I'm going to try not to regurgitate all the apps I love in yet another post but it's hard not to when you keep discovering features in your favorite apps - honestly. I have a few tips to share with you today about using apps you probably already use (ahem....Instagram) to get your best selfie ever.
Light, light, more light
This is the first thing I want to mention - you need good light. We all know that the front camera on the iPhone sucks for taking pictures in general but if you subtract light, all you get is a grainy blob of what the hell am I looking at? If at all possible get in some great light. Try to find light that illuminates you from all sides, evenly. Not just the top or directly in front or from the left or right - you want light that is the most flattering. A cloudy/overcast day is the best - where the light filters in from all sides. Obviously, you won't be out in the park on a cloudy day so when there is only direct sunlight around try to step into the shadow of something. Don't go too dark though you just want the harsh, direct light off of your face so you're evenly lit.
When all else fails, and there's just too much or too little light - turn your photo black and white. Boom, you're soo deep....you're such an artist....so meaningful. But, really it will save a bad picture for memory keeping or Instagraming. I have a whole post on the greatest apps to make perfect black and white photos here and even how to work with the two B&W filters in Instagram.
Natural, enhancing filters on Instagram
Yeah, right? I know, but there are some. If you've gotten a nice bit of even light in your photo there are a few filters that will work great to enhance the colors, contrast, and overall feel of your photo with out making it look over processed.
One of the best features Instagram ever introduced with the ability to adjust contrast, brightness, etc. Equally the best feature is that you can now adjust the strength of the filter by tapping on the filter again. SO. Amaze. My favorite filter for selfies with even filtered light or even light in a bit of a shadow is Valencia. I like to overlay Valencia, take down the filter a little bit, and then play with the contrast. This combo works great for a selfie in the car!
The key with making the most of Instagram is to be creative but to keep it simple. Try out different filters and the more images you take the more you'll see what you like. If there is a filter you always go to, you probably go to it for a reason. Keep playing until you get your perfect, natural but creative edit.
Some other favorite edits that don't have to do with selfies:
Lark makes blue skies bluer and its great for a landscape photo full of blue sky. I like to take down the filter a little bit so it's not too intense but still leaves the sky blue.
Ludwig is great for some food photos (for me at least) I love the way it made the red of the tomatoes pop in this one. I also used the tilt shift option successfully - in this image it looks like the original image had greater depth of field than it really does. Tilt shift is best used when you're able to focus on a single point and you're not pushing something out of focus. It is most successful here because Sweetie is already in the background so it is reasonable to see that she may well have been out of focus in the original shot.
Ok, back to selfies.
Fix unwanted spots with SnapSeed
I've talked about SnapSeed app about a zillion times here on the blog. And I'm going to talk about it again - did you know there was a spot healer in this app? I didn't! Until I posted a photo where Zach looked better than I did! I'm not saying this is the best picture ever - this is a real life example here - but when I put this in the eventual Project Life album it ends up in.....I'll wish I'd covered that zit!
Simply open the image in SnapSeed, click on the little pencil and select Spot Repair. Use your two fingers to pinch and zoom in, use two fingers to move around the photo, and then tap, tap, tap, until the spot is repaired! (This works great if there's something small in a photo that you don't want as well...not just for zits) I'm not saying I'm the greatest at this...sorry for the close up on my skin, the small format of Instagram fixes minor blemishes too.
I realize how insane this next statement is but, selfies are a big part of social media right now! And we all like to be a little vain now and again...why not be vain and perfectly edited? Remember though, life isn't about being perfect - life is about living, and if you happen to capture moments that aren't so perfect...we'll that's fine too!
If you'd like to read more iPhone photography posts, click here. There are general tips for taking the perfect shot with any camera plus using your iPhone to create some cool edits.
I am all about that selfie game - so follow me on Instagram, why don't you? Search @fivesixteenths!