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Editing Your Photos

Lesson 10 from: The Storyteller's Guide to Taking Better iPhone Photos

Dan Tom

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Lesson Info

10. Editing Your Photos

Dan edits photos submitted by the community photos and provides ways you can approach your edits.
Next Lesson: Workshop Recap

Lesson Info

Editing Your Photos

(boom) Hey guys, so I recently put a prompt on a Instagram story asking for photos that would allow me to edit for this workshop. And I'm absolutely blown away by the response. You guys sent way more than I thought I would receive. So it actually took me a little while to sort through all the photos and come with the final selections. So just thank you guys so much for doing that and I'm gonna edit those photos right now. All right, so the first photo I'm gonna edit from you guys is from Manila. I hope that's pronounced right. I apologize if it's not. And this photo is from Turkey. I know that for a fact because that was one of the first places that I traveled to. Because I saw a photo from Turkey and this is sunrise and it's an amazing experience. For you guys who haven't gone to Turkey highly recommend it when all this COVID stuff is over. Anyway, so the first thing I'm gonna do here is I'm going to crop the photo because I think that there's a little too much sky that's not needed a...

nd it's not really adding to the story. So I wanna focus on what is interesting to me. And what's interesting to me is the balloons that are rising in sunrise and also like the cityscape but also the light. So I'm gonna crop in as tight as possible. Again, I use my four by five ratio here. And as you can see, there's also a grid which also pops up with the crop tool. So it can help you compose how you might wanna crop. So let's crop that. The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna use my selective tool with the little bubbles. And again, I'm just trying to add a little, I'm trying to emphasize the cityscape a little bit. So I'm just gonna add a little brightness and contrast and structure which should cause the cityscape portion of the photo to pop a little bit more. And you're also providing a little bit of textural component 'cause the rest of the photo is kind of really even light, hazy, not too much contrast. So that creates a bit of a foreground. I like that. I'm gonna export that from Snapseed. I'm gonna open VSCO. So I just imported our photo from snapseed into VSCO. I'm going to kind of sort through and just try out different presets here. Find one that you'd like. Let's see, like this one I think is a little too yellow. Again, it's more about finding the direction of where you want the photo to go with these filters. That's kind of my mentality. And then you can always adjust the intensity. So like, I like this one, so let's go with this. Adjust it to where I like, now is the fun part. So I'm gonna go to the HSL tool which again is our hue, saturation, and lightness. This is strictly just for color correction slash color adjustments. And as you can see there's some blues on the top of the sky. There's a little, there's hints of orange and yellow underneath the blues. I wanna bring those colors out because I think that creates a more visually aesthetically pleasing photo. So I'm gonna go to the blue section click on the blues up the saturation. And as you can tell it kind of minorly adjusted I'm gonna actually bring the hue down to slightly more turquoise and bring the lightness down. And then I'm also gonna adjust the oranges. I'm gonna intensify that see how you can kind of take that away. Bring that down and you get that kind of nice warm glow with this photo. The yellows, I'm actually gonna make the yellows slightly more orange because I like those tones a little bit better. And as you can see, if you click on it, to the difference. I think that looks pretty good. One other thing that I like to do is if you go to the white balance tool you can control the temperature of your photo. So you can make it warmer, like this, or you can make it cooler. So the warmer that a photo is I feel like you, it's just more inviting overall. So I like to always just adjust the temperature just a little bit to the warmer side. The tint it's really preferential, but I tend to go more toward the purple side in this app versus the green side. So again, here's the before and here's the after let's get that. I'm gonna click on that. I'm gonna save to my camera roll. I'm gonna bring this back into snapseed for one last quick look. And I still think I want to bring out the blues a little bit more. So I'm gonna go back to the selective tool. You can just select the sky a little bit. I'm gonna bring the brightness down just to put a little bit more weight on the blues and then adjust the saturation. So make it, make the blues pop up a little bit more. One other thing that I like to do is because the balloons kind of faintly appear in the sky. I may actually just try to select a couple of the balloons here and just add a little bit of contrast and