My Instagram Tips: White Balance

Today I thought I would share one really simple trick which has made my Instagram photos look better. That is adjusting the white balance. For those of you who don’t know, white balance is the process of removing unrealistic colour casts so that objects that appear white in real life also appear white in photographs.

The type of light that bounces off an object changes it’s appearance, this is something our eyes can adjust to but when taking a photograph the camera will record exactly what is there. This is easy to adjust nowadays using a digital SLR but phone cameras don’t have the ability change white balance. This means it has to be done during the editing process.

White balance is really important when it comes to Instagram. Especially if you want that perfect grid with your photos looking like they belong together. Having the same tint of white across all your images will make them look more cohesive. For example, look at the two images from my Instagram feed. Both were edited in VSCO using the same filter and brightness/contrast settings. You may notice that the image on the left has a slightly yellow tone, this is because the image was taken indoors. The temperature and tint settings were changed on the right image to give it a more blue tone. It’s a very slight change but it does make a difference.

You can change the white balance in VSCO using the temperature and tint settings. Temperature controls the blue to yellow tone, while Tint controls green to magenta. To get a true white you need to use both. You can see an example below where the photo on the left is the original and the photo on the right has been white balanced.

Altering the white balance will make your images look better however you don’t need to make the whites a true white. Your images can still look cohesive if the white has a blue or a purple tone. The temperature and tint settings can be used to achieve this in combination with other VSCO settings.

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How I Edit My Instagram Photos Using VSCO & Photoshop

Today I thought I would share my photo editing process for Instagram. I love Instagram and I love sharing photos so hopefully you will find it useful. I should also point out that some of my photos are taken using my digital SLR so the process I use changes depending on what camera I took the photo with. I know some people think not using a phone is cheating but my view has always been use the best camera you have available. Sometimes this is my phone and sometimes this is my SLR.

Another little handy tip for any bloggers out there. You can change your Instagram account to a business account. All you need to do is link it to a Facebook page. By doing this you can see how many views your photos and profile page got. It can also show you when most of your followers are active so you can schedule posts around that.

Photoshop

I use a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my images. I realise that for most people Photoshop isn’t something they can justify having. But I have the Creative Cloud subscription because I need it for my course. GIMP is a good free alternative if you don’t want to pay anything.

I import the images onto my PC using Lightroom then open them in Photoshop. I use the Camera RAW filter to edit my photos, you can do the exact same editing process in Lightroom but I find it a bit easier in Photoshop. There are no hard rules for how I edit my photos, usually I increase the brightness, make sure the white parts of the image are a true white and increase the saturation. Basically I try and make my images look very bright and colourful.

I crop my images into a square and save them at 1080 by 1080 pixels. I then save this file to my Google Drive, which I can then find again using the Drive app on my phone and open it in Instagram.

VSCO

If I am out and about or occasionally at home and feeling lazy I will use my phone to take Instagram pictures. I should point out that there is nothing wrong with taking photos on your phone. Personally I feel that between my phone and camera I get better pictures out of my camera, but phones have become so advanced now that you can get some really good photos.

VSCO is a great little free app. It has photo editing features and also has a social media side. The social media side is really skewed more towards professional photography rather than selfies but it’s still fun to look at. I know I said the app was free but some of the filters you need to pay for. These are usually pretty cheap though, around £1-2, they also have sales where some are discounted and even given away for free.

I import my photos into VSCO and use the S3 filter. I use this filter for all of my photos to give them a cohesive look. I feel that this on in particular makes my photos look very bright, especially when there is a lot of white in the image. I will go on to adjust the brightness and contrast just depending on the photo. I will occasionally adjust the tint if the whites aren’t showing through as true white.

I will occasionally crop the photo in the VSCO app but it really just depends on what I’m using the image for. If I’m just posting it to Instagram I won’t crop the image since I can do this in Instagram. But if it’s a photo that I know will be going on my blog I’ll crop the photo to my desired size in the app.

I hope everyone found this useful. I suppose I should also take this moment to promote my Instagram page which you should totally go follow.

instagram.com/bluchickenninja

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OAP: Old Aged Puppy

I’ve done nothing but watch Crufts for the last 3 days so today I wanted to share some photos of my own puppers. In particular the older one, Jasper. You see Jasper is getting really quite old now, he’s almost 15. And especially in the last few months it has been quite clear to see he isn’t doing well. His vision is almost gone, he can’t hear and he has arthritis in his back legs.

And it makes me sad because we’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. He is part of the family. The only thing we can do now is keep him comfortable, with lots of tummy scratches and treats. That way he can live out the rest of his days throwing tantrums because he wants in the car, ignoring people when he gets told off and just generally doing whatever he wants.

Can’t forget Alfie who would like to bring you a shoe. It may not be your shoe, but he will bring you one. You don’t even need to ask.

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The Kelvingrove Art Gallery

I think the thing I enjoy most about this course is that if you’re having a problem with a project you’re not forced to sit in class waiting around for inspiration to strike. You’re encouraged to go outside and do something. And if its the entire class that’s having a problem with a project then we all get to go on a day trip. The other nice thing about this course is that we’re in Glasgow and have so many art galleries and museums to visit.

This trip to the Kelvingrove didn’t actually help me with the project but it was nice to get outside for a while. Though I would still say that the Kelvingrove is a pretty boring museum (the Transport Museum is way better imo).

The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com

They have an organ recital every day at 1pm which is something you should definitely check out if you’re in the area.

The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com

Those faces have been in the Kelvingrove for years and they still freak me out.

The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com

#creepyelvisiscreepy

The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com The Kelvingrove | bluchickenninja.com

This is just another chance for me to talk about how much I love the camera on my new phone.

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