Learning to shoot well is difficult – perhaps becoming a writer or programmer is even easier. Aiming the camera and pressing a button is easy, but taking a really good shot … It took me a year to get my first really good shot. And I am ready to share my experience with you!
Of course, this article will not make you a professional photographer. But you will learn to shoot a little better than you can – and this always makes a person happy and gives him the motivation to move on.
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Don’t shoot “automatically” – it’s better to spend 10 seconds thinking about the angle to take the picture. Walk around a bit and find an angle that looks more interesting than the usual stand in front of you and shoot.
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2. Shoot through something
Let there be something between the camera and what you are filming. A plant, a Victory sign, a grid pattern … whatever (watch the video below starting at 1:04 to get a better idea of what it is about). The more complex the picture in the photo, the better – this way you add depth to the shot and make it more interesting.
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3. Think differently
Everyone comes on vacation and takes standard photos in the style of “me and a birch tree”, but you don’t. Shoot a person or subject from unusual angles, close-ups, upside down, and so on.
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4. Find the light
In photography, lighting is incredibly important. So please take a little time to find a place with more light. If there is not enough light, it is better to come to the same place again at a different time than to take a frame for which you will be ashamed later.
When to come to the photo session? In photography, there is the concept of “golden hour” – this is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset (although the duration of the “golden hour may vary slightly depending on the season). At this time, the sun is low and gives out soft diffused light. It is much nicer than the harsh midday light that inexperienced users often shoot in.
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5. Use frames
Let’s say you want to photograph a beautiful package. Just putting it on the table and taking a picture is too corny. Place a laptop, coffee cup, sweater around the edges. Such an ensemble kills two birds with one stone – it will create a “frame” around the main subject and turn ordinary objects into a real story.
Strictly speaking, all five tips can be boiled down to one thing: before you shoot, first come up with something interesting.
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Photography is light. Newbies often think that all the “magic” happens in the camera, but in fact, the lighting is responsible for the “magic”. Photographers say that a well-lit subject can be shot poorly, but a poorly-lit subject or person will never come out well.
In order for there to be enough light, you must have an idea of the so-called. “Exposure triangle”.
During shooting, the camera opens the shutter and begins to transmit light through the lens. Then the light hits the camera matrix and is processed as an image. The quality of the final image depends on three factors:
Diaphragm… Determines how much the lens opens (and thus how much light hits the sensor). Measured in relation to focal length to aperture size (f / 2, f / 5, f / 11, etc.). The smaller the number after the slash, the wider the aperture. And the wider the aperture, the more light you get and the better your photography will be. In addition, this indicator affects the depth of field.
Excerpt… The parameter determines how long the camera shutter is open. The shutter speed is measured in seconds and fractions of a second (1/200, 1/60, 5 sec., Etc.). Working with shutter speed gives room for experimentation – in particular, with the amount of light on the matrix and the clarity of the picture. If the value is high, the photos will be blurry; if the shutter speed is short, on the contrary, they will be clear (even if they were moving quickly during shooting).
Light sensitivity – the ability of the matrix to perceive light. Measured in ISO units (100, 400, 6400 ISO, etc.). If the sensitivity is high, you will be able to shoot in poor light, but pay for it with the so-called “noise” (some “graininess” will appear in the photo).
This is the “exposure triangle”. Your task is to know and understand these three characteristics, and to select the ideal parameters for each situation.
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7. How to properly hold the camera in your hands
Still! After all, if your hands start trembling treacherously at the moment of shooting, the beam of light will spread across the matrix, and the picture will turn out to be blurry.
How to do it? Of course, it is best to use a tripod – especially when shooting at slow shutter speeds or in low light. If it is not there (or it is inconvenient to use it), place the camera on the palm of one hand and rest it with your elbow on the side. Are you shooting on iPhone or any other smartphone? Grasp it firmly with both hands and then press them as close to your body as possible to minimize unnecessary movement.
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8. Don’t forget the “rule of thirds”
A photo from a professional is always very easy to distinguish from a photo of a beginner! How? The pro knows about the compositional “rule of thirds” (in detail), but the beginner (most often) does not. What it is? Two horizontal and two vertical lines divide the frame into several “thirds” parts. Your task is to place all the most interesting along these lines or where they intersect. After all, the human eye is designed in such a way that it will always first of all look and try to find something interesting there.
For example, in the photo below, the horizon is one such line.
For example, in this picture, you immediately notice the tree – it is located exactly where the vertical and horizontal lines converge. If it were in the center, it would not be so beautiful.
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9. Choose a different perspective
There is nothing more boring than capturing something potentially very interesting from eye level!
Try changing your perspective – i.e. approach the object from an unusual side. For example:
- Change altitude – approach or move away;
- Change the angle – for example, shoot an object from the side.
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10. Do post-processing
“Advanced” photographers can tell you for a long time that doing post-processing means radically changing, “distorting” the source. But the truth is, they just don’t know how a digital camera works. It displays only its own interpretation of data from the original RAW file on the screen of a smartphone or “DSLR”. But you yourself almost certainly see everything a little differently!
So feel free to do post-processing – of course, without “kinks”. It’s like with make-up – one girl, sorry, “plasters up” and looks tasteless, while the other does everything right and only emphasizes her natural beauty.
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11. More Practice – Shoot Everything
Only constant pursuits and striving for self-improvement allow us to move forward. Don’t think that your “Most In-depth Course in Photography on YouTube” will teach you everything at once – you will have to take thousands of pictures before theoretical knowledge turns into practical skills.
“An ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory”.
12. It’s not about the cell
Yes, having a good camera in your hands is great. But she herself will not “take a picture” for you. An experienced photographer will do high-quality work even on an old iPhone’s camera, and even the most sophisticated “DSLR” cannot save a bad one. The decisive role in success is not the size of your wallet, but the correct work with exposure, perspective, composition (the same “rule of thirds”) and the correct application of the tips given above.