The thing about bookstagram is that every account is different. A lot of bookstagrammers have feeds that are themed, whether that means the photos are bright or darker, have a white background or a constant and consistent background, the same filter is used every time, and so on. Some accounts are sporadic and eclectic, which I also love--and that's what my account used to be. My pictures were based on a few things: my mood; what kind of photo I could accomplish given the time of day, what I had on hand, how busy I was, etc.; the book itself and whether the photo was based around the book; lighting. (More on that in a bit.) And I liked doing that because I get bored and my photos are based on so many factors, and sometimes I love to get so creative that I make a mess.
Then I moved. And I did a photo or two outside--I'm surrounded by trees and natureish bits--and I really like how those photos turned out. Even more so, I liked the look of a few outdoor photos in a row on my profile, and then I didn't want to break that--so now all my photos are outside. (Which is just great because I live in Washington and fall is approaching, and rain + books = ABORT MISSION.) And now my feed has a theme, and I love it--there's something very appealing to the eye when a feed is so cohesive. (But I've been getting bored and missing the creativity but that's for another post.)
Today I'm going to show you how I EDIT my photos--because maybe people are wondering (I wonder how others edit theirs!), and maybe it shows how the little things can make a feed cohesive? Before I show you a video (ooooooh!), here are a few facts about my photos:
- Lighting. Is. Everything. I tend to like my photos darker, so I have to watch for placement when taking photos, because if there's too much sun my usual editing process isn't going to work. But if there's not enough sun--basically, if it's too dark--the quality of the photo is going to be bad. I have taken some photos later in the day when the sun is still up and it's a bit shady, but I have to watch what I'm doing. My favorite lighting is when it's overcast--I loved the mood it creates in my photos. But NO RAIN.
- I take all my photos on my iPhone 6s.
- I'll occasionally use an app for a blur effect (Blur Editor)--and I did use Pixlr to brighten backgrounds when I used a white one--but otherwise every single one of my edits is done with what Instagram offers.
- I like to use something in my photo, aside from the book/focal point, that's purposely out of focus so that it puts more focus on the focal point.
- My editing process is basically like so:
- Take 5,000,001 photos
- Find one that looks good (and you'll see in the video that I edit more than one photo to see which I like best and compare screenshots, then I'll re-edit the winner because screenshots take away photo quality)
- Filter: Stinson
- Take brightness and shadows to -100, vignette to 100
- Highlights 100, see if lux benefits/hinders photo
- Go through other editing options (possibly altering vignette, brightness, and shadows--especially the former and latter if there's more sun in the photo)
- Adjust: Fix angles, centering, and balance of photo
- Contrast: Don't touch much these days, except maybe a touch of or a touch less
- Structure: I very rarely use this because I feel like it takes away the quality of a photo
- Warmth: This depends on the photo--and my lighting for the day--and I tend to take the warmth down because I like darker photos, and sometimes too much warmth gives the photo too orangey/old of a feel
- Saturation: Lately I up this since most of my other edits are so dark--this adds color and some light
- Color: I don't use this
- Fade: Unless it makes the photo look too old or adds a weird tint, I tend to use at least a bit of this
- Tilt Shift: I use this to put focus on the focal point of my photo--or cover up whatever already is blurry if it looks funky
- Sharpen: I'll use this a bit if a book could use more focus, but I don't a lot of this because it takes away quality (photos look fuzzy for me!) and I like soft edges on my pictures
I think that's it? As you can (maybe) see, I'm picky with numbers and I'll go back and forth between photos and certain aspects of editing. (Now that I have a theme of sorts I'm quicker with edits because what I do stays rather consistent between photos, but I could--and can--spend half an hour decided whether or not I want tilt shift or some other editing option.) It can be stressful, but it's also fun!