Draw increased traffic with the powerful photo editing app “A Color Story”

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The difference well-edited photos can make to a blog or social media post cannot be overstated. Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without, and it stands to reason the better quality the image, the more attractive your post will be to readers*.

Toward this, and in my search for powerful yet easy and intuitive photo editing apps, I recently discovered A Color Story app. ACS comes to us via the amazing blog A Beautiful Mess (the app’s creators), whom describe its ability to make colors pop and shine. Knowing my love of photo editing (I have been known to miss multiple meals while engrossed in editing!), I decided to try it and I can honestly say I have not been able to stop gushing about it to all and sundry since! (see the shout outs on my twitter and instagram profiles herehere and here)

Not only does the app come bundled with a range of fabulous preset filters but the ability to save all your steps including any of the sophisticated free tools you used. There are further filter bundles which cost from $1.49 – $2.98 or for a limited time you can purchase all filter packs for $10.

Although the filters are amazing, it is the tool pack I want to talk about here. Most photo editing apps come bundled with standard saturation, brightness, vignette and contrast tools. A color story has all these but also comes bundled with the ability to play with the hue, temperature, tint, high and midtone colors, highlight, shadow, grain, and much more. And it has a ‘curve’ tool which is off the charts fun, easy, and super powerful. 

Below are some before and after edit images I created from my own photos to give you an idea of what the app can do:

Before shot: daisies

After shot: daisies with curve tool, hue, tint, and midtone shifts

Before shot: milliner’s patch star

After shot: milliner’s star patch with curve tool

Before shot: long-stemmed roses

After shot 1: black and white with extra saturation

After shot 2: color added back in from b+w shot using hue shift

Before shot: the almost unuseable palm trees on Takapuna beach photo

After shot 1: curve tool, hue and highlight color shift

After shot 2, palms: further curve tool + hue and highlight shift

Before photo: chandellier

After shot 1: curve, tint and hue shifts

After shot 2: curve, highlight and midtone shifts

I also found the app really beneficial for my flatlay work. It brightens up the white backgrounds and sharpens, smooths and pops the colors so nicely your first flatlay shots look immediately professionally done. See my post “Fun with flatlays” for before and after shots using this app.

Just a final note, I’m not sponsered by the app or ABM 😊, I just love it that much. What editing tools do you use? Would love to hear in the comments below X

Editor’s note: A Color Story is free (with in-app purchases as described) and available on both iTunes and Google Play 
*Hubspot’s interesting article showing the data-driven research of adding images to your blog posts can be found here.

#AColorStory #apps #design #DesignEyeCandy #photoediting, #photography

(*all photos copyright Jennifer Jarvis 2016)

Fun with flatlays

Pretty

Hi everyone sorry for the break but I lost my phone and also have been getting ready to launch a new wellness website (more on that in my next post, yay!).
In the meantime, I finally got over my insecurities about flatlay photography. For months I’ve been watching tutorials etc, always loving the idea but never believing I could do it, too. Mainly I felt I didn’t have the nifty props everyone else seemed to have. But boy was I wrong!

I finally thought “just do it” (thank you, Nike!) and gathered some pretty things lying around, dropped them on a large piece of white cardstock near my living room ranch sliders, picked a camellia flower from my tree outside, mercilessly dissected it (all in the name of art, darling), and began snapping.

The real fun comes at the editing stage (but then I’m an app freak). Note the difference between the header image (after editing) and the one just above (original image) – huge difference, right? 

That’s thanks to an easy yet sophisticated app called A Color Story. I don’t have quite enough light so I use the app’s “curve” tool to lighten it, then hit it with the free filters “Everyday” and “Pop”. At this point the white background has a bluish tinge but I really like that so then I’m done!

After one “successful” flatlay I went a little berzerk running around finding new props I could mix n match. My reading glasses, magazines, a travel journal my mom recently gave me for my birthday – all were fun and worked well. Flatlays are supposed to tell a story and although mine stories aren’t specific, I hope a “fun” vibe carries through. 

