With one billion users and 95 million daily updates, Instagram has become a huge part of our lives and is here to stay. If you’re a fan of the ‘gram but unsure how to really nail your shots, relax – we’ve tracked down the best tips and tools to improve your own Instagram photography game today.
The most effective way to improve your photography is by paying attention to your lighting. Even the experts will agree, natural light is always best, so get snapping when the light is at its best – around sunrise and sunset (also known by photographers as ‘golden hour’). Shooting at these times bypasses the glare and harsh shadows caused by direct sunlight, but still lets you leverage the aesthetic wonder of the sun’s natural warm glow. If you’re indoors, open the curtains and blinds and get close to that window. If you’re outdoors, seek a spot with open shade so that direct sun isn’t hitting your subject.
It’s no secret that people edit their photos. Instagram itself has some great presets but if you want to get serious, here are two apps worth adding to the mix. Not only does VSCO allow you to crop and straighten your snaps, you can edit exposure, colour and sharpness too. But VSCO is probably best known for its elegant film-like presets that give photos a wonderfully vintage feel (a look that is enormously popular on Instagram). To remove blemishes or objects from your photos, Touch Retouch has you covered. Spotted a pesky piece of rubbish or the edge of a stranger’s arm in your snap? Never fear, Touch Retouch is here. This magic app allows you to remove objects, replacing with a selection of surrounding pixels.
There’s a clear advantage to seeing yourself in the screen as you snap your pic, but few people know that you might be compromising image quality. The rear camera on the iPhone (and most Android phones) has a much higher resolution than the one on the front, and with its handy auto-focus feature, it’s worth giving a whirl for your next selfie. Bit tricky? Snap yourself in the mirror. #mirrorselfies
Sure, the smartphone accessory pool is huge, but these three are must-haves. First and foremost, pick up a portable charger because you don’t want your phone to tap out before you’re done. If you’re into #selfies like the rest of us, a selfie stick is worth it. It allows you to achieve those prime angles (the higher, the better) and all-important group shots. If you want to get techy, invest in clip-on lenses to add to your phone. Try a macro lens for a super professional depth of field.
One of the best ways to practise your Instagram photography skills is by getting creative with your food. Food pics get a lot of attention on social media and have the power to get people seriously drooling when done well. They’re also a great way to try your hand at styling. Next time you’re grabbing a bite at our Al Fresco Dining Precinct, show us your best work and be sure to tag us in @woodgrovesc while you’re at it.
Keen to get snapping? Visit Telstra, Vodaphone and Optus at Woodgrove for all your phone needs, or peruse the range of smartphone accessories at JB-Hi-Fi. We love seeing what our locals are up to on Insta, so be sure to tag us in if you stop by. And remember: the best way to improve your game is by getting out there, snapping lots and having fun.