5 Tips To Improve Your Photography

We all love nice photos. Especially those that include loved ones or special/memorable occasions. But wouldn’t you like to know a few simple things to help you get more consistent results? Here’s PJ Rankin from Drop In The Ocean Photography to tell us how to take a great snap.

1. Expose Correctly

Something that everyone is able to do easily, even with their smartphones. Make sure that what or who you are taking a photo of is correctly exposed. Even on my iPhone I can choose to underexpose (darken) or overexpose (brighten) just by dragging the slider up and down in the photo app. This will allow you to overcome the silhouette faces of friends if you end up shooting into the sun.

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2. Light it Right

While professional equipment can absolutely help improve your images, this tip can apply to anyone whether they have an expensive DSLR or just a smart phone; understand light. Outside during the day? Move the people you’re photographing into the shade, it creates a nice even light and stops them from squinting. Better smiles all round!

PJ Rankin_Drop in the Ocean-2

3. Turn off the Flash!

Nobody likes harsh flash. We have all seen the washed out photographs from a night out, with bright white faces as a result of direct flash. If you can, use ambient light in a room to expose your subjects.

4. White Balance

In photography speak, this refers to how cold or warm an image looks. By manually adjusting this setting to be cooler or warmer, you can make people’s skin tone look natural by warming it up if they’re in the shade or snow, or cool it down if there is a lot of warm tungsten lighting around (lamps!). Here’s an exaggerated version.

Too blue and your photo will look cold (left) too orange and your photo will look too warm (right) try and get a good balance (center).

Fiona by PJ Rankin_Drop in the Ocean

5. Editing

I am a big fan of Instagram. But what is particularly great about it, is the easy ability to slightly adjust elements in your photos to improve the overall look. Take a little time to adjust the image by lightening up the shadows if they are too dark or adjusting the white balance if you didn’t get it right the first time (Instagram calls this “warmth”).

PJ Rankin_Drop in the Ocean_Photography

I hope these basic tips help you to understand the multiple elements it begins to take a nice photograph. Camera’s are dumb and that’s why it is up to you to “teach it everything it knows”.

Drop in the Ocean is run by photographer PJ Rankin, specialising in lifestyle portraits, weddings and landscapes. If you would like to check out more of his work, head to www.dropin-theocean.com

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