BlogMy Travel Alter EgoTravel Tips

How to Make People Jealous with Your Photos from the Road

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).  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 – 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!

*This post was written by my travel alter ego – find out who he is and why I created him here.

The following two tabs change content below.

Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
How to find a good English teaching job in Asia
Previous post

How to Find Good English Teaching Jobs in Asia

Patuxai park in Vientiane, Laos
Next post

Cities and Their Celebrity Doubles: Vientiane / Robert Downey Jr.


  1. September 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm — Reply

    This is why I’m often disappointed when I visit places that I’ve already seen in photos. They never live up to the images, because the images are often a lie. LOL. 🙂 Good post.

    • September 7, 2014 at 3:58 pm — Reply

      Yeah that’s the frustrating part!

  2. Urska
    September 7, 2014 at 12:17 am — Reply

    Hahaha this made me laugh! But you’re right, with all the tools and filters we overedit our photos way too often!

    • September 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm — Reply

      Thanks! It can be very deceiving!

  3. September 7, 2014 at 3:13 am — Reply

    I’m a shocking over-editor because I know that a decent photographer with a decent camera would do so much better than I can. But I don’t know how to put in blue skies. I’ll work on that, thanks.

    • September 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm — Reply

      Yeah I know what you mean about having a bad camera, my old one was terrible!

  4. September 7, 2014 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    Grey sky is the bane of our existence (we travel a lot in the “off” season). Total agree with you on the need for sky color. Even the faintest bit of blue makes all the difference!

    • September 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm — Reply

      It is frustrating, bit deceiving when you change things like that though.

  5. September 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm — Reply

    My favorite is when people use HRD to really bring out that fake look. I want the photo to look like the world is on drugs.

    • September 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm — Reply

      Haha yeah I would have done that in this post but I don’t know how!

  6. September 9, 2014 at 11:22 am — Reply

    I officially love you forever for “Bring Out the Gimp”

    • September 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm — Reply

      Haha, I’m glad someone noticed that!

  7. September 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm — Reply

    haha this is why I never try to over edit my photos too much. People who have been there before will know too!

    • September 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm — Reply

      Haha exactly, it’s hard to get away with things like that these days!

  8. September 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm — Reply

    Love this! Probably the best photography post ever. and I second the HDR “gimp” element- those are my “favorite” travel photos, especially when it looks like they have traveled to another planet- then I’m over the top jealous!

    • September 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm — Reply

      Those photographers are responsible for a lot of let down tourists!

  9. September 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    hahahah love your post! I’ll try to use these tips to make my enemies jealous mhoewhah

    • September 9, 2014 at 11:03 pm — Reply

      That’s what I like to hear!!

  10. Claudia
    September 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm — Reply

    Hilarious, but the point is that i am not travelling to show others what I see, I am travelling to see it myself. 🙂

    • September 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm — Reply

      Haha yeah, good point – but you’re a travel blogger!

  11. September 9, 2014 at 10:48 pm — Reply

    Besides editing, people will also go to attractions that are harmful to the local environment to get that “look at me” shot as well, i.e. riding elephants.

    • September 9, 2014 at 11:15 pm — Reply

      I agree, but the whole elephant riding issue isn’t as black and white (in my opinion) as people make out. There are local initiatives (I went to 1 in Laos a few years ago)that are a million miles away from the abuse/borderline torture you see at most places.

  12. September 9, 2014 at 11:31 pm — Reply

    I’ve often said that everything looks better with a blue sky behind. Perhaps I should try your blue sky trick…

    • September 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm — Reply

      Haha maybe, reality is better though I think!

  13. September 10, 2014 at 11:12 am — Reply

    I’ve always said jealousy is the best motivator!

    • September 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm — Reply

      You’re probably right!

  14. September 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm — Reply

    I love seeing travel photos, you’re right! They are so inspiring. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been taking some great photos without any alterations but I definitely need to invest in Photoshop. Any tips on getting a copy?

    • September 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm — Reply

      I’d say only go for minor alterations… I use GIMP and it’s free and pretty similar to Photoshop.

  15. September 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm — Reply

    It is true that good photos are so inviting but now adays too much photoshop works that it looks like a cartoon images

    • September 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm — Reply

      Definitely, keep it real I reckon!

  16. Emily
    September 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    As always, it is an absolute pleasure reading your articles. I think Facebook should be renamed The ‘My life is better than your life’ Competition. My favourite is when people post a picture with a ‘having the time of my life’ caption…you’re not! If you were having the time of your life, social media wouldn’t cross your mind!
    Why even waste time visiting these places when you can just pull images off Google instead 🙂

    • September 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm — Reply

      Cheers Emily! I only got into social media when I started this blog – I posted maybe once or twice a year on Facebook before that, I can see why people do that though – if it’s not on Facebook it didn’t happen haha.

  17. September 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm — Reply

    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)

    • September 11, 2014 at 12:45 am — Reply

      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!

  18. September 18, 2014 at 2:55 am — Reply

    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!

    • September 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm — Reply

      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.

  19. October 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm — Reply

    Haha this is amazing! I’m absolutely loading GIMP as we speak and sharpening the fuck out of every picture I have!

    • October 16, 2014 at 12:45 am — Reply

      Haha, you’ll be a professional photographer in no time!

  20. November 2, 2014 at 7:17 am — Reply

    Ha I think it’s pretty easy to make pople with they were on a vac a! 😛

  21. September 22, 2015 at 10:39 am — Reply

    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

    • September 25, 2015 at 10:00 pm — Reply

      Thanks for the comment Heike – I think as long as the photo looks like what you saw then it’s all good.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *