Monday 24 January 2011

What have you done with my landscape, flooding the fields with this clone shape.

I've been planning to do a post on photography in FOREVER. I promised I'd post some Photoshop tutorials way back in June and due to various internet/computer problems it just hasn't happened. Until now!

Anyway, I get asked about my photography a lot, so I thought I'd cover the main points here...

I use a Nikon D40, which I bought in 2009 for about £250 on Amazon. I saved up for it by selling loads of stuff on eBay. At the time, I was hearing a lot of buzz about it, and it is a great little camera - really easy to use.

You can't get the D40 any more other than used, as it's no longer being made, but Nikon have replaced it with the D3000. Honestly, I don't know much about the replacement, but it has pretty good reviews.

I take all my outfit posts using a tripod - this is the one that I have. It's cheap and very light, and folds down nice and small. It's not great for outside photos - in fact, I actually broke my camera last year taking photos outside (I went inside to change and when I came back the tripod had blown over and the lens was broken. Thank god for insurance!). A tripod is great for photos in low light though as with this camera, I find blurriness is the biggest problem, and obviously unsteady hands aren't an issue when you're using a tripod.

I also use a remote - it connects to the camera using infra red, and means that I don't have to reset the self timer every time I take a photo. This is SO USEFUL for outfit photos - and again, super cheap. It's also tiny, so most of the time when I take photos, you can't see it.

Image Editing
I never post a photograph to my blog without doing something to it in Photoshop. Truthfully, I've never really learnt how to use my DSLR, so tend to stick with the auto settings (very bad habit) - but then I jazz them up afterwards.

Here's a simple Photoshop tutorial - this is what I do to most photos, although I do play around with colours and effects, depending on the original picture and the look I'm going for. I'm using Photoshop CS4 but these steps will work in all versions of Photoshop.

Note: Before starting to edit, I always start recording a new action. That way I can just apply the same action to the other images I'm using. Makes life SO much easier. What are actions?

1. Resize & Crop picture as you see fit
2. Adjust Brightness/Contrast (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast)

3. Make a new layer and fill with a dark blue
4. Set layer to Exclusion (I LOVE THE DARK BLUE EXCLUSION LAYER)

5. Make a new layer and fill with a peach/flesh-tone
6. Set layer to Multiply

7. Duplicate Background layer. Set to Screen.

8. Duplicate Background layer again. Bring to top of all layers. Set to Soft Light.

9. Desaturate Soft Light layer. (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate)

Flatten layers. Sharpen. Save. Done!

(I also added a black gradient over the top as that dangly sleeve was annoying me!)

It's pretty simple stuff - even just those steps can be amended to get totally different results every time.

That's it! I do various other colouring techniques too, so if you'd like more tutorials, let me know and I can always post more! If you've just got Photoshop and are struggling with the basics, I really recommend you go here. It's a LiveJournal community I made a few years ago for Photoshop beginners and covers all the basics.

And finally... THOSE Rounded Corners
I make my rounded corners in a convoluted, far-more-difficult-than-it-should-be way. So rather than posting that, I'm just going to direct you here. Loads of very simple tutorials!

Also if you're craving more, Carrie did a fab tutorial on how she gets her colouring on pics, and there's another great one here by Dirty Hair Halo.


  1. Ooh, what a great post! I love rounded edges too! Your photography is always stunning! xxx

  2. Great post :) Thank you so much for sharing
    I am in NEED a tripod, and think I may buy a remote while I'm at it too


  3. ooh this is great! i love your pictures and i never knew where to begin when it comes to editing pictures, so this is a godsend!

  4. Oooh, great tips, I love experimenting with any and all photoshop tutorials so I'm definitely going to try this out! I only have the basic elements version of photoshop as I am poor and haven't had the nerve to get the full version on a naughtly download so I love simple tutorials like this I can convert to use with elements really easily!

  5. Excellent, thank you! My photos are a bit rubbish so I am always happy to pick up tips x

  6. THANK YOU girlie. This is very, very useful :) your pictures are always bloody lovely xx

  7. Lovely post - I have the d3000 and it's lovely. There's actually an even newwer version, the d3100 which has a live version and video function - wich would have been really useful seeing as I like to vlog! Grrrrrr!

  8. Thanks for this! I love your photos & am pretty new to all the photo editing stuff, so this definitely helped!

  9. Thanks for the tips! I was meant to get more into photography this year, but haven't gotten round to it. I've just gotten a tripod and it's so useful. I need a remote now.
    Great photoshop tutorial as well. I really need to edit my pictures properly.

  10. Very impressed with your Photoshop skills — I just usually upload them to Picnik and play around with their settings. Lazy me.

    Remotes are the unsung heroes of self-portrait taking. Everyone who takes the occasional photo of themselves needs one.

    Love your "See how useful my tripod is?" face.

  11. This post has reaffirmed my desire for a new camera, like a proper big one so I am going to try and sell some of my unworn/unwanted clothes so I can get one...hopefully now, someone will buy them! Haha

    Maria xxxx

  12. I love my nikon d40 too! it's getting on now, about 3 years old but still going strong. My remote was such a good buy. I also have the f1.8 50mm lens too which is AMAZING for macro shots. love it.


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