Quick Tips to Improve Your Photos For Instant Sharing

I’m in the middle of writing a guest post for A Beautiful Little Adventure with some quick photo tips that grew a bit longer than I’d planned, so I decided to split the list up between today’s post and the one that will be on Katie’s blog in the near future … I’ll add the link back here once its live 🙂

Okay, so you have a blog. Or an Instagram/Twitter/Facebook profile you want to share images on …

Your only camera may be the one built into your phone.You might want the images to be “pinworthy” too … but you’re limited on ways to make them better (i.e. lack Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) …

So what can you do to make them better without super expensive and complicated software?

Phone apps!

For the iPhone/iPod Touch, I recommend … Pic Tap Go (small fee, but worth it) or Afterlight (again, a small fee, but worth it).

For Android devices, I recommend … Cymera (free), Afterlight (free), or Aviary (free).

*I recommend these particular ones as I’ve used them previously, I can’t speak for the features of any others!

Tip #1: Straighten the image.  

Okay, how many of us (myself included) have tried to one handed shoot an image and it came out crooked. I don’t mean an intentional Dutch Angle either …

Below are some screenshots from my Android phone using Cymera.

  Screenshot_2014-03-10-11-32-48  Screenshot_2014-03-10-11-33-15

*While Afterlight has a straightening feature, Pic Tap Go does not 🙁

Now … isn’t that better? Well, at least the mailbox isn’t crooked anymore … the tree on the right actually leans a bit right-ward.

(PS … you can also straighten an image with Instagram before posting it.)

Tip #2: Tweak the contrast a bit. 

A bit … NOT a lot!



After: I bumped the contrast up/to the right just a bit (it starts in the center)



*used Aviary for this edit. Please excuse the piece of lint on my slacks, I was a bit too lazy to reshoot or pick out another image to use 😉

Tip #3: Turn off the flash on your camera.

Sometimes that pesky little thing kicks on (or up) when you least want it. Usually you can just go into the settings and turn the flash feature off. Sometimes you have to change to another shooting mode. Unless its pitch black out, you can probably get away without the flash if you have good natural light.

Need the flash but don’t want that ‘flash’ look? Use a coffee filter or a kleenex to ‘diffuse’ the light …



I know, it looks weird. You don’t have to get all fancy with the ‘frame’ either. I’ve previously done the “wrap a coffee filter around it and hold it in place with a rubber band technique. Sometimes we have to do weird things to create art 😉

Tip #4: Sharpen the image a bit.

Again … a bit … NOT a lot!




*used Aviary for this edit. Please excuse the piece of lint on my slacks, I was a bit too lazy to reshoot or pick out another image to use 😉

So … the main tip from all of this … a little editing goes a long long way. There’s no need to heavily edit an image!

Two more tips that don’t require any software at all are coming up in the near future soon over at Katie’s blog

Update: The post is live … read part 2 of the quick tips by clicking here!

The Grits Blog
  • Mar - March 14, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Love this! Thanks for sharing 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Carly @ Let Us Wanderlust - March 16, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    I found this post super helpful! Just nice to know what I’m doing is the same as others, and there’s no need for heavily edited images you sometimes see!ReplyCancel

  • Kym - March 19, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    OBVIOUSLY I love this post! Call me a dumbass, but I didn’t know you could straighten photos lol. Oiiiiii. And that coffee filter trick is a good one! Gosh I really need to sit down and take the time to develop my photog skills, there is so much to learn and you’re always such a great resource!!ReplyCancel

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