When documenting your travels, one of the most important things to remember is that none of it means anything unless you make it look as amazing as possible. The explosion of social media over the last few years has made it possible to let thousands of people know just how awesome our lives are, but how can you get the full effect if your photos aren’t up to scratch. Now, by up to scratch I don’t mean good, I mean so amazingly perfect and colourful that they don’t seem real. You want to give the impression that you’re living in a dream world, so I’ve put together some tips on how you can achieve this through manipulating your photos on Photoshop or GIMP (it’s a programme, trust me!).
Step 1: Bring out the GIMP
Sharpen (or unsharpen) the hell out of your photos using GIMP (or Photoshop / Lightroom). The more unrealistic the better here – don’t be afraid to really crank up the sharpness and get that fake look, it’s what we are striving for!
Step 2: Colour
You really want the colour in your photos to pop, so you need to go to “hue/saturation” and crank up the saturation. Put it up to about +40 and the colours will be far more vibrant than they were when you saw them. This is the desired effect.
Step 3: Replace the grey sky with a blue one
I’m not sure how to do this on GIMP but it’s easy on Photoshop. I can’t be bothered going into the boring details of this – you’ll have to work it out for yourself. No one wants to see grey skies in photos these days, and no one will be able to prove that the sky wasn’t blue that day, so have free reign to completely edit these small details.
Step 4: Add a motivational quote
Pictures tell a thousand words, but is a thousand really enough? Why not throw a few more on? Choose a quote that makes it seem like what you are doing is the most amazing thing in the world, and that people are crazy for not wanting to travel. Choosing a great quote is the key to this whole process, make sure it elevates you above tourists and shows the whole world how awesome proper travel really is.
Step 5: Share it on social media
This is the easy part! I assume, if you are truly respected, that you’ll have a huge social media following. These are people that love you and are impressed by everything that you do, so they’ll pretty much lap up anything you throw at them. Don’t become complacent though, the moment you start posting realistic images and stories is when you lose that dash of mystique and unattainability, which will drag you down to the depths of mere mortals – not a good thing!
Before the over-the-top editing
Can you think of any more tips on how to make people jealous with your photos from the road? How heavily do you edit your photos? Let me know!
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Tuesday 22nd of September 2015
I would say there has to be a balance - it shouldn't be too exhilarating and not too dull - but there should be still a truth in the picture....
If you are working with light, it is almost always avoidable not to manipulate a photo.
Cheers from the road, Heike
Friday 25th of September 2015
Thanks for the comment Heike - I think as long as the photo looks like what you saw then it's all good.
Sunday 2nd of November 2014
Ha I think it's pretty easy to make pople with they were on a vac a! :P
Tuesday 7th of October 2014
Haha this is amazing! I'm absolutely loading GIMP as we speak and sharpening the fuck out of every picture I have!
Thursday 16th of October 2014
Haha, you'll be a professional photographer in no time!
Thursday 18th of September 2014
Love the contrast between your two pictues! :)
There was a student who was in the news recently because she made out she was in Thailand (with pics, etc.) when in fact she was still at home. Apparently it was all just for some project or other, but lots of people were 'taken in' by it all!
Thursday 25th of September 2014
Haha, I can see that happening a lot more in the future with the growing popularity of travel blogs, wouldn't be hard at all to fake it.
Wednesday 10th of September 2014
True, to a degree - photos don't come out on the camera the way you see them in real life. A white sky? Its usually a blue sky but you've aimed your camera in the direction of the sun. Muted colors? That's shade or different light effects. The point is that any blogger should edit to some degree to make the photo look as it did when looking through that lens. Especially when you have a shitty camera ;)
Actually, my biggest gripe are those photos from SLR cameras which look like nothing found in nature... Frank (bbqboy)
Thursday 11th of September 2014
Definitely. I usually edit my photos slightly to make them look closer to the reality I saw - some people take it way too far though!