Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Photo Editing with Dymps and Dimes

Today I am doing something a little different on the blog - I will be talking about photo editing. I have received a few questions as of late on how I edit my photos. I have never really thought much about my editing. I do everything by trial and error and I don't always get it right so I was really flattered when some people asked ME for advise (lil ol me)
I know there are numerous articles/blogs out there catered to photo editing so this is simply a subjective post on the little I have learnt by myself. 

Now everyone who is anyone with awesome, crisp and bright photos will tell you that natural light or good light is key. That is all well and good - IF you live in LA. If you are from a gloomy country (the weather in the UK is shocking most of the time), it is difficult to always get 'good lighting' hence the need to perfect certain elements of photo editing. The picture below was shot in what most would call 'poor lighting'. The photo was taken indoors with no natural light and a very dim indoor light but a good workman doesn't blame his tools - all the time.

The first step is to welcome you into my world of apps. My top four go to apps. Again, the blogs usually mention some of the ones I will mention so if you want an in-depth review on any, just google it :)

Top Four Apps

1.  Lightroom  (*GASP* she didn't say VSCOCAM first *SHOCK HORROR*)- VSCOCAM is second but my favourite has to be Lightroom. Fortunately, I received the software alongside the purchase of my point and shoot so I never had to pay for it. You are also given the opportunity to have a little mobile app to go alongside the desktop software.

Why do I love this software? It changes a picture from dull to sass with a simple click of auto tune.  I know that's not very pro of me BUT the auto tune is sometimes so good that I don't really have to do much else. And if I am not happy with what the auto tune has provided, I simply control specific elements myself such as 'highlights, contrasts etc'. Everything is so easy and can be easily replicated onto every photo. In other words, you can create a uniform edit for all photos if you wanted to. 
A little trick I do is edit one photo, take a picture of how I have developed (see below), then use the same edit for all photos.

I love that the software never compromises the quality of my pictures  - EVER. And for someone not too tech savvy, it is really straight forward. I am sure there are so so many cool things to do with Lightroom, I simply haven't had the time to really explore it to it's full potential but the basics are definitely more than basic.
If you aren't sure on whether you want to actually pay for the software, adobe offer a free trial so it's worth downloading and using even if it's only for 30 days.

2. VSCO CAM (the people's favourite)  - I looveeee the VSCO CAM. I am sure everyone reading this post has it and if you don't, you don't take your life that seriously (lol, just kidding). But honestly, this app is a blogger's must have and has even been commended by photographers. I invested in all presets because I really wanted to explore them all , however, I usually only stick to the A or C presets to get a uniformed look on my Instagram.

3. PhotoGrid - This is the app I use for borders, to combine two pictures or add text etc. It is the string that ties together my photo editing. I know Squaready and Instacollege are also popular, but IMO, Photogrid blows them all out of the water.

4. Pixlr / PS Express - I know I am cheating here by giving the both of them but I use them for almost the same thing. Pixlr is admittedly used to edit any massive spots I may have had on shooting day. I also use the 'smooth' function to add more of a professional look to my photo's if needs be.  I use Pixlr Express on my Mac a lot usually for final touch ups. PS Express is also brilliant for final touches or breathing life into a picture. 

So there you have it, my absolute must have, will never delete, top four photo editing apps (you can find all of them in your app store). 

Now on to the actual editing!

1. I found out recently that the highlighting tool on your chosen app should be your best friend if the look you're going for is clean, crisp and minimalist. Highlights are the difference between a grey looking background or a clean bright white background. Play with those highlights kids because they can turn a good picture into a great one (check out @missenocha on instagram for some brilliant highlighting inspo)

2. I tend to keep my saturation at a minimum, again, for a crisp and clean looking image. A highly saturated image can make the image look too busy. Most of the apps mentioned above deal with saturation. I usually use VSCO cam to edit the saturation by -1. This means the colour is still in the image without the whole image being a weird yellowy colour (check out @fashioninflux on instagram for examples on minimal saturation)

3. Obviously - BRIGHTEN. Yes, simply editing the brightness of a picture could make a huge huge difference. 

4. Learn to sharpen your images even if it's only by a little. This can make an item really stand out by giving the item some definition. I prefer to sharpen an image than add structure as adding structure may add unwanted shadows creating a harsh effect to the photo. Using a sharpening tool instead of a structure/definition one creates a subtle but mighty difference.

5. I haven't really seen the 'whites / blacks' tool on the apps (maybe I haven't looked hard enough) but I usually use this on lightroom. This means if a background or subject is meant to be white, I increase the whiteness (for loss of a better term) and if I wanted something black to look rich in colour, I would manage that element. This function must be available somewhere in the many editing apps out there but it is very very useful in bringing out the true colours of whites and blacks (the Doctor White of photo editing).

It goes without saying that editing is subjective and should ultimately go with your theme. There isn't one definitive way to edit but these are just a few of the things I do to improve the quality of my pictures.  It is better to try not to over-edit. If you can, do always opt for good natural light which leads to less editing, less headache and doesn't impact the quality of your picture(s).  

I hope this has helped a little or a lot (i'd prefer a lot). 
Feel free to comment if you do anything differently, have any tips, or want to correct me on anything I may have mis-communicated.

Thanks for reading as always

Before / After: picture taken with my iPhone, indoors and with dim lighting - edited using apps and techniques above

Monday, August 31, 2015

Lady In Red


I think someone sprinkled a little sass on me in this shoot #sosassy.

Hey guys , how are you all ? how was your week?

