How to Fix a Bad Photo: Step-by-step Guide on Transforming Your Pictures With Basic Editing Tools

When it comes to pictures, Editing plays a very important part.

As much it helps to fix things, it also gives the picture it's photographer's stamp, his signature style.

Today, we'll be discussing simple basic edits that make all the difference. For each instance, I have a picture that illustrates the point made. All pictures in this post were taken with my mobile phone, Infinix Note 2.


Pin me pretty please!

This article is not necessarily for bad photos. It's just that sometimes, the pictures we end up with isn't necessarily what we had in mind. This post just covers how to tweak photos to your liking.

When I say basic edits, I'm referring to edits like Cropping, Brightening, Saturating, Lighting corrections, and the clone tool. I believe everyone should know how to manipulate at least three out of these five.

I'll be explaining based on professional and mobile editors. The mobile editor I recommend is Snapseed. Read about it in an article and a professional photographer recommended it. Haven't turned back since.

So let's dive in.

- Warm/yellow pictures (Picture too warm before/after editing).



The picture in the "before" isn't necessarily too warm but by the time I would have increased the brightness and saturation, it would've become too warm for my style.

If your using an editor that has the Temperature feature (mobile or otherwise) then yay! All you'd need to do is reduce the warmth to your taste. DOn't over do it though.

If you don't have the Temperature feature then don't fret. Just use your levels and make the picture have more blue in it. For a more detailed post/step-by-step guide on how to do this, read this post.

-Dull lifeless picture


 Honestly, all you need to do is brighten, contrast and saturate.

But do so along other edits like the temperature, cropping, etc. Adjust these features until you get the look your going for. If it all gets messed up and you don't like the end result, start again and keep at it until you get to your goal.

In the picture above, I might have lost the blue sky but I got my tree clear and crisp which was the general goal.


- To remove unwanted objects


This one is so easy. All you have to do is crop and use the clone tool.

The clone tool simply allows to to replace a part of your picture with another part, that is, "cloning".

In the picture above, I cropped out the part below then replaced the black parts above with the white sky. Done and dusted.

For a mobile editor like Snapseed, you just select the healing feature and do the same.


- When all fails, black and white.


Sometimes, you've tried everything yet the picture just isn't to your taste. The lighting is off, things are not quite right. The ultimate solution?

The black and white filter.

Trust me on this. Take a look at the picture above. The before isn't so bad but it doesn't look appealing. It doesn't even hold the mystery I love silhoutte pictures for. Ater cropping, straightening and applying the back and white?

Mysterious. Dark. Intruiging.

That's what I see. The black and white filter is also very good for pictures taken under bad lighting conditions.


- Use a professional editor


Even the mobile photoshop app ain't got nothing on the photoshop on a PC/laptop. You just can't compare.

The before photo above isn't so bad but you can't compare the quality of the after photo. It looks like it was taken with a far better camera.

Sometimes, a picture is so bad that i'd have to use snapseed for my stage one edits then edit with my laptop. Why the stage one? Sometimes, I take pictures and cant just wait to refine them.

There you have it people!


BONUS:
To be honest, I don't do major edits to my pictures, just basic stuff because my phtography style is taking things just as I see them then enhancing just a bit so that the originality isn't lost, things just look a little better.

My number one tip is this: Pay attention to your compostion. Composition simply means the way you arrange your subjects in the photo. This is what makes the photo. Every other thing can be edited.

If you don't quite nail the composition you were going for, the crop tool is your friend. It would help you rearrange things so use it wisely.

 
What is/are your favourite edit(s) and (editors)?

 
P.S: There are no affiliate links in this post.

P.P.S: All pictures were edited with Paint.net except the third picture which was edited with Snapseed.

What photography post would you want next? A step-by-step post on how I edit my Instagram photos (mobile editor) or Tips for mobile phone photography?


Leave a comment/question, I'd love to hear from you!
Cheers!

