How To

Make Your Photos Incredible With These Handy Tips

Most of us use photos every week. We post them on social media to detail that fantastic weekend away. We print them out to give to family members as gifts. We even use them to evidence bad driving, antisocial behavior and everything that’s weird or wacky. Seeing is believing after all. So how can you make your photos better? Can your humble smartphone really be used to capture an image that could go viral?

There are a few standard rules of image composition that help us to create a great picture. The rule of thirds, where everything in the frame is clearly divided into three, is just one of them. But when it comes to social media and telling a story, it’s more about capturing that incredible moment. See the emotion and hit the button at the right time.

Context and perspective are also really important things to consider. Showing a woman smiling in the street means a lot more when you see the reason why. Perhaps she’s just accepted a marriage proposal? You need to show her partner down on one knee to get the whole story into a single image. Putting objects into context is handy if you’re trying to show something that isn’t normal. A close-up of a dent in your car means very little unless there is a familiar object next to it to show its size. A hand or a ruler gives us context about the scale of the damage.

Once you have captured your images, your work is not yet done. Now you need to edit the images. Crop out the unimportant edge of frame areas. Grade the colors to help convey the mood or occasion a little more. Remove problem areas, or edit them to improve them. Packages like Photoshop are the industry standard for this kind of work. Understanding the Photoshop interface isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s best to take a short image editing class to help you along.

Altering the brightness and contrast can create incredible effects for your image. It can even alter the whole mood of your photograph. Of course, most of us use it to correct balance problems caused by the technology we used to capture the image. A smartphone held very steady can create incredible quality images. There are also plenty of options within your phone camera settings to alter the focus and look of the picture you create. It’s worth considering whether these are useful or if it’s better to use a pro software package in editing to tidy up what you capture.

Once you’ve finished touching up your image, it’s time to print it or post it online. Sometimes it can be really handy to print an image out at home or at work to distribute as part of a presentation or for someone who needs a hard copy. Posting the image online can give people the opportunity to print it out for themselves, or to enjoy it digitally.

However you use your digital photography, a little bit of editing can go a long way. Manipulating images can help you convey a mood or idea better. How do you take pictures?


How To

Tricks To Improve Your Printed Picture Quality

Digital photography replaced more traditional methods a long time ago. There’s no more winding up film or long waiting times for physical pictures to be developed. Now of course, we’re seeing 3D printers in every industry! However, like a lot of people, you might like to have physical pictures for displaying around the house. Sometimes, our pictures can come out looking a little worse than we hoped. Here are some ways you can improve the quality of your printed pictures.

Firstly, you could try adjusting the pixels per inch on your photos. The resolution on your print preview will have a pretty significant impact on the way your printed pictures turn out. The less pixels that are packed into a picture, the sharper the end result will be. The resolution a screen is able to display is actually a mere fraction of what a monitor can deal with. If you’re downloading an image off of Facebook or another online source, it will probably pack in under 100 pixels per inch. If you’re looking to print off a photo and frame it, you’ll want to aim for around 300. Before printing an image, open the print options and adjust the PPI. Just be aware that upping the pixels per inch can shrink the image size.

If you’ve tried printing off pictures without changing a thing, then you may have noticed that certain hues look faded, and far less bright than the preview. If this is your main problem, then you might want to try playing around with different ink and toner cartridges. I know that the instructions with your printer probably recommend using their brand and their brand only for the best results. While this is true of some models, you shouldn’t take it as a fact. I’ve found that some cheap printers perform fantastically when they have a more high-end ink. Similarly, you may be able to find an expensive printer that works well with cheap cartridges. Experiment a little, and eventually you’ll find a combination that gives great colour quality.

Finally, make sure you’re maintaining your printer properly. This is an especially important point if you’re using an inkjet model. These have delicate little nozzles which can easily become clogged with ink and debris. You’ll need to check and clean these regularly depending on how much you use your printer. Some people run into this problem, but continue printing their poor-quality images and documents, oblivious to what the issue is. At least once a month, you should make a point of running your print head cleaning utilities. If you don’t use your printer all that much, set reminders to print on it around once a week. Like a lot of machinery, printers need to be used to keep them in good working condition. Leave it alone for weeks at a time, and it can easily fall into disrepair.

Take this advice, and I’m sure you’ll see an immediate improvement to the quality of your printing. Having to put up pixelated or faded pictures is not only frustrating, but also totally unnecessary!

Image from Flickr