Those days are gone when your cell phone could only be used for making calls and sending messages. Nowadays, with revolutionary technologies, phones come with advanced cameras. Be it Sony or Zeiss; almost all the major camera-production brands make lens and cameras for smartphones. You can almost achieve as much clarity and picture quality as a professional camera with smartphones. This is applicable to all kinds of digital cameras also. Semi-SLR and point-and-shoot cameras have become very cheap these days. And you can take professional pictures with digital camera if you learn the basic tips and tricks. Don’t worry if you are a beginner and struggle to take better quality pictures with your cameras. I will share my experiences and teach you how do you take professional quality pictures with your smartphone or point-and-shoot cameras.
Clicking professional photos and filling up your Instagram account with marvelous pictures is a few steps ahead. Let’s learn more:
Photo format: There are numerous small yet significant things that you need to consider while taking professional photos. Always remember that a good photo comes with good editing. Before you start clicking pictures, you should have a good understanding of different photo formats. Nowadays, most cameras provide two types of format: JPEG and RAW. A JPEG file comes with a very low brightness level as compared to RAW files, which consist of a very high number of brightness levels. A JPEG file loses its clarity and quality every time you edit it. Whatever the resolution is, you can completely destroy a JPEG image by editing it a couple of times. At the same time, you can convert a RAW file into a JPEG or PSD (Photoshop) file. Lastly, RAW files don’t lose its quality when it’s edited multiple times. I would recommend you to always click pictures with the RAW format if your camera supports this photo format.
Light: All the legendary photographers have a different vision of photography, but one thing they will all agree upon is that photography is all about light and how you mold it. A photographer should have a clear understanding of light and its projection. The basic rule is, photos look magical in sunrise and sunset. Because we get naturally overcast yet bright light which our camera can capture well, always remember that harsh or lowly lit background is bad for a photograph. It will either make your photo burn or be full of grains. Too much light, as on a bright sunny day, can burn the color of your subject in the photo and creates shadows on it. I would suggest that you take some time before shooting and observe the lighting of your frame. Figure out the light sources and set up your lighting skillfully.
Suppose you are shooting pictures of a product. You will see that frontal light creates long shadows behind the product, which makes it look bad. Then you have to use two lights from behind the product to make the shadow less dominating. It is a good exercise to practice observing light sources and how light changes the mood of a photograph accordingly.
Lens: Lens is the eyes of the camera. Smartphones these days come with interchangeable lenses and a wide range of focal lengths for different kinds of ph0otgraphic needs. As an example, when you are traveling or trying to take a wide-angle shot, it would be wise to take a 24mm lens for a wide range of vision. On the other hand, when you are clicking product shots or close-ups, I would suggest you use a 70mm lens for better results. The sensor of the camera decides the quality of the picture. So, while picking the lenses, you should be aware of their limitations and also which lens works well with that particular type of sensor. Full frame sensor always provides a better result than crop lenses. So, if you have that kind of money to spare, it would be wise to buy a camera with a full sensor.
Rule of Third: The rule of third is probably the most common and easy-to-follow composition technique for photography. This is the simplest way to compose a picture which makes your photos more attractive and engaging to the audience. Rule of third simply means dividing your picture into two horizontal and two vertical lines overlapping each other, dividing the photo into nine imaginary rectangular boxes of the same size. According to the rule of thirds, you can place your subject where two lines are met or along the lines. If you design your frame according to the rule of third, your pictures will look more realistic and vibrant, and edgy. According to the rule of third, subjects look unnaturally placed in the center of the photo. So, it’s better to place it on the side. There are in-built gridlines in all the cameras. You can turn it on from the settings menu to avail a better understanding of the rule of third. The biggest advantage of this rule is it allows you to move to find the perfect frame. Practicing with the rule of thirds gives you a solid understanding of composition.
Use editing software: As I have said before, all good photograph comes with good editing. Photoshop is the most professional software for photo editing. From cropping the image to erase objects from the frame, you can use Photoshop for all of your editing needs. You can change the brightness, contrast, and white balance if needed. Also, most crop sensor cameras cannot capture the exact light. Photoshop is used for color correction and retouching of the photo. Also, if you are working on experimental photography, Photoshop will help you change the texture, brightness, pixel, and retouch.
Use a reflector: A reflector is probably the most common and cheapest equipment for professional photography. As I’ve said before, lighting is an essential factor for photography. Professionals use a reflector to reflect the light on the subject. Another thing is a defuser, which is used to soften the light. Whether you are clicking for professional or personal purposes, you should definitely use a defuser for better color.
Camera settings: Cameras are household items these days. Everybody has one. Whether you have a phone or point-and-shoot camera, you should know all the settings for full utilization. In a point-and-shoot camera, there are four camera modes. You need to learn how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO works. Sometimes the cameras come with different color modes. Also, you can focus and defocus as per your need.
Use gears: You can use tripods for stability in the shot. At night, you need to click your picture at slow shutter speed. To capture a good low-light shot, it is necessary to use a tripod. You can use drones for bird’s eye view and action cameras for POV shots and underwater shoot. There are many other gears for different purposes.
Use filters: While taking photos, the most common problem is light. Sometimes the light becomes too bright, and sometimes it becomes defused. If you are shooting on an overly lit background, try to use a filter for better results. Also, there are various filters for special effects in photos.
Experiment with the frame: Once you have learned the rule of thirds, you can now experiment with the frame. You can experiment with your subject and lighting also. Once you master the basics, you can do anything you want with your photo.
Play with the aperture: Once you learn the basics of a camera, you will learn more about the aperture setting. The more you will learn, the more you will be amazed to see what can this single setting do to your photos. If you use it as a tool to make your photos look great, you will be surprised to see the result. I’d suggest you learn how to control the light in the photo using the aperture and click photos accordingly. Also, you can control the depth of the photo with aperture. Learn the settings and take your Instagram by storm.
Conclusion: In this digital age, it is not hard to ace the art of photography, at this time when everybody has at least a mobile phone that can capture professional-looking photographs. You just need to be consistent and practice every day. With a few gadgets and your skills, you will amaze the world with your amazing photographic skills. Practice more and experiment, and don’t forget to edit your photos. I hope this write-up will help you learn better. Click marvelous photos.