Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: The 2 Minute Guide to Editing Your iPhone or iPad Product Pictures

The 2 Minute Guide to Editing Your iPhone or iPad Product Pictures

Good product pictures have always eluded me. I would take 100 snapshots of my jewellery to get a handful of useable photos. Natural light is best of course, but isn’t always an option. My father (bless his heart), built me an amazing lightbox (google DIY photo lightbox for ideas). I thought that would be the end of my photography woes, but as it turns out, the editing process has a bit of a learning curve all its own. 

Here are the tricks I (painfully) learned, as well as the step by step guide on how to edit your pictures right on your ipad/iphone without any special programs to get the results above. 

1. Use the right bulbs. 
This is so important. At live craft sales soft lighting is my go to. White, halogen style bulbs are too harsh and don’t show off jewellery well. I naturally applied the same principles to my lightbox lamps. What I got were dozens of grey-ish photos. Terrible.

The camera sees light differently than the naked eye. The camera loves that stark white light! Halogen away! After some trial and error this was the brand/style that worked best in my set up:

This is the lightbox set up I use:

2. Eliminate as many competing light frequencies as possible. 
My next problem was these horrible wavy stripes or lines in the photos. What were those??

It took some digging online (and lots of clever wording in Google) to find out that those weird lines are caused by competing light frequencies… in other words: turn off all the 
overhead lamps, chandeliers etc in the room. They are interfering with what your lightbox lamps are trying to do. 
You may still have some wavy lines but don’t worry, we can fix that in editing! 

Now that you have a brighter picture let’s edit… 

Let’s start with this one:

I think we can all agree that this is not an Etsy quality photograph. It’s dark and greyish. It has those wavy frequency lines. Terrible. Even though it was taken in my lightbox this picture needs a 2 minute editing session. 

For this mini how-to I will be doing the editing on my ipad, but can just as easily be done on an iPhone. 

Step 1: 
Pull up your picture, and click on the “Edit” button in the top right hand corner. This is what will come up:

Take a look at the row of icons on the right hand side. Skip the “Magic Wand” icon on the top all together. This is for automatically enhancing the photo, and we’re going to be making our edits each manually. 

The second one down is for turning and cropping. Use this one now if there is anything in your photo you want to “crop” out. Make your subject as large as possible without taking it too close to the edge. Third icon down is where the magic happens!

Step 2: 
Let’s work our way down. Let’s start with “Light”. Ignore the sliding scale of mini photos to the right and click on the list icon underneath:

Step 3: 
This will bring up a more specific list. Again let’s work from top to bottom, starting with “Exposure”

Step 4: 
Click the list icon again and move on to “Highlights”. I usually move the red line just a bit lower on the scale, but it will really depend on the photo you’re working with. You will find as you play with this program, the more you practice with different photos, the better you will get at adjusting your specific photos. You will find different and better combinations of these variables that will work for you.

Step 6: 
“Brightness”. Just like in “Shadows”, playing with “Brightness” will add depth to the subject in your photo. 

Step 7: 
“Contrast” seems to sharpen the edges of your subject (or soften, depending on what look you are going for). 

Step 8: At this point I would move on to the “Color” icon.

Step 9: 
Again, once in “Color” I would move straight to the “list” icon at the bottom

Step 10: 
“Saturation” This is where you get your colors to really POP. By sliding the red line up, suddenly the crystal on my Peter Pan bracelet looks fantastically green! Much closer to what this dazzling piece looks like in real life.

Step 11: 
I’ve never had to use the other two tabs under “Color” but if you still feel like your photo background is too beige or grey, playing with the “Cast” can give you more of a clean white. 

BEWARE! Do not hit the third Icon under “Color” which is for changing your photo to Black and White. The reason I say this is because if you do, it will automatically change your beautiful picture to black and white with no way to reverse it without dumping all your hard work and starting over from step 1. Very irritating.

Step 12: 
Presto Chango!

In 2 minutes flat! 

You now have an Etsy worthy photo in the palm of your hand. Just make sure you hit “Done” in the top right hand corner to save your finished product. 

If you are using an iPhone, the look of the icons are the same and the principles are identical, however the icons show up along the bottom rather than the right side of the screen. 

Hope this tutorial was helpful, it took lots of blood sweat and tears to figure out some of this stuff. I know I could have used a similar how-to last year. 


Post by: Angela Sawatzky 

To view some of the FABulous pictures she took and edited visit her Etsy shop byblackbirddesigns or website www.byblackbirddesigns.com 

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