A couple of weekends ago I went to a photography class in Manchester’s Northern Quarter with Three. I’m always up for improving my photography and though I love my DSLR, it’s my phone that travels with me everyday. With camera phones improving with every new model that comes out – they’re quickly catching up to cameras. The Samsung Galaxy 6S Edge is no exception. As part of the class, we were all given Samsung phones to use and I have to admit that even though I’m an iPhone girl, the camera on the Samsung is pretty amazing. The resolution is actually equal to my DSLR.
We began the class with an introduction to our teacher; Aidan O’Rourke, a local Manchester based photographer. He took us through his past work, top tips and pointers on photos from our own blogs (Cringe!). We also looked at some of the features of the Samsung phones. A popular one being the Beauty option. Want to look like you’re on a magazine cover? Then crank the bar right up and you’ve been airbrushed to oblivion. Ideal if you’re having a bad skin day but I would advise somewhere in between the two looks I’ve done below if you don’t like either.
After playing around with all the different settings on the phone, it was time to walk around the Northern Quarter and put our practising to use. Here are my favourite tips from the day.
Don’t be afraid to wait for the sun if it’s a bit cloudy.
Living in Manchester this is easier said than done sometimes but if it’s one of those days where there’s a mix of cloud and sky then be patient. Wait for the sun to appear from behind a cloud and take a look at the difference of the photos above.
Get close (but not too close!)
Sometimes the details are better than the whole picture so focus on them. Get close and make sure to focus before snapping. If you're too close then the camera will find it difficult to focus.
Use reflectors to your advantage.
Now I know a lot of us can't afford fancy photography equipment but did you know you could get the effects of a reflector from a simple sheet of white card? Reflectors are great for when it's super sunny and because of where you have to stand sometimes you'll get a shadow cast over half your face. Simply hold (or get a friend to hold) some white card on the shadow side of your face, reflecting the sun onto it. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes!
Be aware of reflections
When taking photos of things like windows up close, it's difficult to avoid getting either your reflection or a light reflection in the photo. The best thing to do is to move around the subject and try different viewpoints and lighting until you get the shot with the least amount of reflections in it.
Think outside the box and have fun!
After doing one of my usual shots down towards my feet, I spotted one of the Three girls taking a photo of her shoes by bending over forwards and holding the phone upside down. An ingenious way of taking a photo that looks like someone else took it. You look silly doing it but the shot is worth it! I'm not afraid of looking silly in public so I followed suit.
I had a great day and enjoyed using a new gadget. Thanks Three and thanks Aidan!
When it comes to photography, what's your weapon of choice?