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Frugal Fashion Series: How To Develop Successful Impulse Shopping Habits

It is often said that impulse buying is a bad habit. A really bad habit. I'm just going to come out straight and say I disagree. Some of my best clothing articles were bought impulsively with no regrets. I don't think a lot of people can say the same.

Think about it: You have been longing for an A-line striped skirt for a very long time. So one day, you walk past a pop up store and behold! There's an A-line Striped skirt! You walk up- not to buy it ofcourse, just to take a look. Guess what? It's exactly your size. You check the price- very affordable. This must be a sign.

Do you then walk away because you didn't plan to shop?

I think not.

The truth is; there's a method to successful impulse buying. I'm sure you're wondering " How can something that's impulsive have a method?" I assure you, this method is why some are successful and others are not in the business of impulse shopping.



So what's this method?


THE MLB FOUR STEP GUIDE TO SUCCESFUL IMPULSE BUYING
To be honest, I really couldn't come up with a cooler name. (MLB = Mira La Belle.)


1. Know your style
I can not stress this enough. To be sure you are buying the dress because you love it (and not because it's 90% off), you need to be sure of what you like. True, that varies a lot. You could, for instance, think you like the dress because your friend insists (rather vehemently) that you look exceptionally good in it.

You might think that now but in years to come? Probably not. If you're going to buy something impulsively (or otherwise), you need to ensure it will capture your interest for a while.

Does it? Yes? Move on to step two!


2. Match the item with the rest of your wardrobe
Now that you're sure you like it, you need to make sure it goes with the rest of your wardrobe. This doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be similar to the items in said wardrobe, but it must flow. You dont want to buy a dress and not be able to pair it with anyhting in your closet.

Does the item flow with your wardrobe? No?

Then you probably shouldn't buy it unless you plan to buy it as a gift to someone. Or you plan to change your whole wardrobe. Which leads us to...


3. Can you afford it?
This should probably have been the first question but there are sometimes you're just willing to take the risk and borrow from a friend because it's that important. The amount being borrowed should be such that you could eventually repay, you just can't afford it at the moment. We are Frugalistas after all.

If yes, move on to the next step. If no, move on anyway because sometimes, there are some clothing items you just have to have. Can I get a #WORD?


4. If you leave now, would you remember the item for a long time?
This is the most important question in my opinion. Nothing haunts us like the thing we didn't buy, I tell you. There might be a time you'll be putting an outfit together in your head then you'll find yourself think "*Sigh*, If I only I bought those shoes". You might think you'll probably find it again but it doesn't always work that way.

If said item will haunt you, it means it probably passed all the tests (apart from number 3 ofcourse). If not, drop it. You'll find something better.


Remember- the goal is to buy a clothing item you won't regret buying.


We're going to be discussing how to balance your wardrobe for maximum functionality and enjoyment. I know it sounds technical (and/or downright cheesy) but there's really no other way I can put it. Are you enjoying the series so far? Shoot questions through my email or the comments section.

What's one item you didn't buy that still haunts you?

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Leave a link, let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

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Life Adventures: In June

Happy New Month people!

Better late than never yes?



Most of June was spent waiting for results that never came and wishing desperately for some kind of vacation from school.

The main reason this post was delayed was because I had no idea what to write. I slipped into the "tired trance" thing again. I was mentally, physically and psychologically tired. Unlike last time, I recognized it for what it was and didn't take long in making a come back.

Frustration was also in the mix. I try and try to be efficient in all aspects of my life but somehow always feel like I'm in waaaaay over my head and that's very frustrating.

I used to be a very big fan of change but... I'm not so sure anymore. We make plans and before we can blink, the dynamic shifts and those plans crumble and we have to rebuild from scratch. It's a tiring cycle.



July is off to a good start though. Sort of. I just added to my workload and I'm terrified I'm going fail but I can't just not try. I'm more terrified of "what if's".

