HOW TO TAKE BETTER PHOTO'S - EVEN ON YOUR PHONE
Kia ora and welcome back 🙏
First off, If you're a subscriber and have been keeping up to date with all of my blogs you'll notice that I've been posting fortnightly instead of weekly. See when I first started blogging my goal was one a week, however, I didn't foresee how much work was involved so I think I'ma stick to this fortnightly thing in the hopes that I can remain consistent. Furthermore, I know the longer period in between each will allow me to create more meaningful and helpful posts that both entertain and inform you, the reader - so here's to even better blogs in the future.
In saying that, this weeks blog is for anyone looking to up their photography game, even if you're shooting on your phone. I've made sure to include tips that can be applied no matter what kind of camera you're shooting with - if it can take stills then this is the guide for you.
Lets get started.
SHOOT WHAT YOU CANT HELP BUT SHOOT
I watched a short film/interview with renowned portrait photographer, Gregory Heisler, who quoted an awesome piece of advice he'd received and that was to "shoot what you can't help but shoot." He continued, saying that "if you shoot what you can't help but shoot they'll be your best pictures, and because they'll be your best pictures, they'll be the pictures people respond too." For such a simple message it rings so true to myself as I'm sure it will for you. Focusing on what you love will make it far more enjoyable and this will definitely resonate in your photographs. What do you love to shoot? Well get out there and shoot it!
USE A SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD TO MAKE YOUR SUBJECT POP
Until recently this tip would have been reserved to people shooting with a conventional camera, though, with smart phones like the Huawei P10 and the latest iPhones it's now possible to use a shallow depth of field to isolate your subjects and get that beautiful de-focused shot in camera. To make use of this feature on the latest iPhone open the camera app and choose the "Portrait" mode and you're good to go. Unlike the iPhone, the P10 and other Android phones have the option to select your focus before AND after taking the pic which is an amazing feature.
FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH "THE RULE OF THIRDS" WHEN COMPOSING YOUR SHOT
Because photography is so subjective I want to start by saying that the rule of thirds is more of a technique rather than a rule - as rules are meant to be broken, especially in art. In saying that though, it is one of the most useful composition techniques in photography and something I think about every time I line up a shot. Most smart phones have the ability to switch grid lines on and have them displayed every time you use your camera. For iPhone users click your "Settings" icon then scroll down to "Photos & Camera," once there scroll down to "Grid" and toggle it on. For Android users you can find it in much the same way, though, don't quote me on that. Once that's done and you're framing your shot, you then place the subject on one of the four intersecting points OR place the horizon on the top or bottom line as in the image below. Too easy.
MAKE USE OF THE GOLDEN HOUR
The golden hour (sometimes referred to as the magic hour) is generally considered as the first and last hour of sunlight in the day and it's my favourite time to shoot - check my Instagram feed and you'll see that the majority of my work is shot during this time. The light is soft and warm, and adds a certain magic to images that can't be replicated in the editing phase. Portraits are far more flattering as the combination of soft and warm rays subtlety illuminate the skin. Think of yourself when you're nice and tanned, and that's what you're getting when you shoot at this hour.
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE
I like this one as I've become really addicted to shooting with my drone and using it to capture that birds-eye-view. Now I know this guide is more about shooting with your phone, but, you can achieve the same perspective without a fancy flying camera too. You can go from your tippy toes to a chair and even a building though please use your common sense before attempting the latter - I mean I'd definitely go to extreme measures to get the shot, but, it's not worth a hospital visit. It doesn't matter what your subject is there's always an opportunity to capture the scene from above and even at a low angle so keep be mindful of that next time you're out shooting.
EMBRACE NEGATIVE SPACE
Last but not least is embracing some negative space. To put it simply, think of your subject as the positive space and EVERYTHING else as negative. I know that sounds pretty abstract so the way I interpret it is to frame your subject in a way that emphasises and draws attention to it. When you frame your photographs with a lot of empty space "it provides 'breathing room,' giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with 'stuff.' All of this adds up to a more engaging composition." [click here for source] See below to see what empty space looks like.
Well that's it for this fortnight, but, you can follow me here for daily shots from my portfolio. If you enjoyed this post or took anything away from it then please like, comment and share with your friends and whānau!
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Ma te wa.