a couple of photo editing tricks

Besides questions about Joshua Tree, perhaps the most common question I get asked is about my pictures. What camera do I use? (iPhone 7 plus), what filter do I use? (usually VSCO M5 &/or Color Story Glitter Guide Tori), etc etc. Honestly, I am generally inclined to just give people a quick brush off kind of answer, and it’s not because I am trying to be mean, it is because I’m no expert and feel unqualified to give advice. Recently though I’ve had a change of heart. My friends Kim and Nicole started an Instagram project called #ThEditRoom where they share their tips for editing. Granted, they are both way better editors then I’ll ever be, but seeing how thankful people were for the info, and given how much I’ve enjoyed their tutorials, made me realize that I have learned a thing or two that might be useful to share. So today I am gonna show you a couple of apps that allow me to fix small things that can ruin an otherwise pretty great picture- backlighting and objects that need to be removed.

Here’s the picture I need to fix:


Such a sweet moment I  captured of Prairie and her cousin Lola playing Ring Around the Rosey- but that dumb sign keeps distracting me, and obviously it’s a little backlit.

First things first, time to remove the sign. I have recently been introduced to TouchRetouch app (costs $1.99 in app store) and in my opinion it’s the easiest way to quickly remove objects. Here is the result of about 1 minute of using the object removal brush tool:


Got rid of that pesky sign and decided to erase those utility poles and some trash around the girl’s feet too.

Next up the backlighting. Now I could just go into pretty much any app and turn up the exposure to fix the girls, but then it would overexpose the bushes in the background. So this is a good time to use the Snapseed App ($FREE.99 in app store). You can do a bunch of stuff in Snapseed (including remove objects with the Heal Tool- I just think TouchRetouch works better), but I am currently really into their brushes. Here I have brushed the girls with a higher exposure, and brushed the bushes with a lower exposure:


I also used the lower saturation brush on the bushes, see to the far right where I didn’t change the saturation? Oh AND another excellent trick, I used the saturation brush turned up to put a little color back in Prairie’s cheeks, as I like to lower the overall saturation in my overall edits.

Now my pic is pretty much done, I just do my usual filter on top and play around with contrast, warmth, and sharpening to get my finished product:


How’d I do? I feel like it looks much better! Clearly, I still have a lot to learn, and honestly feel a bit embarrassed even trying to give advice on this topic but hey… Hope you enjoyed and by all means if you’ve tips and tricks send ’em my way!


3 thoughts on “a couple of photo editing tricks

  1. Great tips! I love editing photos and use Vsco and a ColorStory as well, but recently found a need to touch up after a meal where I stained guac on my shirt 🤦🏻‍♀️ Happy to know of some solid apps for issues such as backlighting and removing objects (or stains!) thanks for the tips!


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