First and foremost I want to thank SMFCollective for inviting me to share on tips to taking great pictures. Truth be told, I’m not some great photographer as there are many others out there who takes far better images than I do but I really love taking pictures and sharing them with others gives me a great deal of satisfaction. During the question and answer session (SMFCollective event), I couldn’t really share as much as I wanted to, due to the beautiful pictures showcased by other two renowned photographers; MONOSG and AsyariPhotography. Also, I was trying to be a tad bit sensitive to the time and my purpose there is to learn as much as I can. Lastly, I will be giving away a preset in light to the event so that bloggers and photographers alike can use them in their photo editing.
Tools & Edits
Now I’ll jump straight into the topic of how to capture beautiful images for your blog or portfolio – in 3 simple steps. There are currently 2 simplest way in creating an image. First, by using a camera such as the DSLR (Nikon/Canon) or mirrorless cameras (Olympus/Lumix) etc. Second, you can use the smartphone. Now you will think that with a smartphone, the image quality of your pictures aren’t going to be sharp and clear but to be honest, I’ve seen people selling off their pictures taken by the iPhone and some have been featured and are known to be famous with their pictures taken by the iPhone. I’m not pro-iPhone but if you google on Samsung and the pictures taken, they are even sharper than the iPhone but I won’t be touching on this debate and we’ll save it for another post.
Additionally, with these two tools, there comes the editing of the image. For the cameras be it DSLR or mirrorless, you can use computer based softwares such as Lightroom and Photoshop. Of course there are other softwares which enables you to edit and beautify the image but in general, these 2 softwares are frequently used.
In contrast, ‘applications or apps’ are used for images captured on your smartphones, which includes the Lightroom and Photoshop apps. So in short, the Lightroom and Photoshop softwares can be found in both computers (in a form of software) and in smartphones (in a form of an app). Now, there are a variety of great apps to use but for me, I only limit myself to 2-3 apps if I’m doing editing on the go. The apps that I normally use would be the VSCOcam, Priime and SKRWT.
Next up, lighting. In order to capture a great image, you need to obtain great lighting. I’m still a student of light but from my experience, I’m able to edit photos beautifully from photo-shoots that are held between 1630hrs to the golden hour.
The golden hour is where the sun is about 4-6 degrees above horizon and that’s where you get variations of pink and red hues. Sometimes, depending on the weather, you’ll get awesome hues of peony to crepe pink.
Then, wait for a few moments after the sun has set, which is another roughly 4-6 degrees below horizon, you’ll be experiencing the blue hour. Now I’ve experienced ‘bad weather blue hour’ and I call this the “purple hour” (I don’t know if there’s a scientific term for it but as I’ve mentioned, I’m still a student of light). Usually after a bad weather and the sun’s about to set, the hues of pink and blue sort of get into this special twilight mix and the sky will have patches or rays of purplish violet. It’s gorgeous to look at and if you’re able to do a shoot, especially portrait or certain product shoots (which is one of my projects soon), you’ll be able to achieve nice lighting.
Last but not least, story. Every image needs to send some form of message across. A great friend of mine once asks or intends to quote; Are you a picture-taker or a photographer?
To me this quote of his, sets me thinking and I perceive it as some food for thought. In my opinion, a photographer is one who goes through some trouble in weaving concepts through his or her images. A picture-taker is someone who simply, takes pictures. What you see is what he or she will take. A great image doesn’t necessarily has to be controversial (though most awesome images are) but it’ll set a certain kind of mood and thinking. In short, to create an impactful and beautiful image, one needs to incorporate a story in the image. It can come in a form of series or single shots. There are instances whereby a series of one concept or story do “harmonise” the message across as the shots may work into a climax and generate several ideas in one’s head. Whereas single shots are usually close ended, emphasising on a single idea. Hopefully these images that I’ve taken would humbly serve as an inspiration to your next projects!
I hope you find this post useful and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comment section or email me and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Do drop by the store within the next 48 hours to download your free ‘Portrait Lightroom Preset‘ and have fun beautifying your shots! Here are 3 sample pictures of the preset’s outlook.