{PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} how to take quality photos, photography, camera
{PilotingPaperAirplanes.com} how to take quality photos, photography, camera

Quality photos can make or break a blog post, even with the best content. Visuals matter, plain and simple. Whether you want to improve your Instagram photography or step up your blog images, there are some standard techniques to apply – phone camera included.

1. Composition

The rule of thirds is the key to great composition. Imagine tick tack toe across your image. Line up your subjects where those lines cross each other.

2. Zoom with your feet

Don’t become dependent on the camera zoom – instead move closer to your subject. You’ll get a better composition and avoid zoom distortion.

3. Avoid the flash

The camera flash won’t go more than a few feet and creates harsh shadows. Turn off the flash and use natural light as often as possible.

4. Be aware of your light source

Watch for bright light behind your subject – this will cause your camera to overexpose the shot making your subject dark. Likewise, avoid direct light in front of your subject that produces hard shadows – and causes people to squint.

5. Know your equipment

If you do have a camera with manual mode, here are the basics you need to know.

Aperture: hole in the lens that lets light in and controls depth of field. Smaller number (F/2) = wider opening that allows more light and produces a shallow depth of field. Larger number (F/16) = smaller opening allows less light and produces a larger depth of field.

Shutter: opening in the camera body that lets light in. The speed – duration for which the shutter is open – is measured in fractions of a second.

Faster shutter speed (1/1000) allows less light and freezes the subject sharply. Slower shutter speed (1/25) allows more light and produces more motion blur. Shutter and aperture work in tandem.

ISO: sensitivity to light. Higher ISO (1000) is more sensitive and less light is required for correct exposure. Lower ISO (200) is less sensitive and more light is required for correct exposure. Keep in mind that a higher ISO lowers the image quality by producing more “digital noise.”

I am a communication professional by trade and happen to have a photographer for a husband. You can thank him for teaching me these tools!

Thanks for reading!

Do you find this helpful?
What is your favorite trick for quality photos?

20 replies
  1. Emilie
    Emilie says:

    These are great tips! I don’t own a camera other than my iPhone but I don’t usually pay attention to these things when I’m taking photos. I would like to get a real camera sometime soon though. I wish they weren’t so expensive but they are a great investment if you buy a quality one.
    Emilie recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up {February 2 – 8}My Profile

    Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      There are even good point-and-shoot cameras you could look at. I have one with lots of options and much cheaper price point that even consumer DSLRs.

      For reference, cameras come in consumer, pro-sumer and professional lines. Most bloggers probably have consumer DSLRs which do everything we need them to do. You’d be better investing in better lenses if you do go with a DSLR at some point.

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      For real! I “know” them in theory, but not well enough to shoot on manual. I just don’t think that quickly. I like a semi-manual mode where I choose my aperture for depth-of-field and let the shutter automatically adjust accordingly. But I honestly RARELY use a DSLR. I use my phone and my nice point-and-shoot does a great job, or I have Jon take photos. Wife perks.

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      You can do much with phone cameras now! Especially since we rarely print photos these days, so a well-lit phone photo is high enough quality for anything online. Clearly you don’t have the control a full camera offers… but I also don’t have to carry another thing. 🙂

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      You want to pay attention to your aperture to control depth-of-field. A large depth means more of the field is in focus, smaller depth means less in focus (focus on the foreground object and the back blurs out). You want a wider aperture opening like F2, F4, etc. The range you have depends on your lens. A wider opening also lets in more light, so you’ll probably want a faster shutter speed to not over-expose the shot.

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      True that. It’s really rare that flash helps in a good way. I’ve used the flash light on my phone to help light a friend’s photo. Much better than her own flash because I was able to hold it more to the side, causing fewer and less-harsh shadows for her picture.

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      Oh I didn’t even talk specifically about the background in this post, but so important! It’s so easy to snap a photo not realizing the odd things behind until later.

      Reply
    • LarissaDaltonS
      LarissaDaltonS says:

      So fun! I’ve been really working on my Instagram photos lately. I want my feed to be something I’m happy with. I’m enjoying being more intentional about photos and only posting ones I’m proud of. The best part is most of what I learned in college photography classes and from my photog husband can translate into phone photos.

      Reply

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