5 rad Photography hacks for an awesome gram’

smartphones

A long long time ago before smartphones and casual point-and-shoot cameras came to be, when photos had to be developed in film rolls… Okay, we’re kidding, this ain’t an article on the history of photography.

With easy access to smartphones and cameras, most of us can’t go a week or two without taking a photo to upload onto our social media accounts. Or simply because photo-taking is just fun, period.

Sometimes, though, flatlays become a little boring. Also, that photo of that gorgeous night scape just doesn’t feel right somehow, and you want to change things up a little.

Fret not: we’ve gathered up a list of nifty ideas that will do just the trick.

*Disclaimer: If you’re an expert photographer, these might already be known to you, but do read on anyway! Some tips work best with DSLRs.

1) Neon portraits/shots

Neon light photography

Make use of your surroundings! Neon light photography has become pretty popular recently – with the bright and fun colours, what’s not to love? With your DSLR (or phone), a few simple props, and a little bit of practise, your next profile photo is set.

We like this tutorial by Gab Loste:

For cool neon signs to try this out with in Singapore, check out places like Central Perk Café and Finders Keepers Bar[i]! Make sure to do a bit of editing in post-production to make your photos pop.

2) DIY filters

Instagram and tons of apps have made filters easy to access and using them has become second nature to us. There are limitations to in-app filter effects, though. They either get overused after a while or just don’t have that ‘oomph’ you’re looking for.

Why not try making some filters of your own instead, to achieve the feel you desire? DIY filters can add “texture” and change your photo in a pleasantly unexpected way – plus, many materials can be found lying around the house. For a list of ideas (and pretty photos to look at), Google is your best friend!

3) Switch up your perspective

Switch up your perspective

If you find that the photos you’ve been taking look a little off or aren’t up to your standards, try something simple like taking another picture with your phone or camera flipped around! This changes the composition of your photo and makes you aware of how things can be improved.

A quick example taken on the spot:

See the difference? The same can be done for portrait shots!
See the difference? The same can be done for portrait shots!

4) Make a quick lightbox

If you’re trying to take a photo of your new bag/gadget/item and the lighting is causing you major problems (such as overexposed photos where the background is far too bright), this trick might come in handy. A photo lightbox/softbox helps to diffuse the light, distribute it more evenly and reduce sharp contrasts.

With some materials and help from the internet, you can make an inexpensive setup in your home to use as many times as you want:

If you don’t mind spending a little, however, you can choose to purchase small light box setups from places such as Lazada. Make your investment worthwhile and practise your photography with it!

5) Blur it up (with D.I.Y “bokeh”)

You probably know about bokeh and what it is, already, but here’s a simple explanation for the uninitiated:  bokeh describes the blur, and its aesthetic quality, of the out of focus portions of a photo or image.

custom shapes

Play around with bokeh by making your own custom shapes to create whimsical and soft looking pictures!

Unfortunately, a phone’s lens is too small, which makes this enormously hard to do for mobile. Fortunately, though, you can still achieve the effect with the help of apps such as Bokeh Lens (for iOS)!

Digital Senior hopes that you’ve found these tips as eye-opening as we did! If you have more fun tips that we’ve yet to uncover, do share them with us through the comments below!

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If you’re interested in taking better photos, the only way is to explore and practise…

If you’re interested in pursuing Digital Photography as a career, why not check out MDIS’s Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Media and Digital Practice (Top-up), awarded by the University of Portsmouth, UK (Top 100 Young Universities in the World, Times Higher Education ranking)?

Through modules such as Cultures of Consumption and Transmedia Narratives and Strategies, the degree equips you with the technical and theoretical know-how for a career in the media and entertainment industry.

…There’s no reason, however, not to seek some help if you need it!

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Words: Readers, we’ve good news! MDIS is giving a free* Canon DSLR EOS 1300D to students enrolled to this programme [Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Media & Digital Practice (Top-up) ; awarded by the University of Portsmouth, UK] ! Fill in our form to register your interest now, don’t wait!

Name:

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*First 100 students enrolled into Year 2/Level 5 only.


[i] http://www.hypeandstuff.com/10-neon-signs-singapore-for-instagram/

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