As Dr C is not a blogger by trade, when Manfrotto offered her the chance to check out a photography class with them, she jumped at the chance!
Over to Dr C… I was invited down to a bloggers photography masterclass with Manfrotto. So I thought I would use the opportunity to share with you the tips and tricks that I learned.
LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT
So this is something I can’t stress enough. A good photograph comes from understanding light. And for the most part that means not using a flash, but using a continuous light source. For an at home set up there are a range of adjustable LED light sources, where you can adjust the intensity and colour of light to perfectly light your intended subject. It may even be the case that you need a number of light sources to capture the perfect image.
All About Angles
So you’ve got your light source, next you need to think about the angle of the light – the angle of incidence. Light travels in a straight line, and bounces off a reflective surface at a perpendicular angle. You can use this to your advantage, and with the help of a few sheets of card from everyones favourite stationary company you can create some cool effects. If you reflect your light source off of red card for example, the light reflected back will be red and will give a red glow to your subject. You can use mirrored card as a cheap reflector, or if you do a lot of fashion or portraiture work you might want to pick up a foldable reflector.
Now that you’ve got your self set up with your light sources, the beam of light might be too directional, you might want to diffuse the light in order for it to cast a softer glow. In comes the magic of diffusion, which you can achieve with some simple tracing paper placed directly in front of your light source. This diffusion trick also works when you may need to use a flash gun, although in this case you’d probably want to use a softbox to diffuse the light.
Keep It Steady
You’ve gone to the effort of setting up your lights adjusting the angles and getting that diffusion perfect, but the images still aren’t crystal clear. You might want to invest in a tripod, be that a full size tripod for capturing the ultimate flat lay or a mini tripod for taking the perfect macro shot. Even if you’re shooting on your phone, the difference a tripod can make is amazing. Another top tip for phone tripod photography, use your headphones to take the picture. I know this definitely works for Apple devices, but I’m not sure about Android systems.
And the rest…
- Think about backlighting glass objects for an expensive look. Positioning black card on either side of your backlighting light source will bring out the edges. Sticky tape is your friend to keep sheets of paper in place.
- If you have a camera capable of it, think about shooting in Live View. You can instantly see large high resolution versions of your snaps and make any necessary adjustments.
- If you do a lot of product photography, maybe think about making or buying a popup tent to photograph the products in. Lastly, wear black when taking photographs – what you’re wearing can be a source of altered reflected light too!
I had a great day learning from the experts at Manfrotto, and as special treat for you readers they’ve generously provided us with a 20% discount code (Ts & Cs below). Just type in FOLLOWER20 at the checkout to claim your discount.
What are your top photography tips? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Dr C attended this event with Manfrotto in return for sharing some top photography tips with you.
P.P.S. The code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Excludes Yuneec and Schneider partner brands. Valid until 4th December 2017.