There are over 100 billion photos hosted on Facebook, with thousands more added daily. In this current information age, being a photographer is not any real distinction. With Instagram, Photoshop and other digital photography tools so easily accessible, it can feel like everyone is a photographer today. But after seeing Grandma tagged in over 100 photos, perhaps you would like your Facebook pictures to stand out a little.
Next weekend, instead of taking the same boring cliche party pictures, here are 5 easy ways to make your photography a little more creative and unique. Spice up your weekend shots and take some pictures your friends will actually want to be tagged in the next morning!
1. Shoot With FilmDon’t get us wrong, there are many photos out in the digital-world that are shot on film. It has become quite fashionable. With Urban Outfitters selling Holgas and Instagram’s filters to make your iPhone photos seem like they are shot on film, we can’t argue: film is hip. However, the quality of light you get with film is different than that you get with digital, and now since we are so accustomed to looking at digital photos, the colors (or lack of color if you shoot black and white) that you get with film, can’t be replicated on a digital file.
Another fun technique is to buy a roll of high speed film (3200) and put it in a toy camera. If you want to use your slr, set the ISO to 800 to make your blacks a little richer. The contrast and grain you get is incomparable. You can even experiment with digital backgrounds on your computer to add more contrast, or try photoshop templates to add a quirky, fun flair to your pictures.
2. Use BulbOn almost all cameras there is a setting called “bulb”, where the shutter will be held open for as long as you hold your finger down. When out at night, if you use the bulb setting in combination with flash, the lights in the photos will drag all over your image, but your subject, which the flash hits, will remain relatively unblurred. To find “bulb” set your camera to manual, and scroll to the longest shutter speed possible (usually on slrs it is around 30 seconds). After that, there will be an option usually indicated by a “B”. Turn on your flash, and take photos while wiggling your camera around a bit to give your photos a lively party-vibe.
3. Use Wide Angle LensesFisheye lenses along with other varieties of wide-angle lenses provide a distorted perception that can be really fun to play with. Once again, these cameras are very trendy, but fun nonetheless.
4. Get CloserMany photos seem to always have far too much dead space in them. An easy way to fix this problem is to get closer to your subjects. Sometimes this means getting closer than your subjects may be used to. Let them know it is a special camera and you must get closer for the picture to look right. This is especially important if you are shooting with a wide-angle lens.
5. Don’t Tell People When You Are Photographing ThemWe have all seen (and been in) the cheesy photos starring 5 girls in sparkly dresses with their hands on their hips… This is a product of too much thought. When you give people time to contemplate the fact that they are being photographed, you typically end up with photos where your friends have all contorted their faces into something they think of as “their best angle”. However if you wait and surprise them, sometimes you catch moments far beyond the quality of if you had given them notice.
So next time you go out for a drink with your friends, bring a film camera, get abnormally close to your friends, take pictures when they least expect it, and leave your iPhone with all of its instant-photo apps in your purse!
Interested in learning more about digital photography? Check out Portraits and Digital Photography!
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