On to more fun things, my new love is Wattpad. How on earth did I miss this earlier? So many talented writers on there.

Musically speaking, Mike Posner's new album "At Night, alone" has been a favourite! His music changed so much. I love the album because it's honest and authentic.

The next blog posts are on our Frugal Fashion Series and a Photography post on transforming your photos with basic edits. What other posts would you like? I love reader requests.

Also, I'm sorry for how sappy this post is.

In June, I learnt that when I'm stressed, it's best to turn to forms of escape. Mine are books, writing, drawing and photography.
What did you learn about yourself recently?

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African Fashion Week Nigeria Recap: What I wore and my general experience

African Fashion Week Nigeria is a social enterprise that provides a platform to help promote Nigerian brands through worldwide visisbility and distribution and manufactturing.

You guessed it people- I pulled that straight from their website. Thought it was an appropriate beginning.

AFWN2016 is the second fashion show I have attended so far. My major problem with attending events was this: I just didnt't know what to do with myself. I didn't know anyone and I'd just feel awkward and just stand by the side. At least at fashion shows you just sit and watch.

Afwn took place over a course of three days of which I attended only the last two.

So let's go with what I wore first...

Day 3:


This wasn't what I planned initially but when all fails, you can always count on your (little?) red dress. Paired it with heels and my bag from day two. Not very original I know but it was my plan B and we all know how those never compare to plan A.

Day 2:


This was definitely planned. Went with my LBD with lace details on the sleeves, black accessories and a statement choker.

My highlights:

-O'Saunders' use of hand painted florals print.


If you an avid follower of this blog or my Instagram (please follow me?), you'll know all about my (slight) floral obsession. She took this to another level with her beautiful designs and authetic paintings. So lovely. I gasped when the first model walked the runway.


-El Amanah's incorporation of black  and lemon.


Or is this yellow? I'm not quite sure. The collection might've not been particularly artistic and all but I loved it for reasons I can't exactly explain.

-Nipo skin everything!



I loved this collection so much. During the show, people's tweets were being projected on a screen and a particular person kept on hyping the collection. I was then curious to see what the hype was about. I have to say, he delivered and more.

I liked the feathers on the accessories, the play with fabric, the collection was just so beautiful and I loved it.

-The fact that I recognized some people and vice versa!


That was so cool. I was really dragging my feet on going but since "attending three fashion shows" was on my to-do list this year (yup, expect more recaps!), I just decided to forget how tired I was and it was worth it. I had fun and was inspired to attend the second day.


Met Akin Faminu and a bunch of people I saw but wasn't confident enough to walk up to. Oh and I was told repeatedly that I look darker and fatter in my pictures repeatedly. Was quite taken aback.

And it's a wrap!

Did you attend the show? What was your experience?

Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Pictures courtesy of: Njc works, Phemie Flash, Cdigitals respectively.

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Project 1000: Put a Smile on a Child's Face.

Hey people!

So the good people over at the Irede Foundation are doing a wonderful campaign on helping child amputees. The project 1000 campaign is set up in order to raise funds for children amputees to get prostheses by calling on people to donate 1000naira and in turn put smiles on their faces.


An estimated 200 million are born with disabilities or are disabled by the age of 19, children living with limb loss (either congenital or acquired ) feel different from their peers.



The cost of an artificial limb is a heavy financial burden for most families, especially considering that child amputees outgrow their limbs as regularly as they outgrow clothing.

The IREDE Foundation is set up to give child amputees love, hope & joy, and over the last 3 years, we have given out 32 prosthesis and replaced 10 prosthesis. The Irede Foundation assists with the costs of standard artificial limbs and ongoing adjustments and repairs.



