We all want to have the best photos of us, with our family and friends. We hope to capture great skylines on our smartphone or on our professional camera during holidays or just simply to be proud of the most attractive selfies to post on social media. I invited the gifted professional photographer Alina Dobrovolschi as Special Guest to share with us some exceptional tips that can be easily applied in photography and get amazing results.
Alina graduated a Photography School. However, she says about herself that she is a big fan of photos taken with the smartphone anytime she sees something that impresses her or makes her smile.
1. What is essential to know about light and luminosity
PHOTOGRAPHY means “writing with light” so it is important the moment of the day and the light you use. The daylight should not be strong, because you risk getting an overexposed photo. In this case, some settings will be needed on the photo camera. And if you want to take a picture with the smartphone, you will have to play a bit at the luminosity and avoid letting the light to be strong. As for a photo taken in the evening, it is necessary to find a light source that puts the subject in the spotlight.
2. The art of taking a selfie
What is important at a selfie is the point of the station, which refers to the angle from which you take the picture. It must be at the eye level. Not down, not up! If the selfie is made from above, you risk having a very large head and a disproportionate body. The focus should be on the EYES, not on the nose, beard, lips, hair, etc.. The blinking of the eyes makes 90% of the photo, and not only for a selfie. Light is important to have it ahead of us. If you have it at the back, the subject will be black and if the light is on the side, you risk having shadows on the face.
3. Recommended filters for Instagram photos
My suggestion is to create contrast in a photo because the colours are really important; I mostly use Snapseed, and sometimes Afterlight and VSCO.
4. Black and white photography
I am PRO B & W but it depends on many things; If I have a brightly coloured frame, I prefer to keep it colourful. Same if I have a brilliant flower, the sky at sunset, or a butterfly with beautifully coloured wings. The black and white photo shows in my view power, strength, sadness, tragedy, so features that can be best transmitted by powerful black and white photographs.
5. Food photography, or focusing on details
The food or product photography and the photos we take when we go to a restaurant. Well, there are two different things. About product photography, there is much to talk about; I can very much tell you that it takes a lot of light to make the product worthwhile, the resolution of the photo needs to be great, so when zoomed in all the details can be seen. Also, the background it is recommended to be white.
As for the photos we take in restaurants or cafes with our food, juice or coffee, there are NO RULES! It depends on everyone’s vision. Evidently, if we were to speak about the basic rules, I should again mention the angles, the light, etc.. But let’s face it when someone wants to take a picture with their burger it will be fast so that they can enjoy eating it.
6. Capturing a beautiful sky, a sunrise or sunset
If you see a sunset that takes your breath away and you want to capture the moment, set the focus on the sun. You can easily change the brightness and thus make an amazing photo. Generally, in landscape photography, it is recommended to know that if you are taking a photo with a professional photo camera, you will need filters. Also, the angle is important, you will need elements to define your picture, like a tree, sand, sea or other elements to complete the frame.
7. Street style photography
Being a fan of the photos taken with the phone, I stay on the idea that you should photograph what makes you think that is “wow!”. You don’t need to have a professional photo camera to take a photo on the street. You just need some imagination. We may have passed a statue, a fountain, a monument without noticing it. However, it takes a second to be in the right angle with the right light, just enough to give the subject a new appearance. And that is when you take the picture.
8. The Group Photo
Group photography is a challenge in most cases. Usually, when you take a photo group, try to place the tall ones in the back and the smallest ones in front. Classic. If you are at an event where one or two people are important (eg Wedding), sit the bride and the groom in the center of the group and set the focus on them. It is also important for everyone to come out clearly, so avoid situations in which those on the sidelines are blurred. That’s why you will need an extra light source like a flashlight. Another important thing for groups is blinking. Yeah, blinking! Most often, it happens that in a photo group there is one person blinking exactly at the moment of the click. That is why I use the 1, 2, 3… way and when I get to 3 all the people keep their eyes open. Don’t forget this detail especially when the sun is shining from the front.
9. The advantage of having a professional photo camera
The professional camera is better because: it will always have a better autonomy than the phone, so if you are planning to take hundreds of photos in one day of a holiday, the device will save you against your phone’s battery. Also, even the camera settings seem can give you a headache, they will make the difference. The ISO triangle, the aperture, the shutter speed will set the mark on a bright and clear photo at a very good resolution.
10. Trends in photography
I have noticed that the photos taken with drones are becoming more and more popular, and of course, those made with a good smartphone in an artistic way.
What is the meaning of a stunning picture for you?
A stunning photo from my point of view is the one that is surprisingly exciting. I admit that whenever I see photos taken at the time when a child is born I get tears in my eyes. For me, the moment of birth is breathtaking, and the photographers that capture the mother’s grimaces, a father’s smile and his tears… are simply amazing.
How do you see the future of photography?
The future of photography… a challenge.