Photo Tips: Editing Your Pics Lighter

I’ve been getting a lot of questions on how I always edit my pictures so light and bright, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips with you guys. I really like light pictures, and I always edit them as light as I can. I found a few pics I’ve taken lately, and here you can see them both edited and un-edited. Let’s start with the tips, shall we? 

cathinthecity photo tips light editing photography fashion blog cathrine heienberg

♥ Lightroom → My editing tool of choice is Lightroom, which I think is absolutely fantastic. I use Photoshop for some things as well, but most of the magic is done in Lightroom. I absolutely recommend it to everyone with an interest in photography! 

♥ Manual settings → It all starts with the manual settings. Do terms like ISO and shutter speed confuse you? Well, worry no more, I’ve already made a post about how to understand and use manual settings here. I always use manual settings, and it makes all the difference in the world. I always set the settings as light as I can without it compromising the quality of the shot. If the pictures are too light, you’ll loose a lot of details. The rest I leave up to editing. Below you can see how I edited the picture above. 

♥ Exposure → The most important tool to use if you want lighter pictures is adjusting the exposure. Turning up the exposure will make your pictures lighter, and again, I turn this up as much as I can without loosing details in the pic. I also adjust the contrast quite a bit as a lot of exposure can make the picture pretty ‘blah’ if you know what I mean. I still want some life in the picture, and that’s where the contrast comes in. Most editing tools have these functions. 

cathinthecity photo tips light editing photography fashion blog cathrine heienberg

♥ Blue hues → As you can see on the before and after pictures, the before pictures are pretty orange, and the edited pictures are much more white. This is mostly an issue when taking pictures inside without much natural daylight. The light from lamps inside is very orange, and not pretty in pictures in my opinion. The first thing to do is adjusting the white balance on your camera to the light bulb image, which will make your pictures more blue and less orange. If you still think there’s too much orange in the picture, you can adjust the temperature in the picture more blue, like you can see on the printscreen of Lightroom above. I of course don’t want the picture to be blue, so a little trick I always do is bring the saturation on the blue tones down. This might sound confusing, I know, but it’s really quite simple. I adjust the whole picture more blue, then when I bring the saturation on the blue tones in the pictures down, I’m left with a perfectly white picture. I don’t know if you can do this in other editing tools than Lightroom, and this is one of the reasons I love Lightroom so much. If you look at the printscreen above, and look in the bottom corner to the right, you can see that I’ve selected blue under ‘Colors’. This tool will only adjust the blue tones in the picture, and everything else will remain the same. 

To the left you can see it with the auto temperature in the picture. Way too orange, right? In the middle, I’ve made the picture bluer, but I think the blue is too visible. On the right you can see the finished picture, where I’ve adjusted down the saturation on the blue tones. 

You can also use this tool the other way around – to make the blues even bluer. I made a post on that this summer here, and I’ve seen several bloggers doing this lately. It really makes the picture pop! Just look at the difference on the blueness of the sky here.. 

♥ Good light → Good light to shoot in is absolutely crucial, and I have a little trick for that too. I have a huge lamp in my house, the kind of lamp they use on construction sites, hah. Earlier I used a photo lamp, but I managed to break it, and this work lamp works just as well. Try to take pics near a window with natural daylight, like you can see below. 

♥ Whites whiter → Another function I love in Lightroom, is that you can make the whites in the picture whiter, and the blacks blacker. This is similar to the blue tones I tried to explain to you above; Only the whites in the picture will get whiter, and the blacks blacker. I use the black function a lot to remain the details on the darker elements in the picture that I still want to be dark. 

♥ Lightening and darkening tool in Photoshop → A tool I love in Photoshop is the lightening tool, which is a brush you can swipe around on the areas you want to be lighter. You can choose how strong you want the light to be, and the same goes for the darkening tool. This is perfect if there’s just a piece of the picture you want to be lighter, and you don’t want to edit the whole picture. 

Before editing.. HUGE difference, right? 

♥ Saturation/meeting down → Another trick I often use, is to turn down the meeting/saturation in the picture just a little bit. It often makes the whole picture much more delicate to look at, and way more professional. You can do this in most editing tools.

cathinthecity photo tips light editing photography fashion blog cathrine heienberg

There we go! I’m sorry if anything is unclear, it’s so difficult to explain this as I don’t really know the right terms for things, and I don’t know how to translate everything to English. But if you have any questions or anything you want me to add, just shoot me a comment and I’ll be sure to answer the best that I can♥


On a totally different note, I thought I’d add the links to where you can vote in the categories I’m nominated for in Vixen Blog Awards once again, as it’s been a while since I shared the links. You can vote for your favorite fashion blog of the year here, favorite blog of the year here, favorite lifestyle blog of the year here, and favorite outfit of the day here. I would be so incredibly happy if you voted for me! You can vote once every twelve hours in each category until December 31st♥♥

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