Individuals are encouraged to refer any child with limb-loss within their immediate environment. To donate funds for this cause, you can do so through:

Account name: The Irede Foundation Bank name:   FCMB - 3731345014 

For more information
Email: info@theiredefoundation.org
Phone: +234 01 3422457 | +234(0)708 710 9596
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 8:00 – 17:00
Address: 13, Oshikomaya Street. Magodo, Shangisha, Lagos.

We can't change the world... but, bit by bit, every little positive action or effort put into society makes a difference.

Wishing you guys a great day ahead.

Cheers!



DIY: How to make a Cut-out Croptop From a Plain T-shirt

Hey people!

T-shirts are very versatile and there are sooooo many things that can be done with them. I have so many ideas and execution & time is kinda the problem. Anyway, look forward to more t-shirt DIYs.

Today's DIY is really quite simple (as are all my DIYs so far). All you need to do is cut. That's right people. This is a no-sew DIY.


I'm not one for plain fitted t-shirts so I decided to transform this one.



You will need:

- A t-shirt

- Scissors

- Tape rule

- Crayon/ Chalk/ Some thing to mark the area being cut-out

Before we go on, please choose the material of the t-shirt carefully. Let it be one that once cut, will not fray. Otherwise, you'll need to hem it which is quite simple but hey, I'm physically conservative so...

Step 1



Draw any pattern at all you want. I went for a rectangle in the middle and two polygon-like figures on the side. Be careful while drawing to leave allowance for the cutting.

Step 2

Cut the shapes out. That's really all you need to do. and...

Done!


You like?

You could try out different fun shapes, you could even cut-out the back.



Pin this picture pretty please!! Are you following me on Pinterest by the way?

What cut out shapes would you be trying?

Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.

P.S: If you try this DIY, send be a picture with any other details you'd like people to know and you'd be featured on this blog. My email: ijennamirabelosuji@gmail.com.

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Faux Fro: How To Get The Curly Afro Look With African Relaxed Hair

So the Locs are out and it's back to the 'fro people!

A lot of you requested for a post on how I get my African relaxed hair to look curly and 'fro-like and as promised, here's the post. And just in case you're wondering, I  first coined the term "Faux Fro" in this post, ha ha.



I simply curled my hair. But since that's not elaborate enough, I'll take you through the process.

You will need:



- Big comb (to comb the whole hair)

- Tail comb (to part and comb little sections of hair)

- Small rollers

- Oil & cream (to lock in moisture)



First step is to comb, oil and cream your hair. After that, damp your hair slightly with water. Make sure it's not wet because we want this to dry overnight.



I roll my hair myself most times, so I part the hair messily. It doesn't matter. Comb each part carefully before you roll.


The size of the curls depends on how big your rollers are and how much hair you roll per roller. So for big curls, part bigger sections then roll and for small curls, part smaller sections then roll.


When you remove the rollers, pick the curls out with your tail comb then style.



End result.

My hair is in an asymmetrical cut right now so one part is longer than the other and that's how I achieved this look.

The bags under my eyes are Prada ;-)


So! Enjoy!

Got any tips? Questions? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

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Frugal Fashion Series | Thriftshopping 101: tips and tricks

So you're passing by a store and you see that bag you've been lusting after. You stop dead in your tracks then run into the store thinking "I must have that bag!"

 It's definitely your style.

 Check.

 It certainly is top-quality, free of flaws.

Check.

Except... the price isn't quite within your range.

We all love quality clothing yes? Unfortunately, most quality clothing articles tend to be very expensive (unfairly so in my opinion). So do we then go for the cheap (probably trendy and not-so-quality) alternatives?

Aboslutely not.

In the long run, "cheap" clothes are actually more expensive. Think of it this way: How many times would cheap clothes need repairing or replacing? Far more times than your quality clothes would need replacing. So what's a frugalista (Frugal Fashionista) to do?

One word. Thriftshopping.


So you know how the world usually looks down on second hand clothing? Turns out thriftshopping (or Okrika to Nigerians) is the perfect solution for the frugalistas!  You get quality clothing at the price of cheap not-so-quality clothes.

