How Tos
comments 4

How I Edit My Photos

Some of the most FAQs I get concern camera equipment and editing, so here’s a quick post on how I personally edit my photographs. Disclaimer: It’s not really a tutorial; I’m not a professional. Obviously. This is just a… sort of “share what you know” kind of post.

I currently use a Nikon D5100. My kit lens is an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, but the favorite one that I use if I can is a vintage 35mm f/2.8. I have a couple of other lenses at my disposal but those are the main ones I use. I also use a point-and-shoot camera, the Canon S100, sometimes.

ON THE COMPUTER

For the past few months, I’ve been shooting most of my photos in RAW, as it allows for more freedom for post-processing. But, I discovered that you can open compressed JPGs in Camera Raw, so I’ve been shooting non-RAW unless I need super high quality images.

Edit - 1 - RAW

I usually just tweak exposure and contrast levels in Camera Raw. I don’t really change much of the editing for travel or daily photos, but for my beauty blog, I do a lot of color correcting to show the shades as accurately as I can. For the fun stuff, I play with the layers or I go to Actions.

Edit - 2 - Actions

If you’re going for a standard look or want to save some “formulas” for future use, you can do so using actions. You can save your own—for example, I have some for resizing and saving photos in bulk—or you can also download some pre-made actions. There are a lot of free ones online, but a lot of photographers and bloggers also have them up for sale. I bought a small pack from A Beautiful Mess to try out, and I’ve got a few free ones from Nirrimi at The Color Shop.

These are useful to quickly achieve a look you need. Here is an example of editing using Actions and Camera Raw:
Edit - 3 - Original copy

For my post called London Calling, I edited my photos using an Action by A Beautiful Mess called Magnolia, tweaked to my liking.

ON THE GO

For on-the-go editing, I primarily use my iPad Mini. I don’t really like the resolution of the cameras on these. Though decent, I prefer using photos from my point-and-shoot at the very least, and if I can help it, I try to use photos from my cameras. Transferring images used to be really difficult, though, because I had to upload the images from my SD card to my computer then email the files to myself and then download the images on to my device.

Edit - 5 - iPad Contraption

However, I’ve been using my dad’s Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, which is basically a glorified SD reader that connects to your iPad. Works like a charm.

The reason why I like loading images on to my iPad, though, is the photo editing software I primarily use: VSCO.

Edit - 6 - VSCO

I have all of the filters, because they’re all just so beautiful. Editing is very easy—1 click and then you have a lot of different avenues for tweaking the images even further. This is the main app I use for on-the-go editing, as I find that for color correction, it is all that I need.

Other apps that I use are A Beautiful Mess (for collaging), Afterlight (for adding the white bands and occasional light leaks), and Swankolab (for something a bit like film developer fun).

That’s mostly it! Nothing really outrageous, but I do take some liberties sometimes. Feel free to ask questions or clarify anything. Let me know if you need me to make a more detailed post on anything I’ve glossed over here.

Originally published in June 2014.
Original URL: http://nothingspaces.com/blog/2014/06/how-i-edit-my-photos/

  • Dre

    Hey Carina, I’m torn whether I should get the SD Card Camera Reader or the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter… or if it’s even practical to get either, as I only have 16gb memory on my ipad mini. What are some pros and cons? Can you offer some advice?

    Thank you so much!

    • Carina

      Hey Dre! I haven’t encountered or used the USB Camera Adapter, so I can’t say for sure. I’m not sure what your issue is with your iPad mini’s storage. I’d probably just process on my iPad, save and send, then delete.

      • Dre

        Hey, thanks for the reply! I only question this because when I was about to get the SD Card Reader, the salesman made a good point that most people get the USB adapter just because it was more universal. But again, the SD Card Reader is more compact.

        • Carina

          Haven’t tried the USB adapter so I can’t really say for sure. Good luck!