I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve the quality of my blog and Instagram photos. Before I started blogging, I didn’t know the first thing about editing photos, and I’m certainly no expert just yet. I wanted to find a free app that I could use on my phone to edit photos, and that’s when I read lots of recommendations for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Even though there are paid for add ons, the app itself is free and there are lots of brilliant free features that I enjoy using. I wanted to share what I’ve learnt so far about editing photos for free using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and an example of how I edit different types of photos.
The main two problems I usually have with indoor photos are that they are too dark, and light from outdoors can produce orange-y shadows next to objects. To solve the darkness issue, I find that increasing the exposure doesn’t always help. Instead, I adjust the sliders called ‘whites’ and ‘blacks’ to give these two colours a nice contrast.
With the photo above, I moved the ‘whites’ slider all the way to the right and the ‘blacks’ slider a little to the left to make the background more white and enhance the black parts of the photo. I took the photo on a sunny day, so to get rid of the orange colour, I turned the orange ‘hue’ slider left a little. To find the specific colour sliders in Adobe Lightroom for mobile, go to ‘Colour’ at the bottom and select the colour wheel in the corner. This is a really useful tool for adjusting the hue, luminance and saturation of the different colours that appear in photos. These really simple steps were all I needed to edit this photo and it’s clear to see the difference that it made to the quality!
Outdoor Photos In Bright Light
Bright light outdoors does tend to make photos taken outside have a higher quality than those taken on a darker day. With the original photo above, the part I really wanted to edit was the sky, as it came out quite dark. I went to the ‘Colour’ section of Lightroom first and found the dark blue colour to edit. I found that taking the ‘hue’ slider down a little to the left, and the ‘saturation’ and ‘luminance’ sliders almost all the way to the right created a blue colour that I liked in the sky, as well as on my clothes!
The fence in the background of the photo was quite dark, so I went to ‘Light’ and moved the ‘exposure’ slider to the right a little to brighten the fence. To me, the grass looked a little dull compared to the sky, so I went back to ‘Colour’ and moved the ‘vibrance’ slider a little to the right too. To finish off the editing, I went to ‘Effects’ and moved the ‘clarity’ slider to the right, as this increased the overall photo quality even more.
Outdoor Photos In Dim Light
Poor natural outdoor light usually equals more editing. The photo above I took of the Notre Dame Cathedral was taken on a cloudy, rainy day, so required a lot of brightening. I mostly focused on the ‘Light’ section of Lightroom for this photo, starting by moving the ‘exposure’ slider to the right to brighten the photo. Increasing exposure can cause the photo to lose some of its detail, so I fixed this by moving the ‘contrast’ slider to the right. Also, I moved the ‘whites’ slider to the right and the ‘blacks’ slider to the left to really add a contrast to these key colours in the photo.
This photo came out with a slight purply tint, so in ‘Colour’ I moved the ‘tint’ slider to the left just a little to get rid of this. To bring out the beautiful details of the Cathedral, I moved the ‘clarity’ slider in ‘Effects’ to the right. Finally, to really emphasise the details, I went to ‘Detail’ and moved the ‘sharpening’ slider up, as this brought out the details nicely.
As I said at the start of this post, I’m no expert and definitely still have lots to learn. I just wanted to talk about what has worked for me when using the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app for free and how different types of photos need editing in different ways. I hope some of the things I’ve shared might be helpful if you’re thinking of using the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app for free to edit photos!
Take a look at Adobe’s website for more information about the app.