Now that I've convinced you, (I'm quite confident in this argument) lets look at the four topics we'll be discussing:

1. Why no fashionista should look down on thriftshopping
2. Items you should and shouldn't buy while thriftshopping
3. Four useful thriftshopping tips

A knowledge of quality items and how to differentiate between fake and original clothing is crucial in thriftshopping.

 Let's get right to it!

Why no fashionista should look down on thriftshopping

Fashion 101: No truly fashionable person turns down a benficial fashion sale. Thriftshopping as far as I'm concerned is like an everyday sale.

Also, no truly fashionable person turns down an item he/she wants because it's not from a high fashion store. "Truly fashionable" being the key word on both accounts. A good find is a good find.

Any other reason for looking down on thriftshopping is acceptable I guess.

Items you should buy while thriftshopping
This depends on how durable the material of the clothing item is.

I recommend clothes made of stronger durable fabric, depending on the thread count and so on. Bags of a sturdier leather or fabric are suitable.

Items you really shouldn't buy while thriftshopping

-First on our hypothetical list is shoes. While there are some shoes that can indeed stand the test of time, I urge you not to take that risk.

 Why?

Shoes are not like clothes. Clothes are worn everyday but hardly put under the pressure that shoes are.

This tip doesn't apply if the shoes look really new. The person probably wore it twice. But if you can, buying brand new shoes is highly recommended.

-Secondly, clothes made of lighter less durable material/fabric. I've found that second hand clothes made of satin (and similar materials)don't make good investments.

You can of course buy satin and other less durable materials but these have to be calculated risks.

Now, to the practical part. We have discussed knowing your personal style to help you buy exactly what you like and fits into your style. We have also discussed differentiating between original and fake clothing.

Now, we're on to tips that'll help you in thriftshopping or otherwise.

Three useful thriftshopping tips

Trust me, these work. Took me a while to learn, but once I started appyling them, they made all the difference.

-Not all items are quality.

Thriftshopping mostly involves quality clothes. If the clothes could survive that long, they are probably quality. But the thing is, there are different levels of poor quality.

Some clothes are just slightly higher in quality and might have been able to survive just as long.

So what's the problem then?

Well, the problem is those clothes might be reaching the end of the life span. So after getting excited about your new dress, you might only get to wear it twice. So scout wisely.


- Don't ignore flaws

Yes, it's a good deal. The Marc Jacobs dress for only 95%  (or more) of the original price? Heck yes!

But... it has a spoilt zipper, some holes here and there and many more imperfections. Drop it. Yes, it's MARC JACOBS. Yes, the flaws can probably be easily repaired. Or so you think.

The dress would probably occupy your "Fix-it list" for so long, you'd probably get tired and just get rid of it.

- Take your measurements and/or taperule with you.

This recommendation is general, thriftshopping or not. Standard sizes are cool and all but not always accurate. I'm a Uk size 8 and a US size 4.

My aunt got me a killer red dress sometime ago. Before wearing it, I looked at the label and was thoroughly confused. It said "US Size 0". I was just like how can it be size zero and the hips are this big?I tried it on and the hips were slightly bigger than mine." Size zero" indeed.

I particularly recommend this for thriftshoppers because sometimes, the label where the size is written might have gone off (with the rest of the dress intact hopefully).

 - Bargain like a pro.

It's quite easy. Just start at a really low price (stating you have little to no money but you'd really like to have the item) and work your way up. Based on their reaction know whether to take a desperate, playful or threatening route. Reluctantly give in when the price suits you.

For a more thorough post (from me) on improving your bargainging skills, check this post out I wrote for a fellow blogger.

I hope these tips help immensely.

Next in this series is a post on impulse shopping. We'll be discusssing this "bad habit".

What thriftshopping tips have you acquired over the years?




BONUS: There's a free checklist of flaws to help you discern the quality of your clothing items.

