Thanks to smartphones, everyone is a photographer. Unfortunately, not everyone is taking photos that look professional despite having reasonably powerful smartphone cameras.
From the blurred night-out selfie to the messy plate of food photo, photography is much more than just how many megapixels your camera has. Don't despair, you too can improve the quality of your photos by following the tips we have put together below.
1. Always Carry Your Camera With You
It sounds obvious, but sometimes you come across something you want to photograph and you realize you forgot your camera or smartphone. Get into the habit of always leaving the house with your camera. After all, the more photos you take at every opportunity you get the better you will become.
2. Photography Gear
Although the equipment you use does have an impact on the quality of your photos, it is possible to get good quality photos using an inexpensive camera and even an affordable smartphone's camera.
The first thing you should consider getting is a tripod, whether it is for your smartphone or camera. A tripod will help stabilize your photos in those situations where you might be a bit shaky and allow you to focus better on your subject. Various online stores have good deals on tripods for both cameras and smartphones.
Another great piece of gear you can get for either your smartphone camera or camera is a lens, or lenses if you are looking for variety. Before we talk about some of the lenses available, another great tip (especially for smartphones) is that you should wipe your lens before taking photos - sounds obvious, but sometimes we forget. The three types of attachable lenses (for both smartphones and DSLR cameras) are macro, wide-eye, and fisheye. Macro lenses allow for extreme clarity when zooming in on small objects (eg. ants), wide-eyed lens give you a wider angle of view, and lastly, a fisheye lens gives you an ultra wide-angle view (wider than a wide angle lens) and it also gives you a panoramic distortion to your photo.
There is other gear you should consider too, but with a tripod and a choice of lenses, you should see an improvement in the quality of your photos.
Firstly, turn off your camera flash as a default setting and use the natural light available for taking your photos. The best way to make use of natural light (or a light source at night) is to look for the light source and have the object you are looking to photograph face the light. Secondly, at night, turn on your flash if there is no other light source and move closer to your object.
Some of the photos you've taken may look bland. Have you considered that if you took them from a different angle, you’d get a different perspective to the object or scenario being photographed? You can do this by getting closer to the object, taking the photo from the ground looking up, from the top, change the angle, stand a bit further away, get really close, etc. By trying different perspectives of the same object you can get the perfect shot.
Example of perspective - shot from slightlty away from the subject.
Example of perspective - shot closer to the subject.
5. Camera Settings
Cameras, and even smartphone cameras come with various settings. One of the best ways to learn and achieve good results is to experiment with your camera settings. Take photographs using different settings to see which of the changes bring about the effects that you like in photos. The other thing to remember is to always, by default, set your camera to take the highest resolution photo for the best quality.
Photo editing, or post-processing as it is known, has become somewhat taboo as some people on social media have used effects and filters to the point of totally transforming the photo and making the picture look unnatural. There is, however, merit to editing your photos, whether it be to bring out more color that the camera failed to capture or highlight the focus of your shot. Depending on the amount of time and the level of editing you require, there are various laptop, Macbook and smartphone applications available for this.
Above all, photography is about taking photos so go out there and take as many as possible. That way you will learn what works and what doesn't.
For all your other professional photography needs, check out Tapsnapp.
This article is brought to you by Tapsnapp. Don't forget to catch Tapsnapp's CEO and Co-founder, Vije Vijendranath, delivering a talk titled "The Future of Business in the Photography Industry" on 27 October 2017 at the Photo & Film Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa. The talk will take place at 14:30 at the RapidStudio inside the Dome.
Cover Image Credit: Tapsnapp