Cameras have come a long way over the past several decades and advancements in the past handful of years have been truly remarkable. Just think about the quality of your smartphone camera today versus those used in 2015. It’s gone from standard quality to high resolution and clear enough to be considered professional-grade quality.
We share these images on social media with our friends, family and co-workers, make customized photo-centric gifts and build albums filled with memories, so it’s only natural that you want to take the best shot possible.
Whether you’ve got the best selfie stick on the market and take most of your snapshots using that front-facing camera or are clicking away during your family’s biggest moments, there are simple professional best practices you can follow to make your photos better.
Harness the Sun
Lighting is arguably the biggest key separating decent photos from great ones. Rather than investing in a lighting rig, know that there are two times per day when natural light can produce stunning pictures. It’s called “the golden hour” or “magic hour” and it’s the last hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise.
Not only does the sun produce a natural golden light during these times, but it’s also hard to overexpose or underexpose parts of an image then, making it ideal for when you’ve got a family shoot planned.
Give a Quick Wipe
Create a ritual of wiping your phone’s camera lens before taking a shot because if it’s dirty, you’ll never get the best take. A microfiber lens cloth is always your best bet. Steer clear of using napkins or your clothing, which can damage the lens.
Oftentimes when we’re shooting in nature, we want to pinch and zoom in to get a closer shot. The trouble is that zooming in with a digital camera usually yields a grainy image. If you’re working with a smartphone or DSLR, invest in a telephoto lens instead, or just crop and resize the image afterward.
Learn the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is a composition technique where an image is divided evenly into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. The subject of the photograph is placed at the intersection of these dividing lines. The technique has been widely taught to students of photography and filmmaking for decades.
Use Your iPhone’s Resources
If you have an iPhone 6 or above, take a moment to understand the mechanics. If you’re trying to photograph a cheetah sprinting during a safari, use Burst mode, which lets you take multiple high-speed photos you have a wide range to select from. This involves touching and holding the Shutter button on iPhone Xs and earlier models, or swiping the Shutter button to the left for later models.
Portrait mode will let you know if you’re too close, too far away or if it’s too dark to take a good photo. Just open your iPhone and select Portrait mode in the Camera app. You’ll be amazed what these settings can help you pull off once you look at your images.
Up Your Selfie Game
Sure, they are easy to make fun of but you can really level up your selfies by purchasing the best selfie stick you can find. One of the most fun things about taking photos is posting them online to share with others, plus it’s a great way to capture a memory. Using a selfie stick allows you to get a wider vantage and take more flattering shots of yourself.
Using a few simple techniques can transform your images from ordinary to extraordinary. What’s your favorite trick for taking better photos?