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Day 1 of Great Social Media - Highlights | Shadows | Contrast

2019 has just begun! And so has the next year of you or your businesses social media life. Here are some great tips to make your photos pop and keep your audience wanting more. The next few days will include super easy ways to make your photos look better using the stock tuning options in the Instagram app. Later in the week I will introduce you to an app called Google Snapseed. It is a great app for editing that gives you more advanced options while still remaining easy to use.



NEVER use the brightness slider. I say this because if you drag it up it often adds noise to darker photos or overexposes brighter ones. If you drag it down it makes it too dark. The following tips will show a much better way to control exposure level. 




Highlights should always be used to balance your photo. As you saw in step 1 the sky was almost pure white. Here I’ve brought the highlights down 55% just so you can see the color appearing in the sky (we will enhance this more in the color tips tomorrow). Whether it’s the sun or with studio lights, they often take away too much color, highlights is the best way to tune it the way you want. If you were to use the brightness slider you could fix the issues of overexposure, but that would also make your shadows too dark. That’s why I never recommend using it. 




In this photo the trees are really dark compared to the sky. I brought the shadows up 71% to balance the photo, and to bring out the color in the trees. Just like I did with the highlights in the sky.  

Two things when working with shadows.

1. Be very careful when raising them. Raising shadows often reveals a lot of noise/grain in photos. Push it as much as you can to get the lighting that you want. But keep a close eye on the levels of noise.

2. The opposite is also true. If there’s a lot of noise/grain in your photo lower your shadows. The added darkness can make for a cool dramatic effect and it will hide the noise to make your photo look a lot better. 




Contrast, this setting controls both your highlights and your shadows. Due to this, if you only adjust contrast you will either get too much shadow or too much highlight. So I would recommend doing the majority of your lighting edit just with the highlight and shadow sliders. Think of contrast as another layer of tuning on top of both those effects, not as the only effect.

I brought it up 30% to add a bit more depth to the trees., and add some color. Many don’t realize this but adding contrast also effects your colors. Whitening lighter areas of photos and desaturating them, while also deepening and saturating darker colors. 

That is all for today! Tune in tomorrow for tips on adding more color, adjusting temperatures and adding a pleasant contrast between colors.  Follow Splash Influential on all our social media channels to get updates as soon as they go live, as well as other great photography and video content. 

Erik KerberComment