My home does not provide ideal lighting conditions for shooting self-portraits. This is only compounded by the fact that I am shooting at different times of day, whenever I have a free moment, usually in some state of rushed and unprepared. The resulting raw images are therefore, unsurprisingly, deeply in need of some sprucing up.
While I can stumble my way through some Photoshop, Instagram has spoiled me. I much prefer the ease and simplicity of Instagram’s Tools – with their cute little icons and their uncomplicated little sliders and their real-time preview. At last, Technology is making life easier and not an even more baffling ordeal!
Unfortunately, Instagram’s Tools are exclusive to their mobile app, and, for the purposes of my picture project, I need tools I can use on my computer. For the first few weeks, I did what I could with Photoshop. It wasn’t great and I wasn’t pleased. Then, after a spirited round of googling and downloading and googling some more, I discovered two little apps that were just what I needed: Focus 2 and FX Photo Studio.
Focus 2 covers the Instagram Tools I use most frequently: Adjust, Vignette, Tilt Shift, and Sharpen. FX Photo Studio offers a slew of filters (far more than those offered by Instagram), as well as the equivalent adjustments for Instagram’s Brightness, Contrast, Warmth, Saturation, Highlights, and Shadows Tools. Because both apps are developed by Macphun, working with images across the two is pretty much seamless. Another point for you, Technology!
Anywho, to illustrate just how easy this shit is and how much better my whole experience has been for it, I thought I’d do a little walkthrough/tutorial of my photo-editing process.