structure to get it to pop a little bit. Just to provide that depth. So the balloons that are closer I want to bring those out and make those pop a little bit. And the balloons further back I'm not gonna worry about really, really small details. But again this could impact your photo. I'm gonna save this out. Actually, I'm gonna adjust one more thing. I'm gonna go to the, I'm adjust overall contrast here 'cause it is pretty even. Here we go, save it. So our next photo is from Zoregate or Zoregate AKA Thomas. Thomas, thanks for sending your photo in. And the reason why I love this photo is because of just the light that's kind of pouring in. I mean who doesn't love light rays. So I love the expression and how the girl on the horse is kind of looking back at us too. So the first thing I do is usually I, again, I love to just kind of crop anything out that we don't need. But what I, my goal with this edit is to really emphasize these light rays that are coming in. So I'm just gonna do a quick crop. It's not a huge crop, but just I'm I guess, really picky with my crops. But yeah, so I'm gonna crop it first. The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna kind of balance out the photo. So I'm gonna use my selective adjust tool. I really want to bring out these rays. So I'm gonna kind of brighten them, give them a little contrast. If you brighten, add contrast to something with a selective adjust tool, it adds emphasis and it makes it pop. So that's kind of like my go to for maybe bringing out a certain part of the photo really drawing the viewer's eye into that part. So here's the original, here's the crop and the edit. I'm actually gonna add another one just to. Yeah, so the light is kind, these rays are kind of standing out a little bit more and it's really, it's pretty subtle, but. Yeah, so now I'm gonna export this. I'm gonna open up VSCO, bring our photo in with the light rays. Again my first step is to just kind of pick a preset that you think kind of goes well with the photo that you are editing. So I'm just, again, clicking through all these presets not really feeling these so far. But good thing there are a lot of these and I like this one actually. So let's use this one. I'm gonna bring it up about halfway. I'm gonna add a little bit of contrast just to see how that affects the photo. What I love about the photo too, is like, there's this kind of like dust and how the light hits the rays. Which is ultimately how rays are created and you need like a fog or a mist and then the light coming through. So I'm gonna just adjust to contrast a little bit. And then let's check out these colors. So in the photo of this photo, there's a lot of greens. There's reds, there's a little bit of blue in her jeans. I'm gonna make, I'm gonna try to get her to pop so that she's really standing out against the rays. So I'm going to add a little bit of blue to make her jeans pop a little bit. And then the color of the rays or light usually is a yellow or orangey kind of tone. So I'm just gonna see if how much is there with the yellow adjustment see how that affects the saturation. Okay. Sometimes I'll even crop again, just to see how it looks, but that might be a little too tight. So I'm actually, I'm gonna crop this. Yeah. Then you could see a little bit more of her expression as she's looking back. I'm gonna export this from VSCO. I'm going to bring this back into Snapseed. Here's our photo. Yeah, I like the tighter crop a lot. So because her upper body is kind of in these rays and light, she's a little bit kind of blown out. I'm gonna selective adjust just her top and really kind of add, I'm gonna darken her top so that it stands out against the light a little bit as well as her jeans. So I'm adding contrast, I'm adding a little bit of structure and again, these are just, I want the focus to be on her but also these rays that are coming in. And you can literally see these rays. So just a little bit of adjustment. I think these leaves on the left side are bit overexposed. And I think they kind of divert your attention a little bit to what I want you to focus on. So I'm gonna, sometimes I'll de-emphasize things with the selective tool as well. It's not always just to bring stuff out but you can actually do the opposite. And then just a couple more quick edits. I think I'm gonna make her, since she's wearing a tank top, I'm gonna bring out her skin tone just a little bit And then darken her, the hat that she's wearing. So there we have. Yeah, I kind of go, I kind of use this. If you can't tell this is definitely my favorite tool in Snapseed. I think it makes all the difference and I'm gonna export this and bring it into InShot put the border on and that's it. All right, so this next photo is from a guy named IoeGreer, AKA Joe. And Joe's actually a good buddy of mine. So this is actually pretty fun for me to be editing one of his photos. I think this is like the first time I've done it. So Joe, shout out to you. Thanks for sending in your photo. Again. This is a beautiful photo. I think it's a sunset at a beach somewhere on the east