Just kidding. As much as I can, I still use Photoshop because I work faster with it. It’s just that I’ve noticed that when I get a blog idea so close to my heart that I can type it up in less than an hour, the only thing that holds me back from hitting the publish button is the lack of Photoshop. Why? Because I have to make a header graphic and all my fonts are on my personal laptop at home, that’s why!
But this is the 21st century and everything you need to do, you can do from your smartphone. From editing photos to make them look like they went through Lightroom (which I don’t have, anyway) to adding text without the help of Photoshop or Powerpoint Art Directing. Today, I’m featuring my three favorite photo editing apps that I think every blogger should have.
And these apps are…
Here is an unedited photo, taken with my iPhone 5C:
It’s not so bad but it’s not something I would put on my blog or Instagram. When editing photos, the first thing I do is Snapseed it (yep, totally verbed that thing).
This app is amazing, but I love it mainly for two things: the brightness and ambiance controls. Snapseed’s brightening function is the best and ambiance is some sort of smart contrast function. According to Snapseed Help:
The Ambiance control is a special type of contrast that controls the balance of light in a photo. It can be used to balance backlit photos or to accentuate contrasts throughout your photo. Swipe right for photos where the subject is darker than the background. Swipe left to increase the contrast of dark objects and create a slight glow around darker objects. This is especially helpful in photos that are slightly flat.
Here’s the photo after going through Snapseed:
I abuse ambiance waaay too much.
2. VSCO (or Afterlight)
After editing my photo on Snapseed, I open it on VSCO aka everyone’s favorite photo app. Did you know that I used to hate VSCO? I got it when it still cost 99 cents on the app store and was disappointed because I only liked 2 filters (04 and 05). Now, I can’t live without it. I don’t even edit photos on Photoshop anymore because VSCO’s filters are just easier and faster to use than Photoshop actions. I have all the presets save for the Alchemy collection, but I tend to stick to just 1 or 2 filters.
Here’s my photo after applying SE3 plus some minor adjustments (btw, what’s your favorite VSCO filter/s?):
I used to use Afterlight (I also have all the filters) but it’s been ignored for a few months now. VSCO’s flow is simpler but I like how Afterlight lets you can combine filters and save this “fusion” for future use.
Here’s the Snapseeded photo with my favorite fusion filters applied:
And here’s a collage so you can see the difference:
Gone are the days of having to borrow my art director’s laptop or wait ’til I get home to throw together some text on a photo!
I’ve tried out a lot of text apps before but I always end up uninstalling them because they weren’t what I was looking for. Good thing I found out about Phonto through Corinth! Phonto is great because you don’t need to pay to get more fonts; simply install your own! The ad-free version costs 99 cents, but TBH, the ads don’t bother me. The lack of an undo option is very annoying, though!
My blog header graphics are pretty simple: just a white rectangle with the opacity adjusted and text over it. I think when it comes to blog images, cleaner is better.
Phonto has lot of basic shapes to choose from but if you need something a bit complicated (like a paint brush), you’re better off with Photoshop.
Those are the 3 apps I use and recommend to anyone wanting to improve their blog photos without having to resort to Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or web apps like Pixlr (which is a pain to use).
PS: I’m not actually going to blog about my visit to West Elm Estancia. But see that low table in the photos? It’s perfect for Instagramming because you don’t need to strain your back for flatlays. It’s also PHP20,000.