In an ideal world, you will be using a digital SLR and taking perfect, well-edited photos for all your blogs. But this is hugely time-consuming and really, if you don’t enjoy the process of photography, it is going to suck the fun out of blogging. At the very least though you should be following these photography tips so your snaps are at least ok. It really doesn’t take much to get your photos looking good.
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What camera to use
A lot of my photos (especially when on an expedition) are taken using just the camera on my iPhone. When possible though I try to use my Lumix LX100. This is a fantastic little camera that takes incredible photos (and video) without needing to lug around a huge SLR. The size and weight of an SLR was always my biggest turn off for taking photographer more seriously.
In terms of editing, I occasionally use lighthouse to tweak the lighting or crop a photo. For the most part, though I just try to get the shot perfect before snapping as this saves a huge amount of time.
#1 Work with light
The most important rule! Where possible you want your photos to be well lit and not with dark shadows. The brighter your pictures, the nicer your page will look. You’ll notice how much light plays a part when looking at successful Instagrammers:
Photos inside generally don’t look great. You have to choose between them being dark or lit by artificial light which never looks nice. So it is always preferable to shot outdoors. On a really sunny day, this might be hard as it creates shadow, but you could counteract this by using shade to provide blanket cover.
#2 Understand rule-of-thirds
Imagining cutting your photo into thirds horizontally and landscape. Rule of thirds means placing your subject on the cut off line. It’s a simple composition rule that makes a big difference. Instinctively people tend to place the subject of their photos (if of a person this would be the eyes) right in the middle of the frame. This just doesn’t look as nice as if you use the rule of thirds.
Of course, you can choose to break the rule of thirds for artistic purposes. Until you get to the point of artistic licence though….just stick to the rules!
#3 Know where to cut people up!
There are also rules to follow when deciding how to crop people in a photo. Cropping certain points of the body like the ankles or knees just looks awkward.
This blog explains cropping well with a useful diagram to show what is allowed and what isn’t.
#4 Keep things at eye level
When taking photos most people just shoot from the level that they naturally hold the camera. Try and get down (or up) to the level of your subject though. Aim for the eye line with people and animals. This makes the photo look much more personal.
#5 Make your photos varied
Blogs look really boring if they just use the same shot types with their photos. Too many close ups and you miss out on getting a feel for a place. Too many long shots and you miss out on detail.
So try capturing variety. Some close, some far away and using different angles.
#6 Don’t be shy when snapping
It can be hard to capture people or to take nice photos when you are on a tour or with others and are feeling conscious. Take your time though and move around to get the shot you really want. Also be bold in asking people if it’s ok to take a picture of them. Photos of people are often the most interesting.
Be an active photographer and don’t be shy!
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