Capturing Your Travels: How To Edit Travel Photos

It’s Tuesday! You know what that means?! Another day, another Travel post here on Savannah Said It! Today, I’m continuing my Capturing Your Travels series! I’ve already spilled the tea on how I get travel photos like this…

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and videos like this…

You can find my first two posts here and here!

And today, I’m sharing a super short post on how I edit my travel photos! So they go from this…

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To This!

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LOL. Do you even see a difference? I hope just the slightest! Because when I edit my photos, that’s my goal. To edit so slightly that it looks better, but still real and exactly like I saw it that day!

Let me start by saying I’m SO not a professional. And the tips I’m about to give you are probably all the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do. But, they work for me! And they’re easy. I don’t spend hours and hours photoshopping my pictures. I don’t make presets or have a perfect formula for beautiful photos like a lot of people. I literally just tweak a few things here, and a few things there and that’s pretty much it!

Curious about how I edit my photos? Then just keep reading!

PS… I found some unedited photos from our day at Moraine Lake. So I edited them side by side so you could see what I mean when I say I barely change them. You may have to squint to see some of the changes! But I promise they have all been edited slightly! The left is the original, and the right is edited 🙂

5 Tips for Editing Your Travel Photos

Tip #1: Find an editing software you like, and learn how to use it. 

 

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This photo is just slightly brighter on the right! I also chose this photo as the main photo above so you could see how little the left side actually changed (because thats the best side of the photo, IMO)! 

As of right now, I don’t use any fancy softwares to edit my photos. (I’ve been seriously considering purchasing Lightroom lately though!) I just use good ol’ Photos on my new MacBook Pro. Because I tend to stick to the absolute basics when editing my photos, this works perfectly for me! I’ve been in the Apple world so long that I literally don’t even know what other editing softwares are out there for PC users. (We used to use Kodak EasyShare way back in the day… but I don’t know if that even still exists?! Did I just make myself look old?!) So if you have a great one to suggest, please leave it in the comments below!

Tip #2: Keep them Au Naturale. 

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I like this tip for all photography in general, but I really believe this is the most important piece in editing your travel photos. You don’t want to over edit them. (Unless you’re putting something really cool together where it needs to be edited.) And just to be clear, when I say “over editing” I mean too bright colors, too sharp and too much like I used to do in 2008! Chances are, the places you are are absolutely breathtaking. Why would you ruin it with over editing? Besides, if you’re creating the best possible image with your camera as you can (like we talked about before!) your photos should need very little editing (or possibly none at all).

Tip #3: Always Straighten, Crop and Enhance to start. 

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The best advice I can give you is to first straighten your photo. I always seem to end up with slightly crooked pictures (thanks to my stellar ability to hold my camera straight) and I like to make sure they are perfectly straight before I begin editing. Next, I’ll crop the photo if need be. I usually crop the excess out that doesn’t seem necessary, but I never crop out TOO much. Then, I always click Enhance (Photos version of an Auto button). I usually don’t love how the Enhance button fixes the photo, but it always gets me off to the right start!

Tip #4: Always make adjustments.

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In my opinion, adjustments are what make or break your photo. I have a certain way I like my pictures to look, and to achieve it, I always lighten them a bit, and tone down the color a bit. However, if it’s a landscape photo, sometimes I’ll tone up the color, just depending on which makes it look how it looked to me in person! (It really is personal preference and depends on the photo!) Nothing too crazy, but I find that slight adjustments make all the difference. Sometimes, I’ll mess with the contrast, brightness and shadows and highlights, but not often.

Tip #5: Filters don’t always make the photo better.

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I find myself barely ever using filters with my travel photography (unless it needs to match my other Instagram pics). I find that filters sometimes distort the image and it doesn’t look as beautiful as it normally would. So as I general rule of thumb, STAY AWAY FROM LO-FI AND WILLOW PEOPLE. Seriously. You’ll thank me later!

Tip #6: Use an app. 

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If you’re feeling unsure about editing on your computer, or don’t have a software you feel will do your photo justice, use an app! There are some amazing ones out there! I really like VSCO, Snapseed and A Color Story. I like VSCO because it has presets that you can start with but adjust them to just how you like. A Color Story is super similar, but definitely feels a little bit more “filter” like. Snapseed lets you do a lot more to your photos, and feels more like a photo editing software than the other two. (All three are really great. But I personally have switched to only using VSCO if I’m going to edit a photo on my phone.)

Speaking of… the easiest way to get my photos from my camera onto my phone? Google Photos. I just upload them from my computer and BOOM. They’re instantly in the app on my phone and ready to download!

And last but not least… just leave it be.

Not sure if your editing is ruining your photo or making it better? Just leave it be. Because chances are… it’s perfect just the way it is.

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This picture has literally nothing done to it. And it’s perfect just the way it is. 

How do you edit your travel photos? Do you like to photoshop them to be super awesome? (You’re amazing BTW. I don’t have the patience!) Or do you keep it simple like me?

I’m off to get dinner in the crock pot and head to work. Fingers crossed my day goes by fast. Because the thought of being away from my bed and my cat today is seriously daunting. HA

Happy Tuesday Loves!
Xx.
Savannah

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15 thoughts on “Capturing Your Travels: How To Edit Travel Photos

  1. It always bothers me when the horizon isn’t straight. First thing I change when I edit my photos 😀
    Some thing important when shooting with a DSLR to do it in RAW not JPG so more image data is available for post processing. That way for example the white sky could be restored to blue.
    For shooting JPG (like with the phone) some great ideas I didn’t try yet. 🙂

    Like

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