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It has been a few months, but I am back with chapter 3 in my blogger series! I recently upgraded my laptop to the Lenovo Yoga 720 and my experience with it inspired me to share this post today. I am going to be sharing advice on one of my most requested topics – photography and photo editing. People ask me all the time what type of camera I use, how I edit the pictures, etc. So today I am compiling all my best advice for photo editing and photography.
Whether you want to share better pictures on your social platforms, print family photos for the wall, curate pictures into memorable family photo books or start your own blog or website, photo taking and editing is a part of every ones life in this digital age. So if you want to know how you can take pictures like a pro blogger, you are in the right place! Even though this is part of my blogger series, this post really applies to anyone with a phone or a camera! And although this post is tailored for beginner photographers, I have some new and unexpected advice for even the most advanced picture takers.
Part 1: Taking Photos like a Pro Blogger
Everyone thinks that taking amazing photos depends on the camera you have. That simply isn’t true. You can have the simplest phone camera and capture amazing photos, or you can have gear worth thousands and still have your photos come out looking like a three year old took them (no offense Zoey😜). Capturing visually stunning photos has more to do with skills and less to do with setup. Here are my top tips for taking photos worth sharing no matter what camera you have.
Use good lighting!
Right before sunset, right after sunrise, and overcast days usually provide great lighting for outdoor photos. Taking photos in bright sunlight can results in lots of white glare and difficult to edit photos. When you utilize good lighting you can really tell a huge difference. Here is an example of a post I photographed on an overcast day, and here is one in direct sunlight. It is easy to see based on the results why good lighting is so important. If you do take pictures in direct sunlight (I do all the time) be conscious of the position of the sun, and take advantage of shady spots. Here is an example of a post I photographed midday in the desert sun. You can see some pictures have uneven lighting on my face, but for most of them I took advantage of shade and made sure the light was shining directly on my face.
Shoot in Manual Mode
I have a few simple rules for my settings that makes it easy to get it right every time. This tip doesn’t apply to phone cameras. I always keep the F stop as low as it can go, 1.8 on my camera. While looking through the viewfinder, I adjust the ISO as low as it can go and the exposure as high as it can go. Below I will share my camera settings, they work best on a F1.8 55mm lens.
Simple guide to manual camera settings:
- Bright day – Exposure: 1/4000, ISO: 640
- Overcast day – Exposure: 1/1250, ISO: 640
- Indoor photos with studio lighting – Exposure: 1/800, ISO: 2000
- Indoor photos with natural lighting – Exposure: 1/800, ISO: 1600
- Always keep the F stop as low as it can go
- Avoid setting the ISO above 3000
- Avoid setting the exposure below 1/500
Take Pictures Regularly
Keep your camera with you at all times and take pictures whenever you have time! Practice makes perfect, and you never know when you are going to have a chance to capture that perfect candid moment. It is good to have your camera always on hand. As a blogger, I am never without my camera. Some of my favorite pictures are unplanned moments that I just happened to have my camera for.
Be a Copy Cat!!
Go on Pinterest and find photos that you like, use them to pose your photos! There is a reason they are showing up at the top of your Pinterest feed. Looking at blogger sites is another great place to find nice photos. I don’t know how to pose a picture for the life of me, but luckily I don’t have to because there is an eternal stream of ideas right at my fingertips. You can also save photo ideas when you see a picture you like on social media too. That way you can reference it later. I have a private Pinterest board dedicated to this!
Take More Photos Than you Need
I always take 100’s more photos than I actually need. For each pose/angle/scene capture at least three shots. This gives you better odds of getting a photo you love! When you take lots of photos you need a computer that can handle large file sizes and still work quickly, especially when it comes to editing your photos! I just upgraded my computer to the Lenovo Yoga 720 beaches it uses Intel’s most powerful processor, the 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor. It is made for speed, especially in photo and video editing. Since I am always busy, speed is vital to accomplishing my blogger work on time. Keep reading for how to edit your photos yourself, fast and effectively.
Part 2: Photo Editing Tips for Everyone from the Beginner to the Expert
Sort your Photos First
Before you start editing go through your pictures and sort out the best ones. Put all your favorites in a separate file. Then go through them again and delete duplicate favorite photos of the same pose. Save time by only editing the pictures that you really need to.
Don’t Edit Online
Make sure you use a desktop app to edit your photos. Online photo editing programs take additional time because you have to upload your pictures online. This can reduce file size and quality, and significantly slow down your computer. It makes the editing process much slower.
Use an App With Built in Filters
Lots of photo editing apps come with built in filters. I use photoshop which you can buy filters for or create your own. Photoshop has a steep learning curve though. There are lots of programs out there that are easy to use and get the job done quick. Pixlr for example is a great photo editing app that you can download right on to your desktop. With the built in efficiency that computers with 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor come with, photo and video editing is fast and seamless for me using this app. I used to complain about how slow my computer went when I was editing pictures and videos, but I haven’t once since I upgraded to Lenovo Yoga 720. Which leads me to my next tip.
Get the Right Computer!!
Photo editing was a huge reason I upgraded my computer. As soon as I turned on my new computer (which I got at Best Buy) I noticed the image was sharper and more vibrant than my last computer. I also noticed that I could edit photos and videos in dramatically less time. But in my opinion Lenovo Yoga isn’t just the right computer for photo editing speed, it is the right computer for life. It has amazing features: the ability to last 10 hours without being plugged in, it can transform instantly into a tablet, it has split screen capabilities that allow for seamless multi tasking, built in Cortana voice command intuitively acts as your personal assistant, it has a finger print touch unlock that adds heightened security. Having the right computer makes the photo editing experience so much better!
Part 3: Other Random Useful Tips
The above information basically covers all my most important photo taking and editing tips for anyone hoping to improve their photography and photo editing game. If you want to take it a step further, here are some other tips you might find useful:
- Consider getting a tripod for your photos and especially videos.
- If you take pictures indoors often make sure you do it with light from a window shining on the subject you are photographing, or buy some studio lights.
- Use a computer that can handle a lot of photo storage and still work quickly (like my Lenovo).
- BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS!! Losing pictures is the worst, I back mine up before ever removing them from my camera memory card.
- Organize your photos by year, month and date right when you back them up. It will save you a lot of time organizing in the future. I also add a title for each date, eg. ‘Disney World Pictures 4/15/17. This makes it easier to go back and find specific photos.
- Don’t shy away from used, but well kept, camera gear. If you are looking to upgrade but don’t want to pay full price this is a great idea. I always buy used cameras and lens and have never had a bad experience! Just make sure they are in excellent condition.
Hopefully these tips have helped you guys feel ready to seize your camera and capture every beautiful day of your life! And in case you missed it, you can check out the other posts in my blogger series to learn more about blogging. I shared one on how bloggers make money here and one with reviews on the best influencer agencies for bloggers here!
Do you like taking pictures? What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Keep scrolling for more pictures or…