How to improve photo quality: 7 ways | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


Want a shot “like this fashion photographer”, but it doesn’t come out? Look at the source and do not understand how to modify it and make the photo more spectacular?

We talk about the basic things that you need and can do before, during and after a photo shoot so that your pictures are of better quality.

To improve the quality of photos, it is not necessary to purchase expensive equipment. It is much more important to upgrade your skills as a photographer / Photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa

Camera settings for shooting
Set White Balance
Add light to photo
Increase the contrast in the photo
Think over the color, location and image for a photo shoot
Crop a photo in post-processing
Sharpen a photo

Camera settings for shooting

1. Make your shutter speed shorter. Exposure is measured in seconds. For example, 1/125 second, 1/1000 second. The faster the shutter speed, the darker the frame and the better the camera freezes motion. This will allow you to get sharper photos without blurring.

Sometimes slow shutter speeds are used in creative shooting to create unusual effects, but beginners often set slow shutter speeds unconsciously, so they get blurry, defective photos / pixabay.com

2. Adjust the ISO for the lighting. The lower the ISO, the darker the photo. If there is not enough light indoors or outdoors, then ISO is traditionally raised. But remember that your task is to set the lowest possible ISO, since too high values ​​​​will lead to the fact that marriage appears in the photo — noise. We’ll show you how to remove them below.

3. Set the aperture to the task of the picture. The smaller the aperture value, the more the background is blurred. This will give you a nice bokeh blur, great for portraits. On the other hand, if you need to photograph a large group of people, then you should increase the aperture to f / 16 and above, so that everyone is in focus.

Read also:

Sitting on two chairs: how to make the object in the frame completely sharp and at the same time preserve beautiful bokeh

Also, using the aperture, you can adjust the brightness of the photo so as not to use the ISO. If the scene is poorly lit, open the aperture and then you don’t have to “lift up” the ISO so much.

Set White Balance

If the photo has the correct White Balance (WB), then the colors in it are the same as in life. So, with the correct BB, white is white (that is, clouds, snow, the whites of the eyes do not turn green, do not redden, do not turn yellow), gray (for example, asphalt) does not give off blue or other shades, and any black object is also not painted in parasitic colors.

Proper White Balance ensures true-to-life colors. Viewers love it, as the photo seems «clean» / Illustration and photo by the author

White balance can be adjusted during shooting by eye, by selecting one of the automatic modes (cloudy, incandescent, sunny weather, etc.) or using a gray or white card, as well as corrected in post-processing.

But do not forget that you can always go from the opposite. By setting the correct White Balance, you will achieve a pure color. But by deliberately distorting it, you can toned the photo and bring mood to it. The simplest examples are to add blue to create a feeling of cold and uncomfortable, and warm colors are suitable for sunny days, warm family, couples and children’s photo shoots.

For details on how to adjust the White Balance and edit it in post-processing, read our text.

Add light to photo

Pictures with any lens and with any camera will look good if the photographer skillfully works with light. This is the first skill that is worth learning and it is important to pay attention to.

If you want to get a sharper, more contrasty photo and improve its quality, add additional light to the scene. The flash light is particularly good, which freezes motion and can be very bright due to the high flash output. Read more about what types of light are in the text.

If we compare pulsed light with constant light, the second one will almost always lose, since powerful pulsed light is more affordable and cheaper than a constant one of equivalent power. Photos with constant light will turn out to be less sharp, you need to prepare for a larger number of marriages — blurs, out of focus.

However, it is with constant light that it is better to start your practice. When working with it, you can immediately see how the light falls on the model, with what strength it shines, where and how the shadows fall.

Increase the contrast in the photo

As with sharpness, our eyes see much more contrast than the camera can convey. Therefore, increasing the contrast will raise the quality of the photo to a new level — fade and haze will disappear, and the picture itself will look brighter and more voluminous.

The same shot before and after contrast enhancement / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha / Photo: pixabay.com

Raising contrast in a photograph is an increase in the spread between brightnesses. That is, light objects become lighter, and dark objects become darker. The greater this difference, the more contrast and brighter the image.

Read about how to increase the contrast in a picture in our detailed guide on working with curves.

Think over the color, location and image for a photo shoot

Beginners often think that processing gives a special gloss to professional photos. This is partly true, but color, location and image, thought out in advance and combined, often decide so much that further work in graphic editors comes down to literally a couple of brush strokes to remove pimples and clean up the background, raising contrast, sharpening and light toning for atmosphere.

Think of any good movie. The costume (image) and the place where the events take place help viewers to enjoy the picture and immerse themselves in the atmosphere. No matter how good the actor is, it will be difficult for us to believe that he is in the Middle Ages, if there is a metropolis around, and he himself is dressed in jeans with collars and hoodies.

The same with color. Colors that match with each other will make the photo harmonious. None of the tinting will make the picture as coherent as the colors selected in advance and matching each other. For example, for several years in a row, the so-called “chocolate” tints and photos in pastel colors were in fashion. It was a place thought out in advance without bright colors, brown colors, clothes and accessories, nude makeup that created this effect. And last but not least, post-processing. In other words, the photo will be pastel in color anyway, tender if the frame has pastel colors, but it is impossible or very difficult to bring a flashy picture with an abundance of bright to neon colors into its complete opposite with the help of post-processing.

Crop a photo in post-processing

Good framing helps improve the composition of your photo. The shot will be more harmonious, and you can also control the viewer’s attention — he will be more likely to look where you want. For example, on the eyes if you are photographing a portrait.

In addition, cropping allows you to quickly remove unnecessary objects from the photo. You just cut off the unnecessary and you’re done. This saves time on post-processing and — again — allows a person to concentrate on the main object in the frame, without being distracted by garbage, signs, passers-by who accidentally got into the picture. The less unnecessary objects will catch the eye of the viewer, the better.

About how and where to crop photos, including free online, read the text.

Sharpen a photo

Without additional sharpening, one cannot achieve that “ringing” effect that can often be found in professional photographs. The camera will never give the same image quality as our visual system, so we can additionally help him in post-processing. About how to sharpen a photo and what it is, read the text.

The same photo before and after sharpening / Illustration and photo by the author

But it’s important to remember that if you’ve been photographing in difficult conditions with poor lighting, and there is noise in the photo, then sharpening will only increase them. In such a situation, it is better to refuse sharpening, so as not to further enhance the imperfections of the image.


Добавить комментарий