How I Edit My Blog Photos: Windows Live Gallery Rave!

It used to take me forever to edit my blog photos.  Not because I was editing out blemishes or slimming my hips (sadly, my skills are not even remotely advanced enough for that)...but because I was spending time loading photos into Photoshop and then cropping and color correcting them all manually.


Funny side note:When I first started my blog, I was "accused" of editing my photos (like changing my skin texture, etc) and I was actually flattered that someone thought I had the skills to do that.  Thank you for believing in me!


I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but editing my photos was a huge time-suck for me.  I think Photoshop is great for people who do more extensive editing or use it professionally, but for me, time saving is key since I work full time in addition to blogging.

I became part of the Windows Champions program last year and as part of that program I am testing out their Windows 7 software.  The program I have been the most impressed with is Windows Live Photo Gallery.  I am literally obsessed with it and use it exclusively to edit my photos.  It's fast, easy to use and the results are awesome.

Windows Live Gallery has pre-set options for color correction and exposure and you can instantly transform your images to different tones of black and white or sepia simply by rolling your mouse over that option. 

The other thing I love about the program is that all I have to do is open it and my entire "My Pictures" folder is already there and accessible, with all of my photos in chronological order.  I simply select a file from that gallery to work on it.

I took some screen shots to illustrate just how easy it is to make adjustments to an image. The pre-set options make it simple to choose which ones make the photo look best. I also like that you get a preview of the exposure or color selection just by scrolling over the options and you never have to commit---you can just roll over another selection if you don't like the one you chose.

Here's what your Windows Live Gallery looks like when you open the program.  It shows all of your photos according to date and you just select the one you want to work on.




Once I've selected my photo, I'll adjust the exposure first. I usually need to brighten them up because of the lighting I have to work with when I take my outfit photos in the morning isn't always ideal (the picture below is an old fitting room photo, taken on an iPhone in poor fitting room lighting).


After I adjust my exposure, I'll usually crop my photo (though, you can really either start by cropping r crop at the very end). When you select crop, a box/grid will show up over your photo and you just drag it to where you want your photo cropped.


Then, I adjust the color, using the pre-set options in my toolbar.


You can also use the tools on the right to make a photo black and white or sepia.




So basically, what this post is saying is that I am in love. With Windows Live Gallery. It makes my life easier and I actually find myself looking forward to blogging more often because as I mentioned before, it's a huge time-saver. I also love that it makes my photos look more dramatic and overall more polished.

Some of the options even allow your photos to have a little bit of a vintage vibe to them---like these:



I use a lot of photography apps like CrossProcess, Instagram, etc and I love that I can get a similar look using Windows Live Gallery when I edit photos taken with my Canon Rebel T2i.

What program do you use to edit your photos?  Have you ever used Live Gallery?  Let me know in the comments below!
xoxo,

Veronika.

FTC Disclaimer:  I am part of the Windows Champions program.  As part of this program I was provided with a laptop and Windows 7 software for my personal use.  I'm writing about this particular program because it's awesome and has changed the way I edit my photos.  As always, my opinions are honest and based on my experiences with a product.  I am not being compensated to write this.

20 comments :

  1. Wow, this does look pretty great! I always need to adjust my lighting as well...thanks for the info!

    Aesthetic Lounge

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  2. I'm a photographer (studied photography at Ryerson University in Toronto!) so my go to program is Photoshop.
    I have a Mac so I'm unfamiliar with this program. But I can see why you would opt for a program like this, what a time saver!
    After uploading my photos from my camera, which takes so long because I usually have 400+ at a time (whether images for my blog or not) I sometimes dread the editing process.
    For what you need these photos for, I think it's working really well.
    Hope you're having fun with your new lens!
    xo, Eleni

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  3. lol @ "thank you for believing in me".
    I use Picasa/Picknik and LOVE it but I don't blog nearly as much as you.
    And I'm SO HAPPY to see you on facebook! Yay!! Now I just wish you were on Pinterest :-)

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  4. @melissa---I am on pinterest :) http://pinterest.com/veronabrit/

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  5. I use Picasa - I think it works in a very similar way to Windows Live.

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  6. Wow! That makes such a difference! I know especially when I use photos from my iPhone that they don't upload in the best quality. I'm just so technology-challenged that I've never even thought of editing the photos first before using them on my blog :-P

    http://peridotkutie.blogspot.com/

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  7. What do you do to get the "vintage vibe"? I use the same program and feel like it still takes forever, but that's probably just me taking too many photos to begin with :)

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  8. emily---I usually fix the exposure and then use one of the color options that is more yellow-ish or blue-ish to get that color tone :)

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  9. Veronika! I share the love for it as well. I use it ALL the time! I am glad that someone else loves it as well. :)

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  10. I use Google Picasa program. Such a mini photoshop))

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  11. I use a combination of Lightroom and Picnik, depending on what I'm doing.

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  12. I haven't tried that program out yet. Thanks for the rec. I use Adobe Bridge. You can select multiple photos and edit them all at once. It's great for blogging since most of the pictures are taken in the same light and usually need the same tweaking. Hope you have a great week.

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  13. I didn't even know I had this on my computer until this tutorial! Thanks!!! I have been using it all night!

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  14. Hi! I just followed you over from Chasing Davies. Loved your post, following you now!

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  15. I love that you found a program you like :) I enjoy my Mac iPhoto but I'm an Apple Junkie.
    BTW I covet those Peonies - I haven't been able to find such awesome fake looking ones around here :(

    xoxo- Natalia

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  16. I was using Photoshop a long time ago for graphics and designing website, and I know what you mean - it really isn't the best tool to fix up photos, especially when you're not looking to modify or change them, just give them a "lift".

    Everything you listed about the Windows program, however, is completely identical to Google's Picasa, which I have been using for over 5 years and am simply in love with. With the touch of one button you have access to all those pre-set settings, and you have all the same options you listed - plus a lot more, the software has many preset looks that are similar to Instagram, on top of letting you correct the colours, brighten, set the contrast, crop, and even touch up your photos. The menus are super easy to figure out and you can work with several photos or just one at a time. It opens them directly from a gallery which updates on a daily basis using the photos from your computer.

    If you're raving this much about the options you listed above - you would simply adore Picasa :)

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  17. I use the same program because I remembered you mentioned it a while back. I love it! So easy!

    http://www.andrea-clare.blogspot.com/

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  18. Interesting - I've never used the Windows program to edit...I use photoshop - if you make an 'action' you can preset it to go and it will automatically resize and edit the photos you've got in one folder...it is a little bit more complicated...but once you get the hang of it, works wonders.
    xo
    The Fashionable ESQ
    http://www.thefashionableesq.blogspot.com/

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