Do you ever get picture envy when scrolling through Instagram? The average person takes over 2,000 phone photographs every year, but how many of those are really post- or print-worthy? While not everyone is destined to become a professional photographer, there are some simple tricks that can help you transform your pictures instantly.
Keep your photos simple
New photographers often overcomplicate their photos by trying to make it interesting with lots of details. But too many details distract the viewer and make it hard to achieve an impactful composition. To keep your images simple, first look at the background and then your subject. Scan your scene for any distracting elements and then move closer or change your viewpoint to remove unwanted objects from your photo and give your subject all the focus.
Embrace negative space
Negative space is a photography term that refers to the empty space around the subject in your photo, like the sky, a wall or an empty beach. When you include a lot of empty space in a photo, your subject will stand out more and it makes your picture more impactful. Using the landscape rather than the portrait orientation can assist in creating a better negative-space-to-subject ratio.
Don’t centre your subjects
We always get taught to place things nicely in the middle. However, in photography, positioning your subject off-centre actually creates a more balanced and harmonious composition, which is referred to as “the rule of thirds.”
Straighten your horizon line
Living in the Cayman Islands, we naturally take many beach, ocean and sunset photos. Many of us (including myself!) struggle to keep their cameras perfectly straight, often leaving you with a crooked horizon or badly aligned lines in what is otherwise a beautiful photo. Simply use your straightening tool in your editing mode to straighten your horizon and create clean lines to achieve the optimal visual balance in your photos.
Editing is great and can certainly enhance your images significantly. However, with so many different editing apps available, many phone photographers tend to over-edit their pictures. Over-saturating the colours, using strong filters or super-smoothing skin tones can leave your pictures looking fake or dated. Using your phone editing mode to just brighten the image, add some contrast and reduce the highlights is enough to make your pictures pop while maintaining a natural and timeless look.
Lisa Reid is a photographer at Picture This Studios based on Forum Lane in Camana Bay.