Friday, 2 December 2016

How i take and edit my photos

Many months ago i did a post around taking photos when you don't have a camera and it quickly became my most popular post; more recently I've had a few requests to do a post on how i take and edit my photos and which camera i use so i thought i'd compile all of that into todays post!


Many of the "rules" i go by when taking photos with my camera are the same as the ones in my post about taking photos with your phone; if you want to read all of my in-depth tips about lighting, background, props and editing click here to be brought to that post!
However i will go into the two main factors i use when taking my photos with my camera which are lighting and editing.

I use the Olympus Pen EPL-8 camera to take my photos and i have to admit i set it to auto, however along with buying my camera i bought the 45 mm lens which gives the photos so much more than the standard kit lens that comes with the camera. The 45 mm lens gives a large aperture of 1:1.8, amazing depth of field and that blurry back ground. The standard kit lens that comes with the camera is still very good and will give you a slight blurry background but if you do really want the full dept of field the 45 mm lens is money well spent.

If you don't know what i mean by that blurry background, heres two examples outside and inside:



LIGHTING:
I always use natural lighting to take my photographs, whether thats taking photos of products indoors or taking photos of a building or scene outdoors. Now winter is in full swing taking advantage of natural light is difficult but i still choose natural lighting over alternatives because #1 its free and #2 i do believe its the best way to light a photograph. 

Indoor natural lighting: 

If like me you're getting frustrated with the dark days but still want to use natural lighting for indoor photography here are my tips:
  • Take photos between 10-2 when the sun is at its brightest and really at its best between 12-1.
  • Find the best place in your house for photography, i actually considered filming a youtube video in my kitchen once because the lighting is amazing, the background not so much!
  • Plan ahead! I always keep an eye on the weather and look for that little sun emoji, when i see its going to be a sunny day i plan ahead all of the photography i need to get done for future posts and take them all in one go. Yes, essentially i do go out on rainy days and stay in on the bright sunny ones ..

Outdoors:
  • You might be thinking "theres no such thing as outside unnatural lighting" but i'm talking about the camera flash. I always try to avoid using the flash on my camera, sometimes its unavoidable especially if you're taking photos of people but i find the flash really washes out a picture. Heres an example i took while in Paris:

The first photo is Notre Dame without flash and the second is with flash, you can really see the huge difference once you put the flash on; the second photo is really washed out and the warm tone of the cathedral is completely lost. 

Indoors unnatural lighting:

If you do want to use unnatural lighting because you can't take your photos during daylight hours invest in some soft box lighting or a daylight bulb from ikea, but whatever you do don't just turn on the lightbulb above your head it'll make the photo very orange toned and often will reduce the quality of the photo.

EDITING:

Depending on what type of photo i'm taking i use two different editing apps, like i said before i usually take two types of photos: indoor photos of products or photos taken outside of building, streets etc.
When i take photos of products indoors i use the editing app " Colour Story" and when i edit outdoor photos i use "VSCO cam".


When i take photos of products i like them to be bright but not washed out, to do this i make sure the lighting is the best possible and i use 1 filter from the colour story app, either the "pop" or "everyday" filters from the essential category. Sometimes i don't use a filter at all, i just make the exposure a little bit brighter, adjust the shadows or the curves of the photo.

Heres an example of a photo before and after applying the "everyday" filter from the colour story app:



As you can see the photo is just the tiniest bit brighter and the colours appear a little deeper, its not over filtered and the quality isn't impacted. 

For my photos taken outside i like colours to be vivid and pronounced without looking over edited. To do this i often use the VSCO cam C1 filter; some of the filters on the app are a little harsh for me but i find this amongst others to work well with the photos i take. 
Heres an example:


Everything is more pronounced, i love VSCO filters because they manage to just lift everything and make things stand out more. Sometimes this filter can make some photos a little bit dark so sometimes i will up the exposure one notch but i haven't done that here as i think it works perfectly. 

So there you have it, all of my secrets into one post! I have to say my favourite thing about taking photos is the 45 mm lens it really changes the game. 

- Maria x

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34 comments

  1. I love using VSCO for photo editing, its so good - your photography is amazing!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. Its one of the best free apps! Thank you! - Maria x

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  2. I love vsco too! C1 is a babe of a filter and I also really like HB2!

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    1. Yessss what would be do without filters! - Maria x

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  3. I use VSCO for my Instagram - trying to Photoshop-up for my blog :)

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    1. Me and photoshop have never gotten along! ahaha i applaud you for being able to use it ! - Maria x

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  4. What do you use to add text to your pictures? Love your photography you are amazing, I can only hope that one day I can take pictures as good as yours!

    I blog over at http://bethmeganh.co.uk would love it if you had a nosey.

    Xx

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    1. aw thats so kind thank you! I use the free app photo - Maria x

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  5. Great post and advice. Perfect timing because I'm.looking for ways to make my photos brighter.

    So
    Leigh
    www.pinkvintageheart.com

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    1. Thank you! Glad its helpful - Maria x

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  6. What a brilliant blog post; such great tips, & your photos are beautiful. :-)

    www.cassiemaie.com

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    1. thank you! i hope its helpful - Maria x

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  7. The C1 filter on VSCO actually looks really good, I'm not usually one for filters but that doesn't look too deep or crazy unrealistic like most filters!

    www.thesundaymode.com

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    1. yeah i feel like you have to be careful with filters because some can look too much but vsco manages to do it really well! - Maria x

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  8. This post is amazing! There's always room for advice in my case ��

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    1. Thank you so much! i'm always reading photography posts to get tips! - Maria x

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  9. Great tips! I totally agree natural lighting is the best. I've had to resort to soft box/studio type lights a few times for indoors as I kept coming home dark. Great pictures!❤ xh

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    1. Thank you! It is the best but sometimes unpredictable! - Maria x

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  10. I love VSCO cam. Will have to try the C1 filter. Lovely post.
    www.confettiandcashmere.co.uk

    Sapna X

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    1. Thank you so much for reading ! - Maria x

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  11. This post was so helpful. I've been following your blog for some time now and adore your photography especially the ones with products in it. Now I will go straight to town tomorrow and buy myself a new lens!! Thanks for sharing!
    Lea, xx
    www.asnippetoflife.com

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    1. aw that is so lovely to hear, thank you for sticking around and i wish you all the luck with your new lens! - Maria x

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  12. I love VSCO but I've never tried the colour story app, I just downloaded it so I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for such a helpful post!

    Amy x

    www.theauburnagenda.com

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    1. Yay i hope it works out well for you! - Maria x

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  13. Loved this post! I'm really liking used app to edit my photos, I feel like you get such a better than effect.

    Dionne
    www.deedeelouise.com

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    1. Yeah i much prefer using my phone to edit, thank you for reading! - Maria x

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  14. Your photos are fantastic, and you're spot on about VSCO cam - it does give every picture that magic quality! x

    LEXI LIKES

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    1. Thank you, yeah it just seems to really add something without being too full on! - Maria x

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  15. Such a great tip! I love using natural lighting while I'm in Australia but when I came to malaysia, our natural lighting isn't that good. I have to use small ring light that you can attach in your phone to make it bit more alive.

    If you love using VSCO, I'd recommend you to use Snapseed. I use snapseed for tuning image and HB1 filter on VSCO.
    ColorStory is my fav app in Australia 💕

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    1. i'd love to invest in a ring light, i think it'd be really useful! I've tried it in the past and i did really love it, maybe i'll give it a go again thanks for reminding me! x

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  16. Great post! �� Really helpful tips. Nothing beats natural lighting �� Lovely photos too x

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    1. Thank you so much, yeah natural is definitely best! x

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