18 February 2014

Better Photos for the Clearly Clueless.

Sometimes the most wonderful things happen.  They might be small, perhaps insignificant to almost everyone else on the planet, but they make your life less frustrating at worst, beautifully blessed at best, or, in this particular case, both of those things and all the stuff in between. 

Despite the subject of the sea being scenically stunning, my photos of her have never been what they could be, but getting all down and dirty with details of tekkie and complex camera carry-on was never going to be high on my list of priorities. 

So what has happened?  
The gods have sent me a Foreign Language Student who is a professional photographer and cameraman in Turkey.  [Insert the Hallelujah, Hallelujah for yourselves!].

Sticking stuff on Instagram is my limit and doing any of it justice has been beyond me, so bearing in mind we have to find things to talk about so that he can practise his English I hesitantly shoved my iphone at him and asked his advice.

He was very kind saying that I have a good eye, but the universal language of laughter and hand gestures left me with a pretty good interpretation of 'But you're clearly clueless' and he offered me these three amazingly simple but effective tips, which it's my duty to share for others like me who sigh in wonder at pics that others post:  

1)  Always take pictures horizontally, because our eyes are placed next to each other horizontally, so that is how we see things.  This is particularly important for the kind of landscapes I'd been photographing.  For portraits of people we need the screen upright - in the way we would turn a camera round, I've realised since.  But we need to do that with our phones as a rule otherwise.    

2)  Use the HDR option on the screen - which he told me more about during our next chat so I'll pass that on next time, but suffice to say for now, as it was then, it adds a backlight and makes things brighter.  I've noticed it stays on as you take the next set of photos too, but keep an eye on it.

3)  If you tap the screen it tells the camera where to focus.  If you tap and hold the screen, it locks the focus in place - a box appears and it tells you.  

These are the kind of photos before his imparted wisdom.  Imagine how much better they could have been with the above incorporated. 


So much better if it was landscape view - it was so frustrating not having given it due attention!

Ditto.  And here, my good eye, he said, was the natural dividing into 1/3s - a general rule, apparently. 

Not portrait and better knowledge of basic 1/3 rule would have better represented the dramatic colours.

And these aren't my best examples but they were instant results next time I had a bash - just pointing and shooting, basically.








You might notice my finger in the top right hand corner - still adjusting to the new grip!  And concentrating on all the other stuff meant I lost my natural instinct for the 1/3 rule, but they're not bad for a beginner.

Being slightly more knowledgeable added an exciting extra frisson to photographing the sea during the storms recently and I'll get some of those up soon.

If you're really interested in taking better photos then do check out and catch up with the Love All Blogs Better Photo Project, where lots of other stuff is simply spelt out too and you can join in with the weekly themes if you wish.

I'm linking up this post with Cas at mummyneversleeps' appreciation of the little things that make a difference.


All the Small Things - MummyNeverSleeps

34 comments:

  1. Oh you are truly blessed with your new student - he was clearly meant for you. Enjoy your steep learning curve :-)
    Can you pop by and fill in a proposal survey on my blog if you have time ;-)
    Liska xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Lisa - chuffed to bits :) Have done the survey x

      Delete
  2. Great pics. I did photography in uni as part of my course and I am beyond rubbish still. #allthesmallthings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becoming too serious is something I've studiously avoided but he has certainly sparked something! I know for a fact yours are not! X

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous - and what a stroke of luck to have someone there to explain these things! Thanks for the LAB mention too xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - and yes it is! The LAB project is a boon xx

      Delete
  4. what wonderful photos Anya and what a bonus to have a student who is able to offer you some pointers! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your beach ones are fabulous too and yes, I fear he has much more to tell!

      Delete
  5. I'm like you Never had the patience to grasp the techie-ness (is that a word?) of taking a better picture. But I'll give these tips a try xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad am not the only one feeling like a numpty :)

      Delete
  6. love these tips, I'm still struggling with taking better photos. Well done for getting a good student. I do hope he's as tidy as he is handy with the photo tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope they've helped and I don't feel so stupid when people like you say things like that! I rarely go in their rooms so don't have to suffer any unnecessary untidyness - I think it's more the other way around lol! X

      Delete
  7. Just in this last week I bought a camera myself and I'm in the same boat. Good tips you've put up there and great results straight away. Love the bottom photo in particular. If you did need tips it looks like fate has dealt you a nice hand with the student.

    Keep at it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall keep an eye on you then and thank you :)

      Delete
  8. I too love the bottom photo these are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How handy is that... What great tips too! The only thing I might slighty question is the landscape tip. I think they do work in portrait form occasionally (not always!) and portrait can frame a landscape shot nicely from time to time! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't disagree with you but he is being very gentle with me!

      Delete
  10. That final shot is just stunning! And the others are lovely too, despite what mr. Professional said. Thanks ever so much for passing on his tips - very simple, but I can see that they all make a lot of sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! He was actually very complimentary - I just knew they could be better and he pointed out things I'd been too stupid / not had the confidence to work out for myself. So glad you like them :)

      Delete
  11. You will be a pro before you know, little advice can go a long way x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He said I will be by the time he leaves in six months, but let's not get carried away! ;) x

      Delete
  12. Brilliant that you have a photographer lodging, how handy is that eh? And lovely photographs. You've also reminded me about the focus option on the screen - I should use that more often! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant and handy, indeed and thank you and your photos are fab :) XXX

      Delete
  13. Very useful tips. I never end up using my camera that way around as sometimes, no matter how I try, I can never switch them the right way around if I want to share them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and that is interesting. I will ask the master. I find that they automatically switch so you might have to unlock something somewhere x

      Delete
  14. Wow these are stunning stills lady, well done, so impressed x

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good tips, and I do love the photos!
    I was just given a new camera as a present to replace my 10-year-old one... Determined to finally learn more about photography and so excited! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I love your photos already and look forward to more then! :)

      Delete
  16. That's really useful as all my photos generally turn out to be rubbish! thankyou! x

    ReplyDelete
  17. this is great thank you for sharing! My husband is great with an SLR and all the techy stuff but tends to overcomplicated explaining anything, besides I rarely have time to fiddle with settings so a few quick point and shoot tips is just what I need!

    ReplyDelete