The range of equipment and technology for bloggers can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for someone who is not used to using such tools. Using them is not a must, however, they can assist in adding a personal touch to content, especially visual content. This article will cover minimal equipment for images and videos, technology to process the content, and finally, the channels of communications.
Equipment for bloggers
Media: Photos and Videos
As a blogger, you mainly express yourself through text, but as science has proven, human beings get the most information through visual content. This is why photos and videos are pretty important to grasp the attention of a wide audience. In an ideal world, you would have a photographer whose work you love and a videographer who captures the image you had envisioned, and both produce the exact visual content you want to go hand in hand with your written content. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and maybe that is actually a good thing. The reason I think it’s good is that being a blogger means that you learn skills you may have otherwise not pushed yourself into learning and that makes you more flexible and allows you to adjust to certain situations when things don’t go as planned.
You are a blogger, and no one expects you to be a professional photographer or a professional videographer. However, knowing your equipment to be able to personally produce photos and/ or videos without having to depend on others will not only help you professionally but is also very satisfying. Of course, not everyone may be interested in photography or video production and that is ok. However, they are both skills that are good to at least have the basic knowledge of, just in case something happens, and you are left on your own to create visual content.
With today’s technology and smartphones, it is not a must for everyone to invest money into professional gear that you have no idea how to operate. I suggest using what you have available. Learn the workings of what you already have in hand before you tap into something new. At the end of the day, the result is based on the composition of knowledge, imagination, and equipment capabilities. This is something I learned when I was studying the history of filmmaking. Back then they did not have the equipment we have now, however, the understanding of what they had to work with and the drive of creating what they had in mind, drove them to experiment and as a result created something incredible that the audience of their time never witnessed.
My suggestion is to avoid investing a lot of money into equipment and technology for bloggers who are starting off. Begin to learn all the ins and outs of basic equipment. This way you won’t feel the pressure of having to spend a lot of money on equipment that you don’t understand how to operate and eventually taking all that frustration on yourself and saying that this may simply not be for you.
I started off with my smartphone. I learned the capabilities of my smartphone camera inside and out before I decided to invest in a mirrorless camera. Keep in mind that this is all a process and you should take things at your own pace, one step at a time. Enjoy the process. All the large creations are all built on the basics, so make sure you learn the basics. Once you get a handle on your equipment, then you can begin exploring the editing world.
Technology for bloggers
Software and Applications
Technology for bloggers can be very helpful to create unique content. Whether you already have editing skills, or you are a beginner, there is something out there for everyone and for any skill set level. If you have no solid background in editing, don’t worry. I have learned so much from having zero skills in the past year. All you really need to time and patience. There is a lot of content and tutorials online which can teach you how to do the most basic and most complicated tasks.
I will go through all the tools I have used in the past and technology for bloggers I would suggest looking into and why..
- Pixlr is a great tool I use on my phone and I normally use it as a final application. It is like a simplified version of Photoshop, which also has an online version, however, I prefer the phone app. I normally use it to save the final image, as it allows you to save images in a large format, as well as to customize which size you would like to save the image, and also maintains the resolution of the images.
- Photoshop gives endless possibilities to its users. I only learned how to use it a year ago and mind you I wouldn’t call myself an expert. There is so much I still can learn. I don’t use photoshop for editing as most of the editing is done on my phone and the application of photoshop on the phone seems quite limiting when compared to the computer software. However, photoshop is my go-to tool when I optimize images for my blog, prior to uploading them. Till now it is the best software I have come across that allows you to save images relatively small and still maintains the image’s resolution.
- Snapseed is also similar to Photoshop in its editing capabilities. Unlike other apps, tools such as brightness, contrast, saturation, curves, ambiance, highlights, shadows, and so on, are much smoother and gives you more control over the intensity you want to add or reduce. It also has a fantastic selective tool that allows you to work on a section of an image which is great for images that may only need partial editing, such as those with minor shadows.
- Facetune is an app that carries editing functions, however also has tools for retouches. It has tools that many are familiar with such as removal of red-eye, brushes to smoothen tones, patch tool, reshape and refine, a smooth and erasing tool as well as a whitening tool. Facetune, as the name suggests, is an app mainly used for images that contain faces and allows you to retouch and adjust the image.
- If you have an object on the image that you would like to remove, there is no better app than the TouchRetouch app. This app gives you a variety of options for removing unwanted objects from your shot.
- VSCO has mainly known for the variety of filters the app offers. There are many that come free with the app, and others that are unlocked once you purchase the premium package. You may have noticed bloggers and micro-influencers having their social media feed images being kept in a specific tone by using filters. All images seem to be in the same style. This is by the use of filters, which has become a popular technology for bloggers, almost a branding tool bloggers, and micro-influencers. Personally, I am not a fan of overusing filters. I only use filters if contrast, brightness, and saturation doesn’t bring out certain colours as much, only then do I turn to the most appropriate filter and usually use just a tint of that filter.
- From all the things I have pushed myself to learn, video editing is the most recent. Camtasia is computer software that allows you to edit video footage. It is pretty much like Photoshop but for video in my opinion. It has many capabilities and to be quite honest, for a newbie like myself, it gives enough for you to explore, learn and perfect your skill set without overwhelming you with too much.
- InShot is an app that allows you to edit videos on your phone. It doesn’t have as many specific tools as Camtasia, but it has all that you really need if you are video editing on your phone, especially if your footage isn’t too long and it’s a video you want to put together pretty fast and release. I am a big fan of this app as it gives you all the tools you need to recreate a short video, including adding open source music, giving you different screen ratios, allowing you to trim, speed up and slow down your footage. It also has a variety of filters that you can use in your video which adds a certain feel to your footage.
- Canva is a great app and an online tool that allows you to create and personalize cover shots, banners, and even featured images for IG Stories. It has a lot of tools to choose from if you want to add that something extra to an image.
- UNUM is an Instagram feed planner. UNUM is a simple but useful technology for bloggers who use Instagram and want to plan their feed ahead. A feed planner not only helps you see how your feed will look visually but is very helpful in planning what content to publish and when.
New applications, especially on phones are coming out every single day. There are more applications and technology for bloggers to utilize than there ever were. It’s just a matter of finding the app which you are comfortable with as it does what you need it to do. It may seem like a trial and error at first if you are not used to using apps, but they are time-savers later in the future.