24 September 2013
Another little guide to add to my blogging guide. Since this is a 101 guide, I have put together the most basics in taking photos. This guide may seem like it's beauty based but it is aimed at every genre.
TYPE OF CAMERA
This is probably the most questionable point as to which is better. Of course the better the camera the better the quality of the photo but you don't need to spend loads or invest. I have taken a photo of the same object and the same angle as close as I can so you can see the difference. I had forgotten to say which models I have used in each sample. DSLR: Nikon D80 (not mine), digital camera: Samsung MV800 and phone camera: Samsung Galaxy II.
As you can see, the quality differs but it's mainly how they capture the colour and light. Nowadays, a smart phone can take nice quality photos in the daylight but it differs in the dark and flash photographs. A digital camera is all you need to be honest. Portable and quick to take a quick snap when you're out. You can get a good, high megapixel at such an affordable price. I always use my digital camera for all of my blog and general photos. I have photographed really great photos in general (mainly for my A-Levels) in which it looks like a professional photographer had taken it, no word of a lie.
Don't purchase a DSLR just for the sake of blogging. You'll be wasting hundreds of pounds for one especially if you're a new to it and have no idea on how to use it. And you would have to spend loads on lenses too. If you are a photography enthusiast or definitely know that you will have good use of a DSLR, then go ahead buy one. To me, a good photograph consists of a good composition, clear details and focus and good lighting. Photoshop or other image editor software is also used to enhance the image further. I will also be doing a Photoshop 101 too at some point. Also, if you know how to work the camera's features, regardless if it's a phone, digital or DSLR, then you'll know how to use it to it's full potential.
I would say lighting is the most important point overall. Different lighting gives different effects. I forgot to add a sample image of indoor lighting. As I had mentioned in my previous blogging guide, daylight is your best friend. That's when you get the most out of an image and its natural. If natural daylight isn't available (e.g. finish late at work, early darkness or whatever the reason), you can resort to using an ordinary table lamp or the lighting in your room. However, with this method, you will need to know how to customise the camera settings to prevent it be one colour dominant, meaning if the light on your lamp is yellow, your images will be more yellow. This is the same with indoor lighting. You could always invest in a daylight white light bulb, to give off a natural feel. There is also studio lighting (which I don't own to give an example) which many Youtuber's use to enhance the lighting in their filming space if it's dull or the sun had gone down but they cost a bit. Even if you can't get daylight during the week days, try it on the weekend and photograph a batch so you can use the photos for your posts during the week.
I would suggest staying away from using flash as it will wash the colour and depth out as well as creating light spots especially on reflective surfaces. Rather than suggesting, I mean STAY AWAY.
With fashion, many like to photograph whilst the sun is setting to get that beautiful sunset shade and feel. It's all down to personal preference.
There is a difference in how you position the object and in which direction you photograph as the image above illustrates. With the sunlight in front of the object, you get better results as compares to the light being behind leading to a shaded focus.
Now background is again down to personal preference. I prefer a white, clean background whilst others opt for a patterned background or their dressing table or elsewhere. If you're opting for a patterned background, make sure it's subtle rather than it being in your face and distract the reader from the object. You want you're object to stand out from everything. If you was to have it with other objects, you need to make sure that it is the main focus out of them all. Below is an example.
Above, I have just gathered random things closest to me to create a bit of clutter and have just casually photographed it. You can't see which item is the main focus. It could be the perfume, lenses, concealer, anything. With the camera, you can either have auto or manual focus to blur the background and have that one object as the main focus, as exampled below. I must admit, I photoshopped it quickly since I had forgotten to photograph it but it would look like this. You can always photoshop it if the camera doesn't blur the background.
Again, as stated in the previous guide, for fashion, a blank wall with good lighting somewhere is probably all you need. You don't have to take photos against a blank wall, you can do it anywhere, on your street, parks, shopping centres etc, you're not restricted. It's just how comfortable you are or whether you're restricted or whatever is easiest really. If you don't have a person to take your photos, a tripod is your ultimate best friend.
Angles is a good way in making photos look interesting as well as showing the products. Above is an example of two ways angles have been adapted and show the good and the bad. You want to show all of the product at the same level. If the product was standing rather than lying down, bend down to its level rather than trying to take a photo from above or below. Readers like a full, clear view of the whole product, all in the same level as pictured in the good angle example. Just play around with the camera, rotating it sideways a little bit etc to see what looks best for the products.
Fashion wise, you want to take photos that are around the same level as you so the readers can see the full details. By this I mean straight on without rotating your camera, 100% landscape and or portrait photos. Everything is about details regardless of what your blog is about. Full views, close ups, you just need to adapt the correct angle for whatever you are photographing.
With photos, you have got to find your niche, your style and stick with it. Be creative. There are other points such as composition etc but just experiment and have fun! With lighting and angles, there is going to be shadows naturally. You don't want a big shadow, try and limiting it as much as you can by experimenting and moving the object around to different lighting areas, angles etc. No blurry, fuzzy or pixelated photos and now you're sorted!
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