I wonder… How do you edit your photos?

I wonder-edit photos-Cover Image-Make It NiftyI was editing my images the other a day and I thought to myself, “I wonder how other bloggers edit their photos? What software do they use? How long does it take them?”

The way I process my photos has developed over a few years. My photos generally go through a couple of stages before they reach my blog. The photos get edited first and then I add extra bits and turn them into a PNG image before I upload them to my blog.

I use a couple of free programs on my PC. My internet connection isn’t the best so I don’t use online photo editing tools because it would take way too long.

Sort Photos
Of course there is the photo taking part (maybe that should be another ‘I wonder…’ question), but once my camera/phone photos are on my PC I start by sorting the photos by project and pop them into their own folder on an external hard drive.

Edit Photos
The photos I want to edit are copied into the local Pictures folder on my PC for editing. I do this because the photo editing software I use indexes all the images in the drive it is accessing; this can take forever because my blog images are stored on an external hard drive with lots of other images. So instead, the Pictures folder on my PC is a temporary hold for when I’m photo editing.

Now I browse through the photos using Windows Photo Gallery, which was pre-installed on my PC; and cull the crappy ones.

I wonder-edit photos-Windows Photo Gallery1-Make It NiftyNow it’s time to go back through the photos and edit each one. I usually start by auto adjusting to see what that does, undoing it or tweaking if I need to. Then I straighten the photos. My camera/tripod is always askew when I take pictures and for me its just easier to rotate while editing than it is to level my tripod.

I wonder-edit photos-Windows Photo Gallery2-Make It NiftyI usually finish by cropping the photos to a square. Usually I do a group rename of the edited photos and copy these back to my external hard drive.

I wonder-edit photos-Windows Photo Gallery3-Make It NiftyImage watermarks, text, layouts & collages.
I use Inkscape (freeware) to add watermarks and create collages. I have created a couple of image templates – one for post feature images and one for in-post images. They are the sizes I want, have watermarks and sample text so I don’t have to recreate the image settings, font, text colour and size every time I’m editing images.

I wonder-edit photos-template files-Make It NiftyTo start, I open the template and open the Layers Dialogue box. I usually try to keep all the images I’m making for a post in one file. So, I treat each layer as an individual image.

Generally I’ll label each layer with a brief description of the image I’m creating. I have a generic background colour layer so the background colour is going to be the same for all images created from the file. I also have a generic cut out layer on top of all the other layers so that it gives me an idea of what the final image is going to look like once I’ve exported it.

I wonder-edit photos-inkscape template-Make It NiftyI decide which photos I’m going to include in an image and then I import the photos I edited before into the appropriate layer. I’ve used one image for this example.

I wonder-edit photos-image in inkscape-Make It NiftyThen I resize, crop and arrange the photos on the layer until I’m pleased with the layout.
I wonder-edit photos-image in inkscape cropped-Make It Nifty

The image below from my Crazy Polka Dots Dress is an example where I imported the 3 photos into one layer, then stacked the images and cropped the middle image to sit over the edges of the outer two images.Crazy Polka Dots Dress - Front,Side,Back - Make It Nifty

If I want text in the image I’ll copy the sample text onto a layer, edit the text and move it to where I want it.

I wonder-edit photos-image in inkscape cropped with text-Make It Nifty

I usually put an opaque shape under the text so it’s easier to read;
like I did for the image of my Denim Polly Skirt belowDenim Polly Skirt - Make It Nifty - TMS

Once that is done I make the layers needed for a particular image visible and export it as a PNG. I can’t remember why I export to PNG, but I’m sure there is a reason and it seems to work 🙂
Now I have my final images ready for uploading to my blog and inserting into a post.

I wonder-edit photos-final image with text-Make It Nifty.pngDepending on how many photos I take and how fiddly it is to put my collages together the process can take me anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours (with lots of tea and social media breaks) to get my images “blog ready”.

So that’s what I do with my images. It works for me at the moment and I’m pleased with the results.

Too Long, Didn’t Read (TL,DR)

  • I use Windows Photo Gallery to peruse and edit my photos
  • I used Inkscape to watermark images and to create collage images
  • I save final images to PNG format
  • My whole photo editing process can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours

So now it’s over to you…
How do you edit/process the photos for your blog?
What software do you use to edit your photos?
How long does it take you to get your images “blog ready”?

Until next time,

8 thoughts on “I wonder… How do you edit your photos?

  1. This is really interesting! I’ve been wondering how other people do this, lately. I just use windows photo editor, too, for exposure issues and cropping. And then that’s it. I used to use picmonkey, where I could adjust the levels a bit better. Then it went away and now I think it’s back again, maybe I should use it? But I’m not that invested in my photos, really. I want them to show the project well, and that’s it. I feel like I ‘should’ care more but… there are enough barriers to me getting photos and blogging in the first place, I don’t want to add more!

    I do have a before/after post I need to write, where I want to comp photos, so I might use this post as a recommendation for that software!

  2. Interesting post! Photo editing is probably my second least favorite part of sewing/blogging, second only to taking the photos in the first place. The magic combination of good hair day + natural light + no rain is basically non-existent. 🙂

    I use the Preview software that came with my Mac to edit photos. Preview isn’t very fancy but has all the essential editing tools. Since I don’t do much editing other than cropping and adjusting the exposure/temperature, it works for me. For the occasional collage I use Powerpoint, which isn’t the easiest option, but works.

    I thought of you the other day while I was washing dishes and determining how to load up the dish rack, LOL!

    • Hey Carolyn,
      Taking photos and photo editing is definitely a bottleneck for my blogging. Sometimes I’ll just take quick snaps and other times I’ll take my time.
      Haha. That’s so funny that you thought about me while stacking dishes 🙂

  3. What a great post. Taking photos is one of my favourite parts of blogging, but it is really hard to take great pics of myself. I tend to use Pixlr to edit my pics. IT is really easy but I also have Photoshop. I really do need to “up the ante” on my pics so thank you for the inspiration. Xx

Leave a Reply