Whether you’re a professional photographer or, like most of us, a regular person with an above-average phone camera, chances are you’re always on the lookout for ways to make your food, self, view or other things look as stellar on camera as they do in real life. So we asked four ace photographers to tell us their best-kept secrets, and share their most valuable nuggets of advice.
Ayush Singh, Product photography, @singh.scout
“You do not need an expensive camera to take a good photograph.” We could go into an argument after this statement, but let’s just keep it simple.
In my experience of photographing products, one thing that has helped me the most is to focus on composing the photograph much before picking up the camera, or placing any other sort of distraction between my eyes and the subject. After that, consistency is the key. Everyone has their own style and the only way to know your style is to keep taking photographs and spend time with them.
As a quick tip for digital photography, always go for under-exposed rather than over-exposed, if you’re ever confused between the two. It obviously depends upon what exactly you’re going for, but in most cases the above would apply.
Today, there is an enormous amount of information available online if you’d like to learn from the experience of others. The best part is, there is no right or wrong. If something works for you, go for it!
Deeba Rajpal, Food photography, @passionateaboutbaking
Food styling and photography go hand in hand, and it’s probably best to hone both skills together. If you’re shooting food, remember food is your hero, and that is what the eye should see first.
I wish someone had told me how important it is to keep a clean, uninterrupted surface or backdrop while shooting; and also, that shooting several angles of the same food is the best way to learn. That said, while I learnt the long, hard way, it’s been an amazing journey and I’m still learning something every day.
For me, playing with natural light is the best thing, and ‘moody’ frames my signature style. My food photography tips would be:
• Make the food the hero.
• Don’t rely on props alone; start minimal.
• Orientation, colours, layers.
• Be thematic, be inspired.
• Natural light is the best.
• Play with light, shadows and angles.
• Build a signature style.
• Practice, practice, practice.
Prabhat Shetty, Fashion photography, @prabhatshetty
Aspiring photographers should keep in mind to shoot as much and as many different kinds of subjects (people, fashion, street, landscapes, portrait, still-life, etc.) as possible before narrowing in on your area of interest. Develop your aesthetic not only in photography, but in other art forms too. Use all your senses to the fullest.
What I wish I had known when I was starting out? So much and yet nothing really! Maybe just fill up your free time (of which there will be plenty) with other passions and enjoy that as much as work!
• Have a clear intent on what you want to look for and show in the picture and use all the available tools (lights, composition, set-up, styling) to achieve it.
• Shoot with honesty, with childlike curiosity, and enjoy the whole process.
• Assist an experienced photographer.
• The learning never stops!
Yeashu Yuvraj, Event photography, @withyeashu
Fast lenses will really, really help. Anything where the aperture goes wider; the wider the lens can go, the better. Because concerts are well-lit, but they’re constantly flickering, if your lens is wide enough, you won’t have blurry pictures.
Try to invest in third-party apps for phones that let you control shutter speed and aperture.
If it’s a band doing a lot of action, low light can be troublesome; people want sharp images and fine quality, but concert photography is more about capturing the emotion, the feeling. It’s okay if it’s a little bit grainy, so don’t worry about quality. Emotion is what you should capture rather than sharpness.
Everyone has a smartphone or DSLR, or mirrorless camera, but if you want to do this professionally, it really depends on how well you understand the set-up you’re in. Study images from senior photographers or international photographers to understand what they’re doing, and also study trends.
Understand the mannerisms of the artists; watch their previous performances. This gives you a basic understanding of where they’ll be at a particular point in a song, so you know where to stand to get your shot.
Follow @UrveeM on Twitter and @modwel on Instagram
From HT Brunch, December 12, 2021
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