Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Coffee And Cameras: An Introduction and How to Edit Your Mobile Photography!

Grab your coffee, sit down and join me while I share some of my favorite mobile photography tips with you!  These tips will be specifically for you mobile photography, but can be applied to your regular camera as well.

I've been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, thanks to my Nana.  Like most of you, I began with film and then in college I finally bought my very first professional DSLR {Digital Single Lens Reflex} camera!  It was a Nikon since that is what I had been working with at the Penn State newspaper and it was only 4 megapixels!
It is funny to think back on how HUGE that camera was and how small my new iPhone 6 is with it's 8 megapixel camera!  In this new series, I want you to sit back and relax with your coffee while hopefully learning something new!

I LOVE photography and I LOVE sharing my photos with you on Instagram.  In this first article, I want to show you how I edit my photographs for sharing.  In truth, a LOT of the time, I am down on myself for the photos I take in camera.  I've gotten better at getting as much as I can right when I shoot, but it is not until I get home and begin the editing process that I truly begin to love my pictures.


The very first app I go to for editing my photos on the phone is Afterlight {for Android and iPhone}.  I always take my photos with the phone's camera and then import them into Afterlight.  This way you can take as many photos as you like and pick your favorite to edit.
This is a photo, just as I shot it on the phone.  Again, as I looked at it, I wasn't in love with it.  I tried to center it as much as I could and I knew I wanted a lot of empty space at the top.  One of those two things was accomplished.

A little background on this shot.  I participate in the FMS Photo A Day Challenge on Instagram {click the link, it is quite fun!} and the prompt for this day's shot was "us."  I got all "cute" for an "us" photo and didn't like how they were turning out.  Then I realized I had this nice plain background behind us and both of our personalities represented in the doughnuts we were consuming!  This idea popped into my head and I got something, I think, unique and most importantly out of my personal creative box.  Don't be afraid to try something new and usual!

Photos are usually never bright enough for me, so I always do that first.  I mess around with both the exposure and brightness scales.  Please take these tips and use them to find YOUR style.  Mine is constantly evolving and I hope these tips will be a stepping stone to making your the photographer you were meant to be!
Here is the image brightened and cropped into a square.  For the most part I do square pictures, but sometime I get a really nice wide shot that I love and I use the borders in Afterlight to make the photo square and still share the entire scene.  I will share one of those at the end of this post.
Here are some of my favorite filters to use on Afterlight.  These are my go to filters almost every time.  For black and white shots I usually like, bright and light, COAL {under the original tab} gave that to me with a little bit of tweeking.

ELM {under the seasons tab} is probably the filter I use most often.

Followed second by ANTLER {seasons tab}.  Sometimes I want warm, sometimes I want cool.  Depends on my mood and the photo.

Last is Row {seasons tab}, but honestly, sometimes I click through every filter in the seasons tab {my favorites} and end up picking #nofilter.  Do what YOU feel is best for your photo.

And NOW the finished product!
I ended up choosing the filter Bright Fire under the Guest tab.  It has been one of my favorites lately and I love the brightness and warmth it gives the photograph.  Doughnuts deserve that don't you think?

Now to share a non-square photo!
If I would have squared up this photo it would have lost its effect.  My point was to show the contrast of a SoCal winter!  It is all about composition and what is pleasing to the eye...but that is another post entirely!

Did you find this post helpful?  Is there a certain topic you would like me to tackle in the future?!  Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to share if this post helped you!

I hope you enjoyed our very first Coffee And Cameras date!


Alice said...

I was a VSCO super fan, but then they upgraded only for iOS 8 (and my old iPhone 4 is stuck with iOS 7) and I've been excluded by their store, so I decided to switch to Afterlight. I really like that app and I use it pretty much like you do, I rarely use filters, though; I prefer to just adjust brightness and contrast. I come back to VSCO only when I snap a selfie, because they have an awesome (free) tool for the skin to make it a bit less red-ish.

B. said...

I'm going to check out this editing app for sure!

Mindy Nickel said...

Thanks for sharing these tips! I'm definitely downloading this app.


Ari Carr said...

This is a great post! I LOVE Instagram too and I'm rarely happy with my shots, so I'll download this app and see how it goes. Thanks!

Katya Owu said...

This is a great post! I love your Insta photos :D I feel completely the same when I take photos, it's always such a long process getting a photo from my camera roll to Instagram haha :) My favourite photo editing apps are Camera + and sometimes Aviary too!

Anna banana said...

I user Afterlight, too! :) I love how your photo (example) was turned brighter. My favorite is Captain but after seeing this post, I think I'll give Coal, Elm and Antler a try. Lol. Thanks for sharing these tips. Looking forward to the next Coffee and Cameras date! :)

Megan Gotch said...

Anna, thank you so much! Time to figure out my next post! xx

Megan Gotch said...

Thanks Travis! I was nervous about this post, because I love photography so much! Glad you enjoyed it! xx

Megan Gotch said...

Thanks B hope you like it! xx

Megan Gotch said...

Awesome good luck Ari! xx

Megan Gotch said...

Thank you so much Katya! xx

Megan Gotch said...

Alice, I use to use VSCO before Afterlight. I should try it again and see how I feel now! It's been a long time! xx

Kate (ChikSolo) said...

Oh this is so interesting! I will definitely be reading the rest of this series - I only got an iPad a year ago and an iPhone in prep for SDCC 2014, so I'm very interested in learning how you make your iPhone pics so polished!

I do have a question that might be covered in a later post - those watermarks on your pics, do you add those with an app? (if it's in Afterlight, I haven't played with that app yet, but I plan to download it tonight)

Megan Gotch said...

Hey Kate, thank you so much for reading! Glad you enjoyed it. For my blog i use watermarks {just started} and i use a site called Picmonkey.com!

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