Short Guide: Photography

Street photography is a hobby most people don’t acknowledge they take part in. Whether it be finding monuments to take selfies or capturing moments they think are worth sharing, street photography, especially with the modern advancements in phone cameras, has become quite popular.

While there is no wrong way to take a picture, there are more appealing ways to take them. Fortunately, it doesn’t take classical training to understand. There are heaps of little things that can be done to improve the quality and originality of one’s pictures. This becomes even more apparent after upgrading from using the camera on your iPhone or Note.

This article will lay out the basics in layman’s terms and give some general tips on how to catch a better shot when you’re out and about.

The single quickest way to improve quality when taking photos

For many, this will go without saying, but lighting is everything. Lighting or lack thereof can make or break a photo. If your camera’s lens isn’t up to par, the photo can become grainy and the subject unrecognizable. The easiest way to fix this is to shoot at specific times of the day. If you’re really into catching a specific place or object with perfect light, find out what “golden hour” is in that area and come back to see how the light affects your subject.

Phone-specific tweaks

There’s an unending variety of add-ons or tools you can get to modify a phone’s camera. Individuals that aren’t yet used to their phones often make the same mistake, however. They don’t focus on the subject. Modern touchscreens have a feature that allows the user to tap the subject to make the camera adjust the focus. This makes snapping on the go too easy.

Upgrading your camera

If photos are a for-sure hobby, chances are you may want to upgrade to a DSLR. This can be a major investment in time and money. Before you pick the camera you want and be sure to do research on what it is that you’ll be buying. Keep in mind what it is that intend to shoot, whether or not you’ll want to upgrade the camera or lenses and please keep in mind a budget. Once you have that mind, there are a couple basic settings you’ll need to know.

Camera settings

If you pop onto Instagram and look at enough photography, you’ll notice that some people leave their settings for the world to see. These can seem intimidating at first, but once you have the gist of each you can play around with them (provided your camera allows for these controls in manual mode) to get the photo you see in your mind.

If you plan to shoot movement, a major factor for you will be shutter speed. That indicates the amount of time the camera’s sensor is exposed to light when you hit the shutter button. A faster shutter speed is better for quicker movements without blur. If you want to shoot traffic scenes and catch that “Akira” type laser blur, a slower speed is for you.

Aperture can be read as “F” stop and a bit confusing to explain. It’s the radius with which your focus exists. If you’ve ever seen a photo with a crisp subject and a super blury background, you’ve seen the effect aperture can have on a photo. Some of your ability to play with this setting is limited by your lense, which is why prior research on your gear is so important.

A feature that simply wasn’t a thing before the DLSR is metering. If you picked a camera with the capability, it posesses a light sensor that determinds what your shutter speed and aperture should be. There are multiple modes depending on the camera and how you use this is entirely up to you.

Study study study

Now, you know all the basics. If you every intend to go pro, check out what pros do and how they do it. Bluebend Photography is a great example of professionals doing it right.