Clear Photography… in beautiful light
We have taken pictures for many of our web site development clients, but it also happens frequently that clients send us their photos.
What are the things you need to keep in mind when sending us photos?
Let’s tackle two elements for now. One is pretty obvious: Make sure the pictures are crisp and clear. The other one may sound a bit more complicated: Use the light you have to your advantage. However, both elements are very interconnected.
Even though the need for crisp and clear pictures is pretty obvious, in reality it can be tricky to avoid these pesky pixels that you can almost count on a photo.
Taking pictures on a bright day definitely helps. Avoid taking pictures at night unless you want to show off the cool lighting you installed on a building or if you are selling fireworks, for example. If you have a tripod and a great camera and you know the proper settings give it a try! Usually, we recommend hiring someone who knows a thing or two about night photography to take the pictures for you. On today’s websites with huge banners, you don’t want to skimp on the quality of the photos.
Now let’s say you the day is clear and the sun is shining….not much to worry about you wonder? Well, that depends on where the photos need to be taken. If the object you need to photograph is in a room without windows, you still have to battle low-light conditions of course. The advantage is that something simple as leaving the door open (and turning on the lights) may improve the whole lack-of light situation already. Use as much natural light as possible. Although flash will be able to save you as well, try to avoid using it as much as possible. Flash may make the picture crisper, but it often won’t make it any prettier. Think red eyes, a super white reflection in a window, or the not-so cozy pure-white glow or ugly shadows.
Be creative! If that room without windows is a big battle, can you move the object of your photo? Even if it is a router that belongs in a closet, why not unplug it to bring it in another room? A close-up of the equipment may be all we need to illustrate a text. No need to try to get the whole contraption in a photo!
Working outside in the harsh light of the mid-day sun can be tricky as well, especially for portraits. Your human models may squint their eyes constantly. In other instances the contrast between the well-lit object and the shade may simply be too much to be pretty. Some people swear by the golden hour: the time when the sun in close to the horizon and gives an orange glow. But finding a place in the shade or in a greenhouse for example, where the light is evenly filtered, may work just as well.
Don’t just take one picture. Try a few different angles. Work your way 180 degrees around the object to see what the light does to it. Use both your cell phone and your trusted and true DSLR for example. Don’t worry too much about the settings you use on your big camera, put it in auto if you don’t know what to do in manual, but see if you can at least avoid flash and take the pictures in RAW format, so you can adjust them more easily later on your computer.
Even the simplest things in your work-world can be quite interesting to others. In modern webdesign, we need many banners and photos to illustrate a blog or a news post. Don’t be shy and send what you think looks interesting or something you are proud of. As long as the pictures don’t have very ugly pixels and the light is nice and not too harsh, chances are we are very happy with what you have produced and it will help the whole website look bright, modern and interesting.