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Imagination and Creativity go a Long Way.
If you’re working on a tight budget, or just starting out and don’t want to spend huge sums of money, there are still many ways that you can create world class photography.
When creating fantastic photographs and a stunning finished product that will really capture your audience, whether it’s for a photoblog, a portfolio or just to feed your passion, imagination and creativity go much further than just throwing tons of money at it! So think outside of the box and use what is available to you, and never let financial limitations stand in the way of your vision!
Your Camera Phone.
Your camera phone can be one of your greatest assets as a photographer on a budget. Everybody takes ‘selfies’ and other shots to remember things by, but have you ever really delved into more serious or artistic photography using the superb capacities that your camera phone has? You can change the exposure settings, modify the color settings, contrast and it’s always right on hand for you to snap that perfect scene whether you’re in the city center, on public transport or planning a future project!
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Here’s 3 top tips to supercharge your camera phone photography.
- Turn on the Grid Lines on your phone’s camera. The grid lines will appear above the image on your phone’s screen which you can use to help you to balance the photograph’s composition.
- Learn to use the camera phone’s focus to pick out the details you want, not what the camera wants! Camera phone’s will be set to automatic focus, which is fine for birthday parties and family shots, but for more artistic photograph you will want to switch that to manual so you can focus on things other than in the direct foreground.
- Make use of the empty, or negative, space in your photography. This means that every photograph does not have to be full to brim of subjects and action, and that sometimes embracing the void can really bring out the details of the subject; for example, imagine a tiled white wall in a kitchen with a chef standing alone beside his counter. The void, or negative space of the tiled white wall would really bring out the characteristics of the chef and focus the eye of the viewer onto this part of the photo.
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Find and Buy Second Hand Equipment.
Buying second hand camera equipment can save you thousands of dollars and really help you to step up to the next level although while there are serious advantages of this you should also be careful to check the equipment over and, where possible, get a warranty with it. Buying second hand really makes sense for equipment like camera lenses, tripods and lighting which you won’t be using everyday, but with digital photography becoming more and more accessible, through Smart phones and even low cost cameras, it may not always be worth it for you main camera.
If you are thinking about buying second hand camera equipment, it’s always better to buy from a second hand camera store than from someone you’ve never met on Craigslist!
Rent Equipment to save upfront costs and complete a project.
Renting cameras or camera equipment is a great idea, especially if you are going to use it for a specific short term project, such as a photo shoot, a one off event or a time limited project.
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This will allow you to utilize cameras and equipment that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford and help you to create some really special images. Make sure that you plan enough time during the rental period to get to know how to use the camera and get comfortable with the equipment so you don’t arrive at a photoshoot and have to spend half the time figuring out how to change the shutter speed! Videosmith a good place to go if you are looking for a rental place in Philadelphia. You get 10% off if you are a student.
Make use of Editing Software on your camera phone.
A mobile phone editing app (or software) is designed for you to be able to directly edit and modify the photographs you have taken on your phone without having to download them to a computer or other device. It’s a great way to work on the move and means that you can do everything on your phone without relying on other equipment.
Most camera phones come with some very good inbuilt editing software that will allow you to crop images, change the filters, colors and contrast settings, so it’s always worth exploring this. But did you know that you can you can also download free apps to your phone to increase your phone’s capacity for photo editing and post production work?
- Prisma Photo Editor is a great tool that you can download for free and is compatible with both Android and iOS and allows you to have some real fun and create some unusual images by adding filters which turn your photographs into images that look like paintings or drawings. The filters add a wonderfully unique feel to your pictures. You can also upgrade the app to access more filters and options, but the free app is a fantastic tool, especially if you use it in combination with other editors.
- Snapseed is one of the most popular free photo editing apps available for both Android and iOS phones that comes with a wide array of filters and even the tools to create your own custom filters. You can also sharpen photos, crop images and all the standard editing tools you’d expect. This is probably the best free app available for all levels of phone camera photography. I use Snapseed a lot when I want to post photos to Instagram (@shootphiladelphia)
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Free Software (for your computer).
If you’re working with a computer or laptop to edit and sharpen up your photography there’s plenty of free image editing apps that you can download for free, including open source programs such as the legendary GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). These programs can add filters, text, ‘photoshop’ the images and do almost anything you can think of! Remember that there are also free online manuals and courses to help you make the most of this free software, so check it out to get the best results!
Photography, like any art form, is based on the power of your imagination and insights into the world around you. How well you are able to express this to your audience in a meaningful and unique way will make you stand out more than any amount of money will ever do. Have faith in your own abilities and make use of the tools that you have available and you’ll be able to produce incredible photography, even on a tight budget!
Do you use your phone for budget photography? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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