You're welcome.

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Leave a link, let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

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What I Wore: Old School Chic | Liebester Award

These days, my style has been gearing towards the grandma-ish style. Nevermind that I've always been compared to a 60 year old woman by my friends, I love comfort dressing and think it's incredibly chic when pulled off well.





My parents (and new friends!) have finally accepted this and we've been getting along famously since this happened.

Whilst I've always had a thing for loose fabrics, I recently fell in love with pleated midi skirts. I've always had my reservations. For one, they make my legs look really... brief but I'm finally fine with that. I almost made this into a "ball skirt" but laziness (thankfully!) made me stall. I can't tell you how much I love this skirt right now.



And some times, I wonder... What ever happened to the one off-shoulder trend? I guess the world got swept away by it's much cooler sister, the off-shoulder trend. I've been meaning to rock it but haven't completed the DIY yet. I started the project a while ago and it still hasn't reached completion. *Sigh*


Enough with the random thoughts, lets get to the Liebester Award. I always promise myself that I'd do these tags but somehow always end up not doing them.


I was nominated by Yvonne of Yvonne OKoro. Thanks Hunay! 


The Liebester Award was created to recognize or discover new bloggers and welcome them into the blogosphere.

I might not be a new blogger but I certainly feel like I just started, even after almost two years!

Award Accepted!

1. When did you start blogging?

I started blogging August 2014. Can't believe it's almost two years!

2. What do you prefer for breakfast?

I love food so much I can't pick just one. I love bread (plain or in any form, french toast though <3 <3 ). Cereal or custard works just fine too.

3. If you were to visit two celebrities, who would they be?

-Cole Sprouse (Cody from Disney's Zack & Cody), I'm a huge fan.

-Veronica Roth/Rick Riordan. Two people I know, but any one of them would do. Veronica is the writer of the Divergent series and Rick is the writer of the Percy Jackson series.


5. What's your best quote?

It varies. Right now, it's "The best way to predict the future is to create it".

6. Who's your favourite writer and why?

Oh no. I read lots of books and love lots of writers. So I'll just say my favourite type of writer. I love writers who spin good stories and make their characters so 3-Dimensional that the characters are real people in my mind.

I'm also more of a novel person.

7. What country would you love to visit and why?

Ha ha. Austrialia. Why? I have no idea. Poland would be cool too.

8. If you were to stay at home all day, what would you do?

Read books I'm currently reading (I read multiple books at a time), Edit pictures for Le blog, write some posts, Plan some posts, read some blogs, reply comments, emails, Take pictures for the blog, complete DIY projects, Study academic books, eat, Might watch Tv if there's time and... that's basically it. What a life *insert laughing emoji*


9. What movie have you seen that made you cry?

I don't know mehn. There are hardly any of those. I don't even watch movies a lot. But I find parts about family and friendship touching.

Even Titanic didn't make me cry. I did like Celine Dion's song though.

At the risk of sounding mean, if Kate winslet (can't remember the characters' name) had just stayed in the boat like a good girl that Jack asked her to be, Jack would have been the one on the plank not the one frozen in the ocean. Just saying.

Never could happen in a Nigerian story.

10. What have you done before that you wish you never did?

Wow. Tough one. Sounds a lot like "What do you regret?"

I honestly have no idea.

Thank you so much for nominating me Yvonne!

I nominate:

Seyi of Nowo
Tamunotonye of The black Writer
Debora of The black Rose
Lydia of Lydia Chronicles
Nedoux of Nedoux
Praise of My Style Lookbook

-My questions are the same as the ones I answered above.

And thank you guys for reading, commenting and following my blog. I love you all.

P.S: I just reached 2,000 followers on Instagram. Thanks for all the love people!

If you aren't following me on Instagram, the handle is @unservile_fashionist. Let's connect!

P.P.S: Please join my google friend connect. It's in the sidebar.

Cheers!

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