Monday, 1 April 2013

How to take good photos

This is a post that I have been meaning to write for a long time but I've never got around to doing it, but alas after joining in the bbloggers chat on twitter the other night about photography, a few people asked me how I edit my photos so I thought the time has come that I get my butt in gear and write this!

The Camera - I know that nearly everybody says you don't need a good quality camera to take good photos, but with having a dad who is a professional photographer I'm going to say that you do. To have a photo that can be blown up very large and still not be pixelated you are going to need a good quality camera. This doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune on a DSLR, they're are plenty of compact cameras that can still take equally as good photos. An example is The Canon S95, my Mum uses this camera, and I have used it for some of the photos in my old blog posts. It's really good and I would definitely recommend it!

Camera Settings - To take a good photo you need to know your camera settings such as Aperture, shutter speed, Macro and depth of field. Aperture refers to the set of small thin interlocking metal blades called the 'iris'.  You can adjust the size of this let  more or less light into the camera sensor. Aperture sizes tend to vary from 2.8 to 22. An easy way to remember it is 'the smaller the aperture number the bigger the hole' and vice-versa. Here is a diagram to help:
The bigger the iris is the more light will be let into the camera sensor, this will make your photos brighter. So if you are in a room with poor daylight you want to open the aperture up as much as possible to allow as much daylight to reach the sensor as you can, therefor it is best to set your camera to an F number between, 2.8 and 4. (I hope this isn't all too confusing, I've tried to explain it simply) Where-as if you are in a well lit room o outdoors it is best to have a higher F number such ad 11, 16, or 22, this will let less light reach the lens and won't make your photos over exposed (that happens when too much light reaches the sensor and the lightest parts of the photo come out white)

Depth of field - In basic terms depth of field is how you take a photo that has focused on a certain point and the rest in blurry. If you want your photo to only have a small amount in focus then you need to use a larger aperture (F stop) such as 4.5, whereas if you want all of the photo is focus use a smaller aperture like 22. Here is an example, notice in the photo on the left only the perfume is in focus but on the photo on the right the perfume and the background are in focus.

Shutter Speed - For your photo to be in focus (unless you are using a tripod) you need to use a high shutter speed such as 1/2000. If your shutter speed is too slow your photo will be blurry. The shutter speed can also affect the brightness of a photo, the longer the shutter speed the brighter the photo because again, more light has reached the sensor.If you are using a tripod then you can use a slower shutter speed because the camera won't move at all during the duration of the shutter.

Focus - It is important to make sure that the important part of the photo is in focus. If you are taking a photo of a product, like a lipstick it is important for it to be in focus. Before taking the photo point the camera at where you want it to be in focus and lightly press on the shutter button, it should make a little beeping noise and this means that is has focused there, then take the photograph! If you are taking a close up photograph make sure your camera setting is on macro, this means it will focus a lot closer up and the photos will be sharper too, it really does make a lot of difference.

Lighting - Most photos look best with natural daylight as the light source. If you are photographing indoors find a well lit room and photograph near the window where the light is best, make sure not too use the flash as this can make things look a different colour and create a harsh light.

Background - If you want a certain thing to stand out in the photo it is best to use a neutral background, such as a white duvet cover or against floorboards. That way it isn't distractiong, but if you want to use something a bit brighter, I oftne use a floral bed cover, make sure you focus on the product and use an F number of about 4.5.

I hope these tips were helpful, next time I'm going to do a post on how to edit your photos! So let me know if there is anything you want to know or if you have any questions, I will make sure to answer them all :) 

19 comments:

  1. This was so helpful! Having got a more professional camera the Christmas these words like 'aperture' meant nothing to me but you've explained them really well. Going to go have a play around with it now, maybe it'll encourage me to make the effort instead of just using my iPhone 5. Thank you :)

    The British Teen // beauty and fashion blog

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    1. Thankyou I am glad it helped you! Good luck :) xx

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  2. I'm doing some photo's for media sometime next week so this will defo be helpful! Great post xx

    http://lucycole.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thankyou, hope it helps you! xx

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  3. So helpful!
    Question: Do you know any another good canon dightal point and shoot? And what posts are you using this camera?
    x

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    1. Thank you! My dad recently got a Fuji X10 which is a little more pricey but really good quality and it's great for macro shots! :) x

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    2. Oh I forgot to put, I used that camera on the top left photo on the first link and all of the pics on the others :) xx

      http://rosee-petals.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/my-piercings.html

      http://rosee-petals.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/tiree-2012.html

      http://rosee-petals.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/this-way-alice-tea-party.html

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  4. That you so much for all this information! I'm saving up for a new camera and these tips will definitely help me making better pictures :)

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  5. Brilliant post, I will definitely be using these tips to take photos :) x

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    1. Thankyou, hope they work for you :) xx

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  6. Great tips, sometimes its great to have all the important info right there and in simple terms, fab!

    Kylie x
    http://lazy2lovely.blogspot.co.uk/

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  7. This was so helpful and you explained everything wonderfully. Thanks so much!
    honest-mistakes.blogspot.com

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  8. These tips are great! I love my camera but I really need to get to know it better! :D
    Sofia x

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  9. Great tips! I did photography at A-Level and never was it once broken down step by step in such a easy to digest way. I never really knew what shutter speed or depth of field did! I will definitely saving the link to this post and using it for future reference! Thank you! XXX

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  10. Great post, really interesting read and I have been meaning to read up on how to get the best use out of my camera for a while now!

    http://hannahrebekahcampbell.blogspot.com xxx

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  11. This is a really helpful post, thank you! Bookmarking for when I get a camera that actually has some settings to play with :)

    Jesss xo

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  12. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this detailed post! It was a good reminded of everything that was covered in my 4-day photography course, and everything that I learned along the way, although your info was certainly clearer and triggered me to consider these factors when I take my next photos!
    No wonder your photos are always breath-taking! I hope that by following your instructions, I'll be half as good as you someday.
    I hope you don't mind me asking, but where can I see more of your photos? ( Instagram ,etc.)
    -The Beauty Maniaks ( http://beautymaniaks.blogspot.com/ )

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    1. Aww thankyou very much for your lovely comment! I hope the tips have helped you! You can see more of my photos on my instagram which is linked in my sidebar, and also on my flick which is linked if you click on some of my photo on certain blog posts :) x

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