You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take amazing photos. Technology in mobile devices allows you to snap spectacular images that are ever so close to competing with traditional DSLR cameras.
The basics of photography still apply, though, as internal software can’t always correct composition, subject matter or lighting. But there are some small changes you can make that will improve your photos. Tap or click here for three simple tips to take better photos every time.
You don’t need to be skilled in Photoshop, either. Virtually all camera apps or image sharing services have some editing options. We’ll tell you how to make use of these basic functions and breathe new life into your pictures.
When to edit photos
Ask any photographer, and they will tell you that it’s nearly impossible to take the perfect photo without some editing afterward. It is exceedingly rare for a photographer to release or display untouched, raw images.
At some point, whether you are a professional or not, you will need to edit photos. The trick is to know when and how to edit them. Nothing ruins an amazing picture faster than an incorrectly applied filter, crop or saturation adjustment.
Capturing your friends at the restaurant is probably not going to need some changes. But vacation photos at the beach, during sunset, or still portraits of family or friends can certainly benefit from some tweaking.
Basic editing of photos
Social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook have some robust editing tools built into their software.
After selecting a photo in Instagram, you will be shown several preset filters that you can apply. Let your imagination run wild and choose whatever filter catches your eye.
But if you need a little help deciding, tap on the magic wand at the top and Instagram will suggest a filter and intensity that could work with your image. Adjusting the slider from side to side will increase or decrease the filter’s effect.
Tapping on Edit at the bottom, you can dive into individual tweaks. A bit of a photographic eye will come in handy here, but increasing the structure, sharpness or warmth can work wonders.
Editing a photo on Facebook is more aimed at fun than actual tweaks. The social media giant allows you to apply various effects and stickers to your images, none of which will hugely improve the photo.
In terms of proper editing, the only function Facebook provides you with is a brightness slider. Strangely, Facebook Messenger has more photo editing options than Facebook itself. Tapping on the Edit option, you can change the brightness, contrast, saturation and warmth.
Most people probably don’t know that Twitter has a host of photo editing features, including a magic wand for automatic adjusting. It also features several filters, cropping and stickers.
But you don’t have to use the editing options in social media apps to better the visuals. Most mobile phones have editors built into the default camera app, and most are actually very good.
As with most photos, no matter where you will post them, the magic wand to fix them automatically will be your friend. This feature is present in both iOS and Android devices. After taking a picture, tap to view it, tap on edit and look for the wand icon.
In addition to that, on iOS phones, you can also play around with the regular editing options like saturation and brightness. The iPhone does have different features that you won’t find in social media apps. These include things like vibrance, noise reduction, definition and tint.
Simple tweaks for better photos
The bottom line of photo editing is this: practice makes perfect. But that doesn’t mean you need to take a photography course.
By simply adjusting the contrast, brightness, or sharpness, you can transform your pictures into vibrant memories. The magic wand or auto edit function can also steer you in the right direction, and you can make further tweaks if you like.
Another thing that will greatly improve your photography isn’t so much about editing but composition. Professional photographers love to use the rule of thirds, and the gridlines on the screen can help with this.
The principle is rather straight-forward: nothing should ever be dead-on in the center. Whether it’s a person, plant or object, the subject of the picture should always be slightly off-center to the left or right.
Popular photo editing apps
The default tweaks and edits afforded by social media apps or the device’s camera is more than enough to shake things up a bit. But at times, you need something a bit more powerful, with functions not included in the regular software.
That’s when you’ll want to turn to photo editing apps. Photoshop is the gold standard, but you probably don’t want to pay the hefty price to use it, especially if you’re just looking to edit pictures to post on social media.
Fortunately, there are tons of free photo editing apps out there. You can try platforms like Gimp or Canva and decide which one works best for you. Tap or click here for details on free Photoshop alternatives.
Now that you know the basics of editing photos have some fun with it. Snap all the pictures you can and see just how creative you can be during the editing process. Who knows, you might find some hidden talents you didn’t know about.