Sunday, 4 October 2015

How to Improve your Photography


Lighting

Natural lighting is key, but you have to admit that only being able to take decent photos during the day is pretty inconvenient, right? I have a solution! A while ago I redecorated my bedroom and in doing so I changed my light bulb from your standard interior light to a daylight bulb. It might not look like daylight when you're actually in the room - it just looks normal - but in a photograph you wouldn't know I'd taken it at 1am with my curtains shut unless I told you.

Which of these photos was taken at night with my light on? Picture 1 / Picture 2. I'd be interested to know your guesses!

You can get a daylight bulb for about £2-£3 and it's definitely worth doing if you constantly find yourself wanting to take photos at night. Or if you live in England where it's dull and cloudy 24/7.

Editing

Some photographers don't believe in editing a photo after it's taken because "you shouldn't have to." I disagree - even if the photo you've taken is beautiful, there are always improvements you can make. Have a look around for some good editing apps. I almost always use PicMonkey for blog photos, and for Instagram I use VSCOcam, Afterlight and Snapseed. I like VSCOcam for changing lighting, colour and sharpness; Afterlight for an extra filter (always Russ, I hate the others) and Snapseed to fix uneven exposure.

Flash

Know when to use the flash, because using it when you don't need to can easily ruin a photo - especially when it's the flash on your phone. On a proper camera you can change how much light emits from the flash so it suits your situation, but on most smartphones it tends to be automatic... and a bit rubbish. Do you really need to use the flash? Can you take the photo when lighting is better? Can you take the photo somewhere else? It's worth considering these things, especially when you're trying to take a photo of something shiny or glossy because if you use the flash it's going to reflect right back at you.

Shadow

The amount of photos I've seen on Instagram where the photographer's shadow is over the subject they're trying to photograph is ridiculous. It's easy to just point your camera at something and take a snap without really thinking about it, but a few extra seconds of care can make all the difference. Which leads on to my next point...

Be selective

If you've taken a bunch of photos and they're all blurry, chances are you moved at the last second or your hands were shaking slightly. My best advice here would be... don't upload them. Take another one and keep taking photos until you get a good one. Do you want your Instagram to be full of quick, no-effort photos, or photos you took time over and can be proud of? I used to suck at this - I couldn't be bothered to try again, but it really is worth it.

If you know all of this already and you're looking to get a new camera, I've seen lots of bloggers recommending Panasonic's 4K camera range, so it must be good! I recommend the Fujifilm Finepix T200 and the Canon EOS 600D, both of which I've used for blogging.

Do you have any photography tips?

This is a sponsored post.

18 comments:

  1. Oh yes! Good tips. And I use the app Aviary to edit photos on my phone, and Framatic to combine photos- works great for Instagram. I learned this through taking product photos, but if you use a white background and remove the background with the website fotofuze.com it looks SO PROFESSIONAL and I use that for normal photos that I don't need a background on as well.

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    1. Thanks for sharing! They sound really useful, especially fotofuze. I've needed to remove a background before but struggled a lot.

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  2. Thanks for the tips on photography!! ^^ I personally think it's picture 2 that's taken at night.

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  3. Great tip about the light bulbs! Finding natural light for photographs can definitely be a challenge for people at work or school all day!

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    1. I know! You can also get softboxes but this is just easier.

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  4. Picture 2 - Pop Girl - is the non-daylight one, right?

    (the shadows are sharper, which seems to suggest less "abient" light from a window. But colouration wise, pretty much identical!)

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  5. Ahh brilliant post! I'm trying to take better pictures and I agree with you that lighting is pretty much everything haha! XD

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  6. Brilliant tips, I'm definitely going to look into a daylight bulb as I always struggle with natural light!

    Rachel - Cake Doesn't Count x

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  7. This is a really useful post, planning to buy a new camera this week and I'd actually been considering the Canin 600D so it's great tobhear you recommend it!
    -The Hat Hippie
    www.thehathippie.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Ahh, you'll love it! Makes such a difference. :)

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  8. Hi Amber! I LOVE using PicMonkey for my blog photos too!

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  9. Great advice, Amber! I really want to check out that daylight bulb - I didn't know such a thing existed! I'm going to link this up to my Sunday Post this morning!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  10. I used to just wing it but now I have a few tactics of my own (although I'm still trying to improve and I am am no where near professional - I still use my phone!). I always take photos in my mums bedroom because no matter what time of day it is - the lighting is ALWAYS better. And I'd say just be creative. There's nothing that irks me more than going to follow a bookstagram account and all of the photos look exactly the same. Experiment with different props and positions!

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