Lazy Girl Photo Editing

the simplest way to edit your blog pictures with picmonkey
I know, I know; there’s a thousand tutorials out there on how to edit your blog photo’s to look awesome and I suppose once you’ve read one, you’ve read them all, eh? But this is how I edit my pictures during the darker nights where the light is simply awful. Photo’s come out yellow toned, fuzzy and the colours just aren’t right are they? Granted, I’m a lot lazier than I should be when it comes to my photo’s. I’ve actually got a National Diploma in Photography, but hardly ever put it in to practise. This is mainly because I’m a quick win kind of girl. So I guess this isn’t a guide, or tips, just an insight in to how I edit my images, because it’s got to be the easiest and least complicated way, ever!
First up – We don’t use Photoshop here. I used to have it on my old laptop, but since getting a Chromebook where it’s all web based apps, it’s a bit of a pain to get proper photo editing software. The easiest website I’ve found to edit my images is PicMonkey. It literally guides you through anything you need to do with a simplistic and hassle free layout and design. It is a little restricted, as you can’t utilise layers on the free version or copy and paste images in, like you can on Photoshop. However, for editing basic images it’s brilliant. 
So, PicMonkey. Here’s the ‘Step by Step’ guide to what I do:
Step one: Select your image by clicking ‘Edit’ on the main page of Picmonkey. Then a pop up window will appear for you to select the picture you want to work on.

Step two:

Once you’ve got your image, crop it to make the most of the composition. You will see all your editing tools down the left hand side. Everything you need to edit the colour, crop and tones is going to be in the ‘basic edits’ bit.

Step three:
Click on the ‘exposure’ box. This will show your brightness, highlights, shadows and contrast. I always tend to edit the highlights first, then the shadows and if needed I do the brightness. You can see the amounts I altered this image in the sliding bars below each option. Just slide them up and down until you get it how you want it. If you go wrong and want to start again, just press cancel then open the tab again to start over.

Step Four:
If your image is a little fuzzy due to low light, you can adjust the sharpness and clarity on the ‘sharpen’ tab. I tend to always just heighten the clarity, as whenever you use the sharpness tool it seems to make the image more grainy, whereas clarity simply seems to enhance the lines and overall clearness of the image.

Step Five:

In low light, you can often find that you image will boarder towards a yellow tone. To edit this, just click on ‘colours’ and choose the neutral picker. Take the little dropper and click on any part of the image which is white, grey or black and it will adjust the tone accordingly. I always go for the lightest grey part of the image and this seems to work most of the time. If you click in the wrong place, just click again to correct it until you get a crisp white!

As you can see from the below images, you can also adjust the temperature and saturation. This is also a good way to get your bright white tones and take away any yellow too. Obviously the ‘colder’ you make the temperature, the more of a blue cast the image will have. But if you go wrong, just click on the neutral picker tool again and do as above to correct it. 

Another thing I do when taking pictures in low lighting at home is set up a tripod and use the self timer on my camera. No, not for all my selfies, but for taking ‘product’ shots. I up the exposure to +2, but this creates a bit of camera shake (as essentially the shutter is ‘open’ longer), so I put it on the tripod, press the button and the camera will not move when the image is being taken. Resulting in a brighter image, with no blur. This won’t completely stop any off tones, or make your images look as good as in natural day light but hey, I am an amateur here.

And that’s pretty much what I do. I know my pictures aren’t the greatest, and I know there’s a million more ways to edit my images to make them better. But for now, with limited time and facilities at home, this will do. Feel free to let me know if you know a  quick way to edit your blog pictures because I’d love to know if there is a quicker way! I did tell you I was lazy.