From iPhones to SLRs, expert advice for better snaps
Time Out Dubai staff
Less than four years after its launch, more than 16 billion photos have been shared through image-focused social networking phone app Instagram. Of the 150 million users worldwide, more than 75 million are active every day – indisputable proof (if you needed any) that the world has become obsessed with taking pictures. So how do you set yourself apart from the rest of your snap-happy amateur photographer friends? Hot on the heels of this month’s Gulf Photo Plus events, Dubai-based, award-winning photographer Ian Hardie of Pink Pepper Photography gives a few tips to help make sure your snaps stand out – filter or no filter.
Essential tips 1 When shooting during the day, make sure the sun is not behind you if you are taking a photograph of a person, because they will end up squinting. If the sun is directly overhead, the image will often show your subject to have ‘raccoon eyes’ – shadows around the eyes. Ideally, let the sun fall behind your subject but stand four to six paces away and use your compact camera’s flash to chase away shadows or backlighting. A flash will fill in the harsh shadows on the face but still maintain detail.
2 Your best shots are during sunrise or sunsets – the golden light adds a warm touch to your shot without the difficulties of backlighting or squinting towards the camera. It will also leave you with less harsh shadows.
3 At times, images shot in harsh sunlight can appear slightly blurry – not to worry, with the use of an Adobe Photoshop programme you can change the image to a black and white or sepia effect. This can help you capture the emotion of the person or subject you are shooting and help create timeless shots.
4 Use the right mode. On most digital cameras, you have different shooting modes – the letters A or S are there for a reason. If you are shooting a fast action shot switch to S, which adjusts your shutter speed. If you are shooting with low light, use ‘A’ which adjusts your aperture (the amount your lens is open, in order to control the amount of light reaching the film) according to your set shutter speed.
5 Stay clear of crowded backgrounds. Simple clear backgrounds draw more attention to the subject or object you are capturing.
6 Move closer to your subject and cut out unnecessary background clutter. For more ideas on how to improve your photos, follow Pink Pepper Photography on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/pinkpepperdxb.