Q&A Friday: Editing Photos for Instagram

Q: What photo editing apps do you use to edit your photos?

A: Snapseed!

Today I’m talking about my go-to apps for editing photos for instagram. I usually take my photos on a Canon in a manual raw image setting, upload to my computer and dropbox them to my phone, but when I get an iPhone 7 later this month I’ll probably be using that more since the quality is so great! I have played around in Lightroom a little bit, but I’ve been really happy with both Snapseed and Colorstory.

Snapseed is my #1 go-to for editing apps. The photo above is a great example of how I edited it via the app so that my hair color and door color didn’t blend so much. The more you play around with the app, you’ll find a rhythm to how you like to use it, however I have an order I tend to follow.

I always “transform” the photo to straighten it out. I rarely have a photo that’s 100 % straight (thanks instagram husband…), but that’s no problem for Snapseed! After that I will crop it to either a square or 5:4 ratio to fit the Instagram dimensions. Most often I do a 5:4 crop because I like the portrait (vertical) look of a photo. You can tune the images brightness, contrast, saturation, etc., but my favorite part is the brush. If you’d like to make one part of the photo lighter/darker, more saturated or less, etc., the brush is the best tool for this. Lastly, I use “heal” to take out anything I need to from the photo. I’ve used this to take out telephone poles, reflections of the camera in windows, car in the background, etc.

I also got a tip from my Instagram friend Jackie that the “grainy film” feature is great is you turn down the grain to 0, and then the filter to 25-50%, and then there are a lot of nice filters to choose from! Check it out!

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve edited via Snapseed and was featured on L.L. Bean’s Instagram account. I was sitting on the edge, but as you can see from the photo on the far left there’s a ledge that comes out more on the right side. I was able to edit that out, and then I used a brush to add color to the background without over saturating the boots themselves. The photo looks a lot better by using the “heal” feature on either side of my boots to take out the brush/ledge.

Another nice thing to play around with in Snapseed is that you can go back and erase certain steps of editing or even edit those steps. So if I’m not happy with how I straightened it and I’m almost done, then I can go back fix it, and then it will re-do all the previous steps so I don’t have to start from the beginning.

I also add “details” at the end to sharpen the image up just a tad without over doing it.

The second app I use is ColorStory, and I only use it once in awhile. The only thing I’ll use is the “flare/bokeh” feature for brighter, sunnier photos. If I feel my photos needs something extra, I’ll try a few and see if it fits. I don’t use this very often but am happy when I do.

One last tip – if you want your photos to be as clear as possible, it’s smart to upload them straight from the snapseed app to Instagram instead of saving them and then uploading them. The less steps to uploading, the less Instagram will condense them.

What app do you like to edit with?




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