How I capture & Edit my Instagram Photos | What Camera and Apps I use

The Camera

Something I know I’m always interested in is what camera other’s use, the settings and how they edit their photos. I have a passion for photography, as much as it might seem looking at my Instagram that I love being in front of the camera, I actually love being behind the lens. With that in mind and with a lot of my Instagram followers asking, I thought I’d write a post on what camera I use and how I edit.

I use an Olympus Pen EPL7. This is a fairly old model now as they now have an EPL9 which is just an improved version of the 7/8. I would really recommend this camera as I find it fairly easy to use and the photo quality with the right lens is amazing. I would advise against using the kit lens as I think you can actually get better/the same results from your iPhone. However, I use the 45mm lens which I love. It’s great for street style and gives the beautiful blurry background which us bloggers love. The only downside is the fact you do have to be very far away to get the subject in the shot. This also means you can’t vlog on it – I’m planning on starting a Youtube channel this summer *eek* so I need a lens I can swap between vlogging and photographing. This lens just isn’t ideal when you’re sat opposite someone in a restaurant and they have to get up, walk 5 metres away with all the surrounding tables watching, just to get that brunch pic! So I’m looking for a slightly more advanced camera and a lens which doesn’t need that distance between the lens and the subject – for a slightly more subtle photoshoot(!) and the ability to vlog. This is when I found myself lusting over the Lunix G9 by Panasonic. Known as a 4K Wildlife & Sports Camera it would be perfect for both fashion and travel (my two loves!) and ideal for vlogs as well as photography. I would probably get the 12-60mm lens also, to give me that range and option of what and how I’m shooting! If you’re looking for something slightly more advanced I would definitely recommend looking at the Lumix G range – I know it’s on my wishlist!

The Editing

A couple of months ago I finally wrote a very highly requested post – ‘how I edit my Instagram photos’. In that post I talked about specific apps and techniques I use to get rid of flaws or anomalies in the photo as well as the app I used to use for filters (VSCO). If you want to know the tricks I use have a read of that post as I still use those techniques. I don’t however use VSCO anymore, so I thought I’d update you on that. I do still really love VSCO it’s very user friendly and easy to navigate so if you’re after something fairly basic then again, do have a read of that last post. However, I recently discovered the app, Lightroom and well, I’m obsessed. It’s everything I was missing in the world of photo editing via my phone. It is more complicated but it’s just oh so good. Here’s a couple of examples of photos I’ve edited and how I’ve done it.

This photo was taken outside The Ivy in Brighton. Luckily I didn’t need to use any apps to get rid of anything in the photo and the lighting was pretty good so I simply used Lightroom to edit. Firstly I look at the colours in the surroundings – personally I hate green on my Instagram feed so I used the colour tool to decrease the saturation of the green plant.

Colour – Select Mix – Select the circle at the top which has 4 arrows around it – select Saturation – tap on the green and slide your finger to the left to decrease saturation.

I like to increase the highlights and whites using the light tool. However I don’t want my skin to be highlighted as this makes me look pale. Therefore whilst in the Colour tool I will select Mix again and then the circle at the top with 4 arrows. I then select Luminance and tap on an area of my skin and decrease the luminance slightly. Once I’ve done this I can go ahead and edit the lighting.

Next I used the Effects tool to increase clarity up to 57 and increase dehaze to 24.

Lastly I used the Detail tool and increase sharpening to 90 and noise reduction and colour noise reduction to 50. *TIP* – If you’re photo is quite grainy (unintentionally) and fuzzy, these are a lifesaver. They really smooth out the whole photo and stop the grainy effect caused by noise.

This is a photo from my recent trip to Norway at the top of Trolltunga mountain. For this one again I started with the colour tool.

Select Colour – Mix – The circle with 4 arrows around it and select areas of the photo to alter the saturation and hues of colour. In these types of photos I always want to blue to pop as it really transforms the photo and becomes much truer to the beauty of what you saw in real life! I altered the hue of the blue sky slightly brighter, the saturation slightly higher and the luminance slightly lower (again because I alter the lighting and I don’t want to lose the colour of the sky and lake). I also decreased the luminance of my skin slightly and then increased the vibrance of the photo as a whole.

Next I altered light. Increasing highlights to 50, whites to 30 and blacks to 30. *TIP* – if you’re wearing something black and you can’t see the details on it – increase blacks as it will lighten the dark areas slightly enabling more detail to be shown.

Lastly I use effects to increase clarity to 80 and dehaze to 20. Then the detail tool to sharpen the image up to 50 and increase noise reduction and colour noise reduction to 50 each. If the image is still slightly fuzzy you could also use smoothness to help. It’s worth playing around with all the different tools on various photos until you find what works for your style.

Some photos require more editing than others as you can see with this one I’ve used the same tools but it didn’t need much editing. The only other thing I have added here is grain. This can be found in the effects tool.

Hopefully that was helpful! If anything didn’t make sense, leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

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