Tech

Tips when photographing a landscape:

I was asked to give a few tips for landscape photography recently and decided to base my 5 tips on my recent holidays. Here are my top 5 tips to photographing a good landscape photo:

  1. Time of day
  2. Horizon
  3. Is it interesting?
  4. Black & white or colour?
  5. Symmetry/ perspective

Let’s start with “TIME OF DAY”. Sometimes one has no choice with regards to when they can snap their landscape photo but if you are able to come back at a better time, DO! Over the holidays, I sent my camera in for a service and went on holiday with only my HTC M9. It was refreshing to use a different type of camera and I was once again reminded of the great quality and features that the phone has. The HTC M9 has a feature to shoot in HDR, this is great for those moments mentioned above when you simply cannot come back when there is better light. As a photographer, I came back to the area to get my shot BUT please scroll down to see my HDR photos to see what you can do when shooting in harsh light. What time should you come back? Early morning or late afternoon when the shadows are less harsh, lighting is softer and you may be spoiled with some gorgeous warm colours!

For this specific photo, I opted for late evening:

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
I find the HTC M9 shoots really well in low light so I shot as late as I could and captured something really beautiful using the landscape as a backdrop.

“HORIZON” is everything. Too many times I see a gorgeous landscape completely ruined by a skew horizon. Always try your best to keep a straight horizon and if it is slightly skew, correct it in post production. It will be the cherry on the top to a beautiful image. My HTC M9 has a grid option on the screen to help with this. I used it in the beginning and once I got better at taking note of the horizon I turned off the feature. See the difference below:

Processed with VSCO

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“IS IT INTERESTING?” Either one can go for a complete minimalistic approach to exaggerate on the vastness of the landscape or you need to emphasize something interesting that has caught your eye. I like to add an interesting element to my landscapes by cropping them strategically or capturing movement like the image below:

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

“BLACK AND WHITE VS COLOUR” is always a difficult question. A lot of people ask me when it is a good time to use black and white. For me, it is a feeling. Sometimes the black and white enhances the subject and makes the image more interesting. I took this image below while on safari, have a look at the difference:

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Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

Finally, play around! Experiment with perspective, symmetry, shapes and lines!

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Tweet me/tag me in your favourite landscape photos! @tegzphotography

How to get your #2015BestNine

If you’re wondering how everyone is getting their “best nine” instagrams, follow this link to be sent to the 2015bestnine.com website.

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Type in your instagram handle, wait a moment, and voila! Your best nine photos for 2015 appear!

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Phone Lens

If you enjoy taking photos with your phone like I do, this is for you. I spoilt myself with a sneaky little purchase from Typo recently where I bought a phone lens. Typo always has the most amazing products but I would never have thought to find any photographic equipment there. They had a few lens options, but I decided to purchase a “2 in 1” option where you can shoot wide angle or macro!

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When shooting macro, I shoot on HTC’s Bokeh feature (my absolute favourite) to add even more blur to the already small depth of field image that the phone lens produces.

The lenses are only R120 and I am already planning on adding a fish eye lens to my collection.

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I cannot wait to visit a botanical garden and use this lens more creatively in nature, just imagine the gorgeous botanical photos it could create! Have a look at the snap I took while reading the paper, waiting for my flight to JHB:

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What is HDR ?

HDR photos are easily identifiable by their striking appearance, often highly saturated, high contrast with a very surreal look.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. How does it work?

A photo is taken at three different exposures–low, regular, and high–and then layered to create one image. By doing this one can make sure that the varying highlights and shadows are all accounted for and the image does not lose detail in the shadows OR highlights.

The most high-quality HDR photos are taken with dSLR cameras and then edited but if your smartphone has a good camera (many of the newer ones do), you can create HDR photos in the palm of your hand. Here’s how:

Most phones have an HDR option, if your’s doesn’t, you may download an app ( Pro HDR is a good one). If you have an HTC M9, the phone has an HDR mode in it’s camera settings.

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I took these photos so that you may see the difference between normal camera mode and HDR.

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When should I use HDR?

HDR is mainly used when taking landscape photos but can also be used to replace the flash when the flash of the camera washes out colors. Sometimes the flash may flatten your image and not give you the effect you want, this is when you may think about using the HDR setting. HDR is also useful when taking a food photo in your home or in a restaurant when lighting is bad and shadows are not working to your liking. The HTC M9 has made the HDR setting extremely accessible and user friendly, why not give it a try!

Be sure to send me your HDR images!


4 Steps to an amazing product shot

1. Select a background.

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I chose a green bokeh effect backdrop to compliment my Aloe product. You can select any background that works well with your product.

2. Select a product and place it on a piece of perspex or cardboard.

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My prettiest and favourite products at the moment are from Hey Gorgeous so I chose this product to shoot.

3. Take a photo.

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4. Edit your image.

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Tweet me pics of your products using this tutorial, I would love to see them!

Here is another example of a product I have photographed before:

Perfume


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