Mobile editing in Afterlight

Mobile editing in Afterlight

Do you spend hours editing your Instagram photos in Lightroom or Photoshop? Would you rather spend the time doing something fun?

I edit most of my Instagram photos with my iPad mini which is small enough to carry around and yet really powerful. There are hundreds of good photo apps out there and even Adobe has some good mobile versions of their popular software. My project #366seconds2016 has made me post new photos daily and that’s why I like to keep the editing simple so that I’d also have time for something else. I’m shooting the project with my LUMIX FZ300 in 4K Photo mode and after I’ve selected the frame of the day in camera I transfer the file to my tablet with Wi-Fi and open my favorite app for mobile editing called Afterlight.

My tips for editing photos in Afterlight

Before-After comparison of a 4K photo shot with LUMIX FZ300 and edited in Afterlight
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Start by choosing the filter for your photo. There is a lot of choice but you’ll quickly find your favorites.

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After you’ve found the best filter, move the slider to adjust the effect. Don’t go too crazy with the filter. Less is usually more.

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Now it’s time to adjust the photo with the extensive set of tools. Remember you don’t have to use every tool for a good result.

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Clarify tool makes your photo pop but if you use it too much you’ll end up with some HDR vomit.

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If your image looks dark, add some brightness. Simple.

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More contrast makes your photo look fresh and more dramatic.

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Slightly add some saturation if you want your photo to be more colorful.

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Increasing exposure brings up both the highlights and shadows.

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You can bring down the highlights to balance the overexposed parts.

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Show some detail from the darker areas by bringing up the shadows.

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Separately adjust the highlight, mid and shadow tones of the photo.

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You can adjust all the Red, Green and Blue channels to balance the photo.

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Move the slider from side to side to see what color your photo needs.

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Correct the white balance or add some mood with temperature.

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If you’re photo is blurry there’s not much to be done but every photo can use a tad of sharpening.

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Darkening the edges of the photo brings attention to the subject in the center.

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Crop the photo to an Instagram square or whatever. You might also want to save the edited photo before cropping.

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If you’re dealing with a bigger file you can save it in different sizes but always first save the biggest size.

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Hope you find my tips useful! Here’s the final photo on Instagram @jstvsl

#WWIM13Helsinki

#WWIM13Helsinki

The 13th worldwide Instameet was arranged last weekend. Instagrammers in Helsinki, Finland (@igershelsinki) gathered at the Natural History Museum on Sunday.

Once again it was nice to meet new photographers and to explore the collections of the Natural History Museum. The place was suitable for the meet because #WWIM13 theme was #LifeOnEarth. We started off with a groupshot in the beautiful stairway of the museum and begun to explore the collections. After couple of hours we had gone through all the floors but because of the fast pace we only got a small glimpse of the vast collections.

Here’s a short video from the Instameet. Camera: LUMIX FZ300

Here are some photos from the museum. Camera: LUMIX G7

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More photos…

If you want to visit the Natural History Museum in Helsinki, make sure to plan enough time to see everything!

Project #366seconds2016

Project #366seconds2016

365 photo project is a good way to improve your photography skills. 366 project is even better! The idea is to capture and publish something every day of the year. In a leap year like this one the project gets one extra day.

This year I started the #366seconds2016 project in which I shoot one second of 4K-video every day and share one frame on Instagram @jstvsl. At the end of the year I will edit all 366 seconds into one video. This is already my second 366 project. I made the first one 4 years ago by taking one Polaroid picture every day. I shot the 366 / 2012 project with the digital Polaroid Z340 camera so fortunately I didn’t have to print every picture. This year’s project I’m shooting with the LUMIX FZ300 camera.

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The perfect moment was captured in one frame of the video at the Lux Helsinki event.

LUMIX FZ300 is a small but powerful bridge camera that can shoot almost anything anywhere. The camera has an incredible 25-600mm zoom range and a constant F2.8. The 4K Photo feature shoots 30 frames per second and the outcoming file is MP4 video but you can save each frame also in JPG image. Individual JPG images have a resolution equivalent of an A4 print.

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Sometimes moments happen so fast that it’s good to have the camera always ready. This landscape was captured from a moving car at high speed. In the video this scene is just a split of a second.

There are no rules in a 365 or 366 project. The most important thing is to shoot at least something every day. Every day isn’t going to have the perfect weather or events but when there’s nothing to shoot you have to be creative. You can for example pick up some objects from your home and practice lighting with a flashlight or any lamp at your home. If you’re short on ideas take a selfie! You also don’t have to start the project in the first day of the year, you can start anytime, even today!

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This selfie is made out of 6 seconds put together.

I have shot landscapes, my friends, our dog, food and everything going on in my life for this project. Even though the same subjects appear in the images I don’t want to make the same image twice. Another way to think of the project would be to shoot the same thing every day to see the change during the year. A special challenge in my project is the combination of video and photos. I have to think of every moment as a video and a photo. If there’s no movement in the image it will look boring in a video but if there’s too much movement it may not work as a photo.

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The project takes as much time as you want to use for it. I’ve decided to make things as simple as possible to save time also for something else. At the end of the day I’ll look at the videos I’ve shot and select the best clip and the best frame from it. The photos I publish are mainly edited only with an iPad mini. I transfer the photo I’ve chosen straight from the camera to the tablet and from there to Instagram. When I transfer the files to my computer I copy all the chosen videos to their own folder and rename them with the number of the day. Being organized with the files will save you a lot of time when it comes to editing the video at the end of the year. In fact you should start to edit the video early on because the edit will take some time if you’re not used to it.

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It was -21°C. I wanted to capture the steam rising from the freezing sea in the best light so I forced myself to wake up early before the sunrise. Without the 366 project I may not have bothered to go shoot there.

More photos…