Looking through the images on some of my old blog posts recently has caused the same reaction I have when I look through my old middle school photos from the early 90’s. I just cringe when I look back at my poofy bangs molded to a crisp with super-duper-freeze-extra-hold hairspray, slap bracelets, and the stonewashed jeans that were folded and rolled up. Like, “What was I thinking?!”
My blog is over a year old now and I should probably mention the two blogs I had before that, which were a total flop. Anyway, I still have a lot to learn and as you can probably see, I’m not much of a photographer and before I got my new camera this past Christmas (thanks Mom!), all I had to rely on was my smartphone camera.
I know a lot of bloggers will tell you how important it is to have a nice camera and I have seen quite an improvement in my blog photos since I’ve had it, but they can be expensive and sometimes you have to make the best of what you have….which is why I’m sharing this information with you today. Two reasons really…first, because whether you have a blog or not, it’s always nice to have a simple way to enhance your photos (especially from a camera phone) and because it’s a great way to improve your blog content and Pinterest images.
Honestly, I am not a blogger who gets a lot of traffic so I can’t tell you this is the magic formula or anything, because I still haven’t figured out what that is. I went through and enhanced my photos because I view my blog as an art and not a job (although I wouldn’t mind earning an income), and I want others to clearly see images the way I saw them before I ever snapped a photo.
That is why I am so thrilled about the Windows 10 update! I am not one who transitions well with change, but as soon as I started learning how easy it is to enhance photos with their new photo app, I have been tooling around with this program and making my images much better and brighter. I started with the photos from the Southern Living Idea House that I visited in Charlottesville in December, BEFORE I got my nice new Canon camera. Booo. It would have been so much better to have a good camera as I toured this lovely house. I’ve always been disappointed in the camera phone photos I had, especially since I had so many pictures and details to share in that post. Believe it or not, I did brighten them a little in the camera phone edits, but too much light made it hard to see the details. Thanks to Windows 10, these photos have GREATLY improved! Check out the difference in the photo I took in the master bedroom at the Southern Living house…
Isn’t it nice that you actually see the room now? The paint and fabric colors are visible now and you can see the tile inside the fireplace. What a difference it made! I didn’t use any filters on these photos, just brightened with the lighting features. For the master bedroom, taking away the shadows made the biggest difference and at the end of this post, I’ll walk you through some screenshots of enhancing this photo on windows 10.
This next ‘before’ photo is a real embarrassment. Here’s that “What was I thinking?” moment, like the poofy bangs. It’s that bad, really. This wardrobe makeover is one of the projects I am most proud of because I put a lot of work into it and I love how it turned out, but it’s hard to see that in the top photo. The bottom photo is quite an improvement and what’s funny is, that I speak of them like they are two different photos. Nope…the same photo. For this particular photo, I had to add some contrast to make the furniture pieces stand out. Adding more light and removing shadows was a must as well…
For this photo of our master bedroom makeover, I just clicked the retouch button in the editor right over that cable cord we have sticking out of the floor (circled). I have no idea why cable companies run cable through hardwood floors, but that’s a rant for another time. It’s just nice to be removed from the photo now. For this image, I also added light and contrast, which made the small wall gallery of photos stand out more. I also gave the white curtains and the bed spread a little color boost so they would stand out more.
Just a few more before and after photos of the Southern Living house before I walk you through the screenshots…
If you haven’t seen the new photo editor in Windows 10, I have a few screenshots and will attempt to walk you through it as best as I can. Since each photo is different, the best advice I can give is just to play around with it some until you get the results you want.
I know Windows had photo editing capabilities before, but I feel this new photo editor is much easier to use with more detail.
This is what it looks like and you should see it come up every time you click on a photo in Windows 10. Just start with the little pencil at the top.
You can see here, I only went to the light section of the editor. Sometimes I will go to the color section to slightly boost a color, but I didn’t do that here. I started by removing the shadows as much as I could. Huge improvement, already!
Enhanced with highlights…getting better.
And finally, a little ‘brightness’.
Now I can come closer to showing my readers what I saw before my smartphone captured everything, thanks to this photo editor! If you have the new Windows 10, this is definitely an encouragement for those with camera phone photos!
For my fellow bloggers- have you gone through and improved your past content by enhancing your photos? If not, I would definitely recommend it! I think it can be a positive experience for you and your readers, since your blog is an expression of you and how you want your readers to see that. As for a traffic driving formula, I really don’t know. I’m still a newbie around here, but I hope to update that information someday…with good news!