coast. And I've, it's funny 'cause I've seen this photo on Joe's feed. So I'm gonna be curious to see how I edit it differently than how he edits it. And again, editing is completely up to you. I think it's important to find your own kind of niche, what you're comfortable with, what you like. And so this is a great example to kind of show that. I'm gonna first again, crop the photo. So I think the, I think what I want to kind of emphasize here are these amazing clouds and the color that's in the clouds. There's also these kind of like nets in the middle as you can see, but there's, there's a really cool kind of texture and pattern in the sand. But in terms of hierarchy, how I'm thinking is I want to, I wanna showcase the clouds the most. Then the texture in the sand and then maybe the nets third. So that's kind of my mindset going into this edit right now. So I'm gonna crop this right now. So I wanna show more of the clouds because that's what I wanna focus on. And that's what I want the viewer to kind of hone in on. So I'm gonna crop this. It is a little underexposed, but I get why he did it. He doesn't want to lose any of the highlights, or being overexposed. I'm gonna uppen the brightness, just the overall brightness just a little bit. Add a tiny bit of contrast. I love the texture in the sand. So I'm gonna use the selective tool again Select just the sand. As you can see here uppen the brightness and then add a little bit of contrast and texture. Which is really gonna kind of bring out those lines in the sand. I'm gonna desaturate a little bit because if you add a lot of contrast it also saturates that area a little bit more. So I'm gonna compensate for the contrast with a little bit of desaturation. And then I'm also gonna select the clouds just a little, this area right here. Add a little bit of brightness and contrast, maybe a little bit of texture to give it. So here we have the original and then we have our kind of balanced out photo. I'm gonna export this from Snapseed. Open up VSCO. There's our photo import that. Let's edit this. And again, wow look at this, look at these, these are kind of. See how these filters have such a different effect on this photo. I love, I love kind of pink, orange hues in sunsets. And so I'm gonna go with, go that direction. And I think, you know, obviously this is subjective but I think I'm happy with this level right here. So look at that before and after. Again, you can play with temperature here. So if you want to make it warmer, cooler, that's completely. So I always kind of just like it a little bit warmer. Go into my HSL. Hue, saturation, and lightness. This photo is screaming oranges, reds, yellows so I'm gonna be careful with which parts are affected by these. So I'm gonna adjust the yellows here, click into the reds. Sometimes I'll make the red hue into more of a pinkish tone. I like pink clouds here. Adjust this a little bit, bring up the brightness. So here's the before, here's the after. I'm happy with that. Let's go to save to camera roll. And I'm gonna go back into Snapseed open that photo up. And look at that difference, wow. So I'm gonna [inaudible] the size again this structure and the sand I love those lines. Using again, the selective tool. I don't want it to be too colorful and stand out. I think if we desaturate the sand here it's going to de-emphasize it a little bit. And so more attention will be on the clouds. And then there's a few clouds in the middle here that you can get to. So I'm gonna add a little bit of contrast texture but I don't want these to stand out. So see how that pops just a little bit? Want these to be more white, but yeah. And that looks pretty good. Maybe to bring out these nets a little bit, I'm gonna I mean, what a beautiful scene. Export this, save copy and then bring it to InShot and add the border. And here is the before and the after. Hey guys, thanks for sending in your photos. Unfortunately I couldn't get to all of them but I really appreciate you guys sending those. And I hope that you got a good peek into my process and also how I edit photos, what I look for. And I hope that helps you in your own process.

Ratings and Reviews

Lindsay Remigio

Great Workshop - Not just for iPhones This workshop was concise but packed a lot of great information. The things taught can not only help you take better photos with your iPhone but can also be applied to any format of photography. I particularly enjoyed the section where Dan edits viewers photos. I feel inspired to get out and try what I learned.

Déborah Mocquant

I like the way Dan Tom sees the world and how he is inspired. This is more than a workshop for me. I felt like I was in an other world. This workshop also gave me a lot interesting informations about photography. To be honest, I watched this workshop 4 times already.

Emily Guldborg

He has a definite passion for what he does and encouraging people to share their stories through photography. Not a huge time commitment and he refreshed my interest in sharing my perception of the world.

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