That’s right – you are an amateur photographer whether you like it or not with all these great cameras on today’s smart phones. Why not learn a thing or two to take your skills to the next level.
Each week we will feature a photography skill/tip for you that is easy peasy and helps your creativity shine. I know we say this a lot, but just to reiterate the point of this blog, our posts are simple, fun, + personal.
Therefore, we will walk you through only one feature in each post. But never fear, you can always learn as much as you want by clicking on the Photography tag below, which will pull all of our posts for you!
So, let’s talk black point (also known as White point, or part of the White Balance tools).
First, take a picture. If you’re using an Apple + or X phone with iOS, use that portrait mode. If you are using the Google Pixel 2, tell Cortana to “take a selfie” and strike a pose. The biggest piece of advice I can give you about black point, is that you need lighting, so no dark photos, ok?
Here’s my original:
Next, open your photo editing tools, I have included a couple of screenshots below, but every phone is different, and even the lingo can vary with each tool you use. The key terms you want to look for are black point adjustment (0f course), brightness adjustment, saturation adjustment, shadows, temperature, and tint. It will usually be listed with a slider bar to adjust. This is not a filter, but you knew that right?
For iOS users, click the dropdown arrow under “Light” once you click the circle icon to the left of the “Filters” icon
For Android users using Snapseed, you will find this feature under White Balance:
Finally, adjust the black point by moving the slider to either side (right or left). What this does, is “expands the tonal range of your photo”, in other words, brings out the darks or lights in your photo (black or white). Photographers have been using this in Adobe Photoshop for years, but smart phone software developers have been slowly adding features to your photo editing tools with less customization to be more user friendly.
I used the new “Screen Recording” feature with iOS to show you this in action and what a difference it makes to your photos, depending on the look you want. I’ve also added pictures below.
The first shot is the original, followed by sliding the black point slider all the way to the left, and then the next one is all the way to the right.
Like the last photo with the white point being more present, you might have noticed a similar effect that you can place on your photos when you adjust the “fade” on your Instagram photo with Instagram’s editing tools. (Although I could not find enough evidence to support this assumption online, I have compared two photos, one with black point decreased and one with increased fade, let me know if I’m crazy or not.)
Pro Tip – Do you use an app or computer based editing tool that can save your adjustments and apply it to your photos later on? If so, play around with the Black Point until you find your perfect look, and then save it to add to all of your photos this month for a consistent (I’ve got my photography-ish together) feel on your social feeds.
So, show us what you’ve got by tagging #confettitechie on your social feed if you want! We promise to like it, duh!
Stay tuned for more tips to come, and feel free to contribute (as I am not the expert by any means) by emailing collaboration request to firstname.lastname@example.org