10 Tips to Make Your Photos POP
We are all looking for little ways to make your photos come to life. Here are some good tricks to really help with the technical side of the camera so you can focus on the image you see in front of you.
- Shoot on RAW
- This won't compress your image so that you have as much information as possible to work with in post.
- To counter high dynamic range causing lowered contrast from RAW, be sure to darken blacks and increase saturation or vibrance in post.
- Set your ISO as low as possible
- Always shooting around 100 ISO will greatly increase the quality of your images.
- You can retain better image quality to shoot with a lower ISO and brighten in post, as opposed to initially shooting with a higher ISO.
- Set your camera on a tripod
- This will enable you to lower the ISO, even in darker situations.
- Reduce camera shake by setting your camera on a 3-second timer or by using a remote shutter.
- Use any light leak covering features on your camera such as the viewfinder cover or lens shade
- Be cautious of your own movements, even during longer exposures. Even a slight ground shake can affect the image.
4. Play with Panoramic
- Shooting a panoramic then stitching or photo-merging can create very clear eye-popping images.
- Play with the photo merge feature on Photoshop or Lightroom in order to create one very HQ images from a few smaller photos.
5. Keep the subject properly lit
- Aim to evenly and smoothly light your subject.
- Using a kicker or rim light can really help define a portrait.
- Avoid flat light, which can dull images and make them appear unclear and uninteresting. Follow the light!
6. Find the sharpest F-shop for your camera/lens
- You can do this by searching your exact lens by Googling, “sharpest aperture for sigma 18-55mm 1.8.”
- Check out hyperFocal calculators to really maximize the effectiveness of your F-stop.
- Some good tools include: HyperFocal Pro for Android, Hyperfocal Calc for IOS and PhotoPills online.
7. Keep your Sensor and Lens filters clean
- Clean equipment results in clean photos.
- This YouTube video has some good tips on how best to clean your sensor.
- Brush up on your Editing Skills
Use the highlights, shadows, whites, and darks sliders instead of contrast for better control.
- Learn to de-noise and sharpen your images.
- Using the brush tool to darken and saturate blown out skies to help balance landscapes.
- Don't get carried away. Meet in the middle. If you think you have overdone it with a setting bring it back halfway for a happy medium.
- Check out Dave Morrow's Youtube channel for some insightful editing tutorials!
9. Use "cH" or Continuous High shooting mode when going handheld.
- If shooting handheld with a shutter lower than 1/50th of a second, using “cH” (or Continuous High) will give your more options to find the clearest image.
- Delete blurry images right away to avoid tedious lightroom skimming later on.
- CH is especially helpful when shooting portraits, giving you slight variations of expression. This is especially helpful when working with subjects who may be camera shy.
10. Check your background. Create foreground.
- Even out of focus colours and shapes in the background can distract from the main subject. Place them mindfully.
- Create depth by keeping a subject in the foreground, even if it's something as simple as a branch or part of some rocky terrain. This can add some beautiful dimension to an image.