From Picture taking to Photography

We all take pictures – of the kids, of landscapes, holidays, our meals and of course good old selfies! We live in a time where taking pictures and sharing them is a huge aspect of our everyday lives and it is wonderful to be able to share this part of life with others. Before getting into blogging however and calling myself “a blogger”, Photography was something I knew very little about. I am not particularly arty or creative (but do know what style I like) and I basically had a camera on my phone and would use it to snap a shot of my kids or our day, and then upload it to a Facebook album – I didn’t even have instagram!!

Nowadays though I have evolved, and like with all new things, with blogging has come new knowledge and skills. I haven’t only learnt about web design and basic SEO, I have also learnt more about photography too! And, whilst I haven’t yet committed to buying a fancy underwater camera for all of our beach and holiday snaps (or for when we go caving), I have grown in my ability to produce more beautiful and thoughtful images. So much so that this Summer I won “Best in the show” at our village show for my photography!

I am by no means an expert in photography and have never taken any courses either, but it is something I love and am forever learning. So here are a few very basic things (in no particular order) that I now consider when capturing things (and editing them), that take me away from generally just “taking pictures”, and into the realm of Photography!

Lighting

Lighting is something that I constantly consider when capturing moments and things, as it is so influential to how good the image looks. I try to make the lighting intentional to ensure that the object of the image is in the most light, and yet try to avoid the glare and awkward shadows of direct sunlight!

Pictures taken in daylight obviously look way better than ones inside or with a flash, and when facing the light (or having the light angled properly) will always give a much crisper look (avoiding a grainy or shadowy image). I generally prefer photo’s that have darker backgrounds but are light facing (if that makes any sense? like I say I am not a pro!).

Candid or not?

I had no idea what the word “Candid” even meant until a couple of years ago! If you are as clueless as me (which I am assuming you are not) it is photograph that is captured without creating a posed effect.

4 years ago – when I started out blogging, my pictures were often the whole “smile for the camera and say cheese” scenario. Whilst there are still times and moments in our adventures that merit for a selfie or posed image, I try where I can to capture the moments in the moment. I try to capture the candid moments because they create so much more feeling behind the image.

Levels & Angles

Before becoming a blogger I never really considered the angle at which I was taking my pictures. This of course meant that there was no real look or feel to any of my images! Nowadays however it is something I almost always consider and can often be seen on days out crouching down, kneeling on the ground or running ahead to get the perfect shot. I will stand on top of things or move around my object, so as to capture it at an angle at creates the look I imagine!

Editing

Yes you’ve guessed it – aside from a black and white or sepia overlay that came with the camera phone I NEVER edited a picture before sharing it. To me this is the point in photography that can take a mediocre image and make it amazing and whatever you capture your images with, using an editing app or programme can enhance them amazingly well – Its the process by which you can really set your photography style and put your stamp on it. I enjoy playing around and making the best of all of my images!

For people using camera phones then Apps such as lightroom and snapseed are amazing for tonnes of filters and editing tools, and I would recommend watching youtube videos, or pinning ideas too for inspiration (something I do regularly). I personally however swear by VSCO cam. It is my most loved and used app on my phone and I adore the array of free and cheap filters that are on there. They have a really arty feel to them and many create great moods to the image. I also love all of the examples of VSCO on pinterest – it is certainly the key to taking my pictures from being good, to looking more arty and “me”!

I also prefer to lower the exposure and contrast on my images, sharpen them and play around with the temperature and tints – the combination of which give many of my images the same feel/mood (useful for a nice instagram feed).

As I say, at present I do not own a camera and are not an expert here! My images are all captured on my Samsung Galaxy phone camera, which has great settings and a high megapixel too, but isn’t a fancy camera. I enjoy playing around with it and most of the images I produce these days. But I also look forward to a day when I am more confident and knowledgeable with photography generally and can own a decent camera to practise with!

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