Comment below if you have been doing flatlay photography! I’d love to hear from you X
#flatlay #photography #lifestyle #blog #blogger #fashion

(*all photos copywrite Design Eye Candy 2016)

Little Details

Lens

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted thanks to being pretty heavily wrapped up in the world of Instagram and photography.

I don’t know if you use IG but if you, like me, find yourself entranced by unique images of art, architecture, landscapes, and unusual shots of everyday things, then Instagram is definitely for you!

Doorknob, Venetian Jewish Ghetto Water Fountain, Jardins di Boboli, Florence

It didn’t take long for me to realise two things: that I preferred unusual, arty shots of mundane objects (a plane tree up-light at Granville Island, Vancouver, or silvery, flashing pavement grids in Circular Quay, Sydney), but more importantly, that I had finally found a place where I no longer felt like a weirdo for loving the less than usual in the world.  Seed pods, rust, the undersides of bridges, manhole covers, it all spoke to me and for the longest time, thinking the rest of the world only appreciated a nicely captured sunset or orca sculpture, felt like an outsider because of it.

Granville Island Uplight Sydney Sidewalks

Then came Instagram, and with it, tens of thousands of people who loved rust.  Loved how nature takes the ordinary (a door, a window, a seed pod, a manhole cover) and transforms it into art.  Loved unique perspectives (a riot of pink cherry tree blossom cut through by heavy black barbed wire or the rubber tread of a wooden boardwalk, scarred by spray paint tagging, now long faded and beautiful).  And at last, I realised I was not alone in the world.  I was home.

Quirky things 1 Rusty Manhole Covers

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Mysterieux 1

Something that has also come out of my obsession with IG has been, surprisingly, learning that although I love taking photos, it is the editing of them that is my bliss.  The worlds that can be uncovered in the simplest of editing tools!  Oh, if you too could find these things, dear reader.  A world where you feel as at home as though you have always belonged there.

Ancient Tomes Detail, horsehair ornament, Vernon, BC

All photos copyright Jennifer Jarvis, 2015.

Editorial: Todd Selby

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If you, like me, are a big fan of quirky, colourful, unique, and well-shot images of interiors and people, then I bet you’re going to love Todd Selby, if you don’t already.

Selby is a renegade photographer who one could imagine, dared to shoot in a manner that interested him, not in a way that fit in with whatever was trending at the time. An eye for unusual angles, he started out taking photos of his friends’ apartments and putting them up online. This soon let to invitations from the hip-but-underground fashionistas (Lou Doillon et al), various designers, architects, and other sundry creative types into their homes to capture heretofore unheard of intimate portraits of their home lives.

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As a fledgling photographer, I have often worried that my own work is not soft, pretty, or trendy enough. I started off well on Instagram but for every handful of followers I lost one or two, too. I finally asked a French IGer why she unfollowed me and she replied “your photograph style has changed”. This surprised (and admittedly, hurt) me – at least the images were still well-shot and produced! But I rallied and realised that, like me, there are many, many out there who revel in being a bit different, who are starting to realise they stand out from the crowd, and who are slowly but surely no longer afraid of that. Todd Selby is just such a person and shows us that success can come from daring to write your own story and from believing that story will resonate with others.

Another thing I like about Selby is that he asks each subject of his photo essays to describe, always in children’s marker pens, fun details about their life, or how they would imagine it. This adds another layer of playfulness and intimacy to his portraits and is something no-one else out there is doing or would perhaps ‘dare’ to do.

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This one thing I am becoming sure of – be your own judge of what you want to see, read, hear, play with. And if you are true to that, you are guaranteed to find a host of others who will connect with what you are attempting to show them through your art. And this connection will be stronger and longer lasting than any fleeting trends may hold.

All photos shown copywrite Todd Selby and can be found on his site www.TheSelby.com