess 

This app is awesome, and I've upgraded so that I have some of their extra designs, borders, and backgrounds. It has been completely worth the couple of dollars I've spent.

I don’t know how many smartphones can run this app, but it’s great for iPhone (I still have iPhone 5 but it works on iPhone 6 and I'm sure some other smartphones, as well).

This app is my favorite for photo editing, and creating graphics for my blog like the ones above, because it is smarter, more intuitive, and less spammy or ridiculous than the other photo-editing apps on the market right now.

A fun way to use a beautiful mess is to make filtered collages, which you can then add or share to instagram or Facebook (or email them to yourself, or someone you love).

I actually really like the filters in a beautiful mess better than I do for instagram or picmonkey. They added a bunch of new ones, and they’re all SO good, you guys! Dexter is my current “this fixes all my problems,” but I use Poppy a WHOLE lot.

Edison gives it an instagram effect that looks really nice, and Milkshake is awesome for a creamy black and white look.

A beautiful mess is also fun for it’s {awesome!} fonts and phrases.  I love the Doodles and Borders features… and you can Purchase additional ones {and yes, I have found these upgrades to be worth the money, too}.

They also added some additional Phrases, recently, and they include some *really, really* cute Pregnancy phrases, among other things!

So guys, go check it out!

2. iPhoto

if you're in iPhoto, it's super-simple easy to adjust the exposure... just click "Edit." So much easier than uploading your photos online every time!

I honestly don’t feel the need to go into the ins and outs iPhoto right now, but I use it a BUNCH. I usually just do Chrome (in the camera app) on my iPhone, and the exposure is automatically brighter. That’s my favorite Edit of the bunch! Of course I do all of my cropping, straightening, fixing red eyes, and other edits there, too.

3. If you're using an iPhone, USE CHROME

Hot tip: Use Chrome if you’re taking photos on an iPhone- you will thank me! This needed to be its own item on the list.

I really love iPhone photography, and I think it is totally LEGIT. I get my pictures printed out, put them in books (this and this are currently on my amazon wishlist!) and I am very happy with them.
Obviously this isn't the best picture in the world- not even close- but look at the difference. (It's basically a MUCH easier way to do Poppy from ABM.)
before/after using Chrome edit/filter on an iPhone

4. Picmonkey

Weeeeelllll…. to be honest, picmonkey is fun, but it’s not mobile yet. So it is my least favorite go-to  for editing, because it isn’t an app. YET! I figured out that they’re working on this, by attempting to load it on my mobile device.

If you're doing picmonkey, without going full throttle ... you can mainly use it for making graphics for a blog.  I don’t photoshop, but this is the closest I can come to doing photoshop for free right now. I have a history with Picnik, and I remember when it shut down I was like whaaaaaaaaa. am I going to do. But now, I use Picmonkey for all collage type stuff. Not much editing, but it is good for adding text and doing some edits. It's fun! ;)

5. Instagram

Instagram is best for “cool” looking photos. To be honest, it is way better than anything picmonkey has to offer in the way of automatic filters, even with royale, I'm told. Over the past couple of years, I have used or tried pretty much all of the filters, depending on my goal and mostly depending on the photo itself. I just have to play around with the filters for each individual picture to find the best one.  I realized a few months ago that you can get back some of the older filters. Just go to settings- scroll all the way across your filters, to the end- and you’ll be able to add more filters that way!

*just using the editor in instagram*

If you don’t want to use the filters, but you want to use instagram to edit photos, that’s easy. Just take a picture, then click on the settings or edit button or whatever it is (it looks like a little wheel…?). You can adjust brightness by using Lux or by manually adjusting brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, color, fade, highlights, and shadows. For a good picture that just needs to be a little better, I will usually just adjust brightness and contrast and that’s it! But there are all of those options for mobile editing, which is awesome, you guys!

my favorite filters are
taken outside, with the "rise" filter

If you have a good photo want to make a photo look “instagrammy” or you know, that cool, 'we’re too hip for you' look, go with Lark or Rise (for a photo with good exposure/good light). I also like 1977 and Nashville for this effect… and those are better for darker photos. Although they used to have a really cool frame- whatever happened to the instagram automatic frames? They were so cool!
the old instagram... le sigh

my other favorites are…
no filter

with crema

if you have a photo that’s just BAD (like a selfie with bad light…or this oatmeal, hahaha) and you just want to wash out the wrinkles, or all the little blemishes of the photograph, use Crema. That is what I often use.

Some people make all of their instagram photos bright, creamy, cheerful, and full of light. To be honest, I don’t know how they do it, but I’m ok with that. I'm thinking they're taking them at dusk and dawn outside every.single.time, which is harder for me with lots of kiddos. I’m trying to make my photos look just a little better than normal.  I would order a book of my photos, not because they’re perfect, necessarily, or look like a photographer took them, but because they’re MINE and because the kids are smiling or looking happy, and because *I’m* happy with them. AND because, let's be honest, I have a lot of fun in the process of taking and editing them. :-)  I know I could buy a fancy camera, but I just recently heard about how to print out instagrams more easily, and I'm not sure I need to go out an buy another camera in addition to my iPhone! What do you guys think? Maybe when I'm rich and famous?

Have fun you guys! You shouldn't feel too tied down to your Same Old, because there are so many fun, good apps out there! Not only is it fun, I guarantee mobile editing is the way of the future. So you’ll be bound to go down this road at some point eventually, even though you may try to deny it. haha.  ;)

What are your favorite filters on instagram? How do you use photo editors, in general?

Adding my link to 5 favorites


Carolyn Astfalk said...

Very helpful! I use iPhoto and Canva (can that be considered photo editing?) most. Occasionally Photoshop Elements. I need to give PicMonkey at second look. Some day when I get a smart phone I can explore Instagram.

Tacy said...

That's cool. I've never been able to get into Canva, myself. I think that just shows we all think differently and work better with different tools .

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In my opinion the best application of the proposed is Pixelmator or paid this one , made in the best traditions of very high performance for the average user of the most convenient choice.

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