Mine ? Mine has been manic busy thanks for asking. Not only did I move into my new flat in London from a totally different city on Sunday, I started my new job on Monday!
My welcome to London and to the flat was no hot water, no internet or no TV set up so I lived in the stone ages for a while. So far my lovely neighbour has 'lent' me his WIFI, my boyfriend managed to buy a freeview box for us for the mean time and managed to get the gas working. Not bad for four days work ay!

I am happy and a little sad at the same time with my move to London. 
I am really not a city girl AT ALL. I grew up in good ol' Norwich which I appreciate so much now. I hate busy and crowded places. I also don't like being touched without my consent (I am talking about on tubes tehe). I hate having to take tubes to work. I hate that some lines decide to close making it almost impossible to arrive at your destination. I hate that people just say whatever they want to say to you here (yeah, the guys are soooo forward and it makes me want to cry). I also hate how I could get a mansion for the price I am paying for a place here (slight exaggeration but it's ever so slight).  

Okay, enough negativity. On the plus side, I loooove my new job and tbh, my place isn't all bad. I also love having my friends close by and the fact home isn't really that far away. I'll get used to the hustle and bustle. I just need to man up a little. 

So should we talk about my dress? Guess where it's from, go on - guess... no? Okay i'll tell you - you won't believe it, it really is from ............ SHEINSIDE. 
Another beauty from Sheinside. Dress perfection, quality perfection, colour perfection - everything perfect! I have received a heap of comments on this dress with everyone wanting to know where it is from. I have sent a few links to a few people - Ya Welcome!

I don't think I have to say much on this dress - It really speaks for itself!

Get it here

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Date Night + Give-away

Date night with my boy is my favourite day of the week. It just gives us a chance to unwind and really catch up after usually a busy week. 
I like to make an effort because it's pretty special yano so I chose this beautiful LBD (little black dress) that I purchased from Sheinside for approx £11. I ordered a bundle of clothes from them for such a little amount so sorry not sorry that my next few posts with be shein-driven. 

For the price I paid for the dress I didn't expect a whole lot but to my surprise, it and many of the items purchased are so beautiful. The quality is surprisingly good. The sizing for me has been pretty good so far too bar one or two items. I strongly recommend reading reviews and seeing how it looks on people before purchasing.

This dress for example has no give and I wouldn't have known that if I didn't read the reviews. This then meant, I knew whether to go up in size or not. So reviews for sites such as Shein and Choies are so helpful - thank you to the unsung heroes that take their time out of their day to write them.

The exact dress can be purchased here. Shop the complete look below:

To say a huge thank you to my wonderful readers, old and new, for inspiring me and supporting me in releasing my content, I am hosting  a give away for these beautiful 'Just Fab' heels.
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To enter, please do the following:
  1. Follow or Subscribe to Dymps and Dimes on Bloglovin'
  2. Once done, leave your name and contact information in the comments section below
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Entrants must be over 16 years and must live in the UK

 **The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified within 7 days of the giveaway ending**

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dymps and Dimes - This year so far

From left to right:

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8) She-In

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Wow, more than half of this year has gone now. I blinked and the year went. This has been one of the hardest, most emotional, Doobs defining years.  I honestly can't wait to see it go for reasons I will explain in detail on the blog when I feel ready and able. The short of issue is I lost my baby sister this year. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I still don't have the words to really talk about it but I really hope to find that voice one day.

The blogging world has been good to me this year though. My blog started in 2013 (I created the platform and tested the waters), the blogging only seriously started last year. With this being said, eBlogger tells me I have only posted 85 times. I need to up my game in this department and I really made it my goal this year, however circumstances outside of my control occurred.

I am extremely proud of the content I have put out there despite the fact I still consider myself a "baby-blogger", my boyfriend is my photographer (a good one he is) and I have no fashion background whatsoever.  It's strange because my boyfriend was notoriously bad at taking pictures, however his support for me made him want to learn and work to improve and he has produced a lot of amazing pictures for me. He deserves the most recognition, so thanks Niko <3 

I must admit, I have stressed about my blog a little more this year which has made me want to work really hard on it *pressure creates diamonds* - I still have a way to go but I like how it's coming along despite the fact it wasn't ever meant to be anything serious anyway. 

I have been contacted and featured by brands such as Primark, ASOS, House of Fraser to name a few and that's kind of a big deal in itself.

So I bring to you a few of my favourite blogged outfits this year. It was a hard decision as sometimes, a favourite with my readers and followers isn't necessarily my favourite. But the chosen ones above are definitely ones I enjoyed shooting for or enjoyed putting together.  
Seeing the posts all laid out like this does create a sense of achievement and it only makes me want to work harder and do better. 

My sister was a photographer. She took some of the pictures for my blog and was so proud of it. In a way, this platform is a way to continue to make her proud, a way to escape sometimes and a way to focus my energy on something fun and somewhat creative. 

Thank you to everyone that reads and supports dympsanddimes - you're all loved!

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Friday, August 07, 2015

Hennes & Mauritz

On my Faith Evans

They call me Mellow Yellow...

Okay this blouse is definitely less Mellow more Yellow. This was purchased from Hennes & Mauritz (H&M). Hennes & Maurtiz sounds so much more high end, love it! I think I'll use it when I am feeling a little grande (ha!)
The blouse was an impulse buy for holiday, an impulse buy I am very happy with. I never got to take it on holiday (i forgot *sigh*). I still love it though. I feel in love with the colour and the pattern against my skin tone not forgetting the way it sits - slightly relaxed yet extremely feminine. 

Get the exact blouse here ----


Shop a similar look below:
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