You may think that this post is just another average article with a catchy headline on how to enhance photos or a how to guide for advanced photographers, but in fact it’s not.
These are my personal favorite 5 techniques that I use on a regular basis to turn a boring photo into a beautiful one with minimum of photographic skills.
In this guide I will be using the same image editing software that I used when I wrote the tutorial on how to design your own logo, the GIMP image editing software which is released under GNU General Public License.
Also you will see that I like to adjust the levels of most if not all of my pictures. This is a technique that takes just a couple of seconds and can really turn a simple photo into a vibrant one(more on this bellow).
Before I get started here are just a few of the tools I use:
1.Easily enhance your photos by adjusting the levels
Here is an example of a simple 30 seconds levels adjustment.(no other editing was done whatsoever)
Looks nice doesn’t it?
To do this simply open your photo in GIMP and go to Colors/Levels.
Adjust the levels as shown in the image bellow.
Move point 1 and 2 to the left and point 3 to the right until you are satisfied with the result.
There’s no right or wrong way, you just have to play around with the levels until the picture looks beautiful.
Be advised that you can easily overexpose the photo so don’t over do it 🙂
You will be amazed how much of a difference it can make on your images.
Try it out, it’s easy and fun!
2.Playing with blur and text
Often, when I am out of inspiration I like to blur the hell out of my photos and throw some text over them.
It may seem awful but I found out that you can often come up with some incredible images with little or no effort.
To do this I will first open the photo in GIMP.
Then I like to tweak the image a little, by cropping it or by adjusting the levels.
Often I overexpose the image on purpose so that the final blurred picture looks bright and vibrant.
Here is how I do it:
Once the photo is nice and bright I blur it.
To do this go to Filters/Blur/Gaussian Blur
After I blur the image I like to use a nice font and write some text. Sounds simple doesn’t it?
Select the text tool.
Then make a selection and write anything you like.
3.Don’t be afraid to crop your photos
It may seem strange but bear with me.
You can create more great looking photos for your blog by cropping them.
Sure this technique doesn’t apply to any photo but if all fails you can try it.
Also this works best on higher resolution pictures.
Here is an example:
Open the image in GIMP, select the crop tool and make a selection where you like to crop the photo.
Next adjust the levels so the final cropped picture looks bright and colorful.
4.Black and white images
Vintage, old fashion, call it however you like.
I call it a quick fix to a boring photo 🙂
Turing colourful images into black and white pictures can make them more interesting.
But this doesn’t work on any image, so a touch of discretion is advised.
Nevertheless it’s a good technique if all other fail.
Here is how I make black and white images:
First open the photo in GIMP and go to Colors/Hue-Saturation
Next adjust the saturation of the photo until all colors disappear.
Make sure the preview box is checked.
Finally adjust the levels as shown earlier.
Try to focus on contrast for beautiful black and white pictures.
5.Filters, filters and more filters
This is just a simple example of a filter which honestly doesn’t look that amazing but still there are quite a few filters that are truly awesome and are worth a try.
Using filters to enhance your photos can drastically save you time. There are literally hundrets of filters you can use to make a boring photo more interesting.
Again GIMP has lots of filters to play with.
Furthermore in the gimp plugin registry there are even more free filters to choose from.
As usual I will first adjust the levels of the picture to make it more bright.
Next I will just add a filter.
For this example I am choosing the cubism filter found in GIMP. (Filters/Artistic/Cubism)
These are just a few of the techniques I use to enhance photos for my blog.
I hope these easy tips will make your images stand out.
What about you? Do you use any image editing software to tweak your photos?
Let me know in the comments bellow.