So, I got a lot of comments and e-mails asking to give some tips about taking pictures and editing. I’m definitely not an expert and just learning, but I have a few tips to share.
Taking the Picture
First off, lets talk about taking your camera off of AUTO…I have a Nikkon SLR, so that’s what I’ll be referring to. This is the approach that works best for me and can just be a jumping off point for you to venture off of the “safe” setting! 😉
Alright, turn the dial off “AUTO” to the “A”. It stands for aperture and dictates how much light is let through your cameras sensor.
Now go to the “wheel” thing…not sure the proper name. It looks like this:
Turn it until the “F” on the screen has the lowest number possible. This is called “F-stop.” The lower the f-stop the more light will be let in. It’s kind-of like the pupil of your eye.
So you have your setting, now you need to figure out how you want your picture to look (the composition of the photo). Here’s where it can get tricky!Â Because you are not on AUTO you will need your camera to be very still when you take the picture. If you don’t have a tripod there are a few things you can do:
1. Use a stool, ladder, chair, anything you can find!
2. Hold your breath and snap.
I use both of these methods and they both work pretty good, but a tripod is by far the easiest.
Here is a photo using auto:
Using “A” function and low “F-stop”:
Just that simple change has already made the photo better!
I was using Picnik but they are closing their site in April. So, my brother suggested Gimp. It’s a good alternative to a mix between Picnik and Photoshop (and FREE). It’s pretty easy to use, has more capabilities than Picnik, and the best part, you download it.
(I will be using Gimp for this next section on editing but Photoshop is very similar.)
1. Once you download the program, open your picture as a layer.
***For each of these next steps, you will just have to play around with each setting until you get the feel that you are trying to achieve.***
2. The first thing I adjust is curves. It’s under “Colors.”
You want it to make an “S” curve. It will be a straight incline and you want to make it look like an “s.” Click on the line in the places you want to adjust.
3. Adjust the contrast to make the objects pop.Â You might also need to adjust the brightness.
4. I also like to adjust the saturation. Again this is a matter of preference.
5. If you would like to add your stamp to the photo, open it up as another “layer.” The image will need to have a transparent background.
6. To move the image, use the “X” shape. Make sure your cursor is centered on the picture and the ” x” takes the place of your cursor, otherwise it will move the actual photo.
7. To adjust the the size of the stamp, click on the below symbol.Â It will bring up the scale. Make sure the the chain-looking symbol next to the width and height is “locked.” Then you can adjust the picture without the ratios changing.
Hopefully you can use some of these tips!