Photograph taken on iPhone, processed with the Snapseed app, text created with the InstaQuote app.
Today I’d like to talk to you about using your mobile phone/devices or even an actual camera, to take photographs.
If you do not take photos, you will still hopefully find this interesting.
Why use photographs in your work?
- Many studies suggest that as many as 40% of people are visual learners.
- Photographs can accelerate understanding by illustration.
- Photographs can help people to retrieve information from memory.
- They break up text in presentations.
- Using your own photographs means you don’t’ have to ask permission to use them!
According to Ofcom more people now have mobile phones than laptops and PCs, and 2017 is set to see mobile users take literally trillions of photographs. So, if we’re going to take photos with our devices, let’s look at how we might take better ones.
My 5 top tips for instantly better photographs
- Bend your knees. Photographs taken at eye level are usually more engaging. Bend your knees if you’re taking photographs of people who are sitting down or who are smaller than you. Get closer, or crop more tightly later when processing, to achieve a more intimate shot.
Eye level is often more engaging
Bend your knees rather than titling your camera
- Switch OFF your flash. If something is far away and it’s dark, your flash is useless. (Your flash is useless at concerts!). Classrooms are surrounded by windows and often have lights on, so you will rarely need a flash in that situation. Switch the flash back on if it’s too dark, obviously.
switch off your flash
- USE your camera and experiment with it. Look at what you have shot and remember what worked and what didn’t. Get used to deleting lots and lots of photos and keep just the good ones.
N.B. This point may draw criticism from many photographers. I’m not asking you to ‘spray and pray’ as it’s often referred to, nor am I advising you to spend the entire event taking photos, but DO use your camera more, and review what you shoot critically to make them better next time.
- Be aware of and use the rule of thirds. People don’t just need to be in the middle of your shot. Most portraits, landscapes, film, TV shots, and most paintings, comply with the rule of thirds, or deliberately break that rule.
Nobody likes having their photo being taken, by the way. Be positive with your subject, and brave. Suggest that they turn their shoulder VERY slightly towards you as it makes it look less like a mug shot.
NB: It’s not always easy to see a scene in thirds (and it’s not a law to do that either), but once you see it, you will see it everywhere – have another look at the Mona Lisa, the Hay Wain or TV programmes like the news and imagine lines on the image, like the one above.
- Apps: It’s become rather trendy to announce that you didn’t use a filter on your photograph, but in reality professional photographers spend hours processing and editing their shots – just don’t over do it (OR really over do it!).
Too far?! (taken with a free app called Prismo)
It’s often a matter of taste, BTW. This shot was quickly processed with an amazing app called Snapseed. Do you like the one on the right more or less I wonder?
Lots to choose from today:
Create an educational meme using your device and apps (I used InstaQuote on the image at the top of the page) and make the quote pertinent to your work or inspirational, and email it to me Jason.email@example.com. With your permission I’ll post the best ones on this blog for everyone to see.
Take a photograph considering the 5 tips above, and email it to me Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you feedback on it. With your permission I’ll post the best ones on this blog for everyone to see.
Let us know how you might find photography useful in your work. Or give us an example of how you have used photography.
Find some recent statistics related to mobile phone and photography (using Google), and post it in the comments.
Let us all know of any photographic apps you have found that you like.
All photographers were rubbish at it when they started.
Put your camera down occasionally and enjoy the event/gig/your life.