Picture This!

One of the best changes to smart phones in recent years has been the strong emphasis on its camera features. In a day where we’re all posting at least one picture to social media each day, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd by understanding some basic photography principles. Whether you’re about to buy your third digital SLR… or you’re comfortable sticking with your cell phone, remember these tips as you shoot!

  • Exposure – Have you ever walked into a dark room on a very sunny day? If so, you know how crazy it is for a few seconds before your eyes adjust to the room’s brightness. Guess what? Your camera must adjust as well! Unlike your eyes, you can help your camera adjust to the brightness by adjusting the “exposure compensation”. If you’re using a camera, there will be a setting attached to a button or through the menu. Most phones, on the other hand, have this feature enabled by simply tapping the area of the frame (the screen) that you want to adjust to.
  • Focus – This one may sound obvious, but how many times have you been tagged in a picture on Facebook that looks like a watercolor photo from 3rd grade? Or, perhaps, looks like it was created in colored sand? That’s because the subjects of the pictures were out of focus. If you have a digital camera, it may be as simple as half-pressing the shutter button which will allow the camera to auto-focus. On a phone, just like exposure compensation, all you have to do is simply tap the screen! Be sure to tap the thing you want to be in focus…
  • Composition – To expand: what you keep in the frame, what you leave out, and where you put things that are in the frame. To use a real-world example: good composition would ensure that the creepy guy sitting behind you and your girlfriends at that concert doesn’t make it in your picture! When you’re just starting out in photography, or just snapping a quick selfie, it’s easy to fall into the trap of just thinking about the thing you’re taking a picture of. However, what’s in the background of a picture is just as important as the thing you’re taking a picture of!

Think that posting a “great” selfie on Facebook or Instagram makes you a photographer? Think again! However, taking better pictures is a snap if you follow those photography tips! Pretty soon you’ll be the envy of Snapchat.