Hey, guys! Jeff Mindell here. I'm a freelance photographer based out in L.A., and I guess it's no secret I really like taking photos. I lead a fairly hectic (but fun!) life and am always on the go. I take so many photos on my phone and am always looking to streamline my editing process.
At this point, you can basically do anything you want editing-wise with mobile, but it wasn't until a few months ago when I started playing around with A Color Story (I was a part of the test group) that I realized how attention to color vibrancy was lacking in the app space. I'm pretty stoked at how user-friendly this app is along with the attention to detail when it comes to tools and image manipulation!
For me, I really love shooting bright and airy interior spaces (check out my #jminteriorspaces hashtag on Instagram!), and lately I've been using A Color Story to really help my images pop. Let's dive in!
Tip 1. Decide how you want your photo to look, lighting and color-wise, ahead of time.
If I'm shooting an interior space, I tend to selective adjust the whites of my image and either reduce the warmth or desaturate entirely. I find that removing even the faintest of color in a part of my image that I want to be a true white can make a huge difference! On the other hand, if you are someone who's wanting to embrace the natural warmth of sunlight for example, you might choose to retain the warmer tones of your image as it might lend to a different end result. Entirely up to you!
Tip 2. I always want my interiors to look bright and airy, but also as natural as possible.
By that, I mean that I want to keep my shadows dark and my highlights at a slightly reduced level. (For me, there is a fine line between the perfect amount of highlights and the image becoming too 'hot' or overexposed. Use this tool sparingly! The idea is to keep the space generally as is, just bringing out the really good features. When using A Color Story, pick a filter that works for your photo by brightening and/or smoothing your whites, but keep in mind those highlights! Maybe bring the filter intensity down to 50-60% and reevaluate. (If you're comfortable using it, the Curves edit option under the 'Tools' menu is awesome!) One more note is that I generally always push the image just a smidge brighter at the last minute before posting. Just be sure to compensate that brightness with lowered highlights to balance everything out!
I always try to find balance when shooting an interior space. You want the image to draw the viewer in and be aesthetically pleasing. I pay attention to natural lines in a space, vanishing points, and also the rule of thirds. (After I am done with the editing and manipulation of the image's colors and tones, I often use Instagram's built-in guide lines to help me with that last part!)
Until you saturate to the point of no return and your image no longer looks realistic, I say the more colorful the better. ACS is awesome for this as well. Depending on the image I'm working on, some of my favorite filters are Punchy, Everyday, Lipstick, and Fresh Air (at a medium intensity). Fortunately, there are so many great filters the ABM team built into this app, so the best thing to do is experiment and figure out your ideal editing 'recipe'.
Tip 5. Take many, many photos of what you are shooting!
For every interior space I share, I most likely will have taken 20-30 images of that same environment before I choose my final frame. Might as well have more to choose from later, right? 😉
Let me know if you have any questions! –Jeff
Note from Elsie—Hey, guys! I hope you are enjoying these A Color Story tips posts every Saturday. If you have any topics you'd like us to cover, we'd love to hear your requests! :D
I loved every bite and information of it! Moreover what i liked was use of spaces and elements!
This is awesome!! Loving the app! Thanks for the advice 🙂
Guys! When are you launching the color story app for android? I’m dying over here! I can’t wait.
i read this entire post in Jeff’s voice.
…and then i imagined Elsie taking the mic from him and read it in her voice.
love this post.
cant freaking wait for the android version.
Thanks for the kind words, Jess 🙂
I think that was my fav thing about A Color Story as well, attention to detail. Like you, I also use other apps for minor retouching, but have definitely eliminated a few major players in favor of ACS (I used to use about 4-5 apps before getting a final photo!)
Great feedback! Jeff
Thanks for the feedback, Linda! Glad this all makes sense 🙂
A video demonstration of all of the options and tools would be great.
I third!! I’d love to learn about what curves do and how best to use them!
I second this!!!
Hi Tracie! I’d be happy to walk you through that if you send me an email at hello AT acolorstory DOT com :)) -Jacki
I’d like to see how to use multiple filters and steps. I haven’t figured out how to do that without applying a filter, saving, then re-opening the edited pic and applying another. Would love to know if there is an easier step.
I would love to see a post on food pics!
I was a VSCO snob…but now ACS is my first go-to!!! Love it! I’d love to hear more about how to use the curves tool!
I’ve been loving this app! I’ve edited all my blog pictures for the week using it!
LOVE the app! Was wondering if there are any plans on creating an OS X version? It’d be so great to be able to extend its use on to a desktop/laptop.
Very useful post. Love the side by sides.
xo, Irina | BondGirlGlam.com
Great post, Jeff! I always look forward to your well lit, colorful posts! 🙂 I’ve also really been enjoying A Color Story. I myself post a lot of colorful photos and truly appreciate the attention to detail when it comes to this app, it’s truly unlike anything I’ve used before! I will say, I’m still holding on to ONE other editing app because it’s got an option to remove blemishes. I really like that feature for when I want to post a picture of a neat wall but it’s slightly dirty or has some imperfections (the app is Aviary by the way). Anyway, I would love to see that as an added feature to A Color Story!
Before I started blogging I didn’t realise just how important the photos are! They make the blog post successful, or not as the case may be. Luckily my mobile phone has quite a good camera, but even now I still don’t use any apps to edit my photos. You’re tips on here are so useful though and really show the difference it can make.
These tips are so great! Thank you so much! I’ll definitely be practicing and using these!
Thanks for these Saturday posts, they really add up! Most of the tools I explore to see what they do; I can always go back if I don’t like what I’ve done. But it’s nice to get tips from a working photographer.