The first time you turn on the camera it seems overwhelming. There’s this huge temptation to stay on automatic settings. Honestly, even if you do that and have a nice camera, your photos will still be better quality then straight from the phone. However, there are a couple of tricks that could help you save even more photo quality.
You see, once you download your photos from the camera, the size is quite big. Instagram will shrink your photo size automatically if you don’t do it yourself. So if you want to save as much quality as possible, make sure that you resize and crop your photo before uploading it on Instagram. As for manual mode, let me introduce some curse words: aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.
WHAT IS THE IDEAL SIZE FOR INSTAGRAM IMAGES?
Crop your photos 4x5. You can easily do so just before uploading in yourLightroom app.
This step is important but if I am very honest, I sometimes skip it myself because I just feel too lazy. However, you may want to optimize your photo before uploading it to Instagram. Basically, you need to reduce the file size before uploading the photo on Instagram. You can do so online by searching for an “image compressor”. That being said, if you want the best results, you will need to turn on the desktop version of Lightroom or Photoshop. They will allow you to control how much exactly the photo’s file size will be reduced.
When uploading, shrink the photo with your fingers so that it shows the full size. I was honestly surprised that even when you upload your photo to Instagram with an ideal size, it still doesn’t show all the edges if you don’t adjust the photo before uploading.
WHAT APERTURE TO USE FOR PORTRAITS?
Low aperture – portrait mode (at least f2.8)
High aperture – full body
Most people love the shallow depth of field effects on their portraits. Another way I could explain it is the portrait mode on your phone that does it artificially for you and makes the background blurry. However, you probably have noticed that many times that results in additional parts blurred out when you didn’t necessarily want that. With a camera that will not happen. That being said, you will most probably want to invest in a prime lens. The lower the aperture, the more shallow your depth of field will appear.
IS IT BETTER TO HAVE LOWER OR HIGHER APERTURE?
If you are a fashion blogger, you might want to showcase your jewelry or simply show the whole outfit. In that case, the low aperture will not be able to catch the big picture. However, once you choose the higher aperture, your photo will become darker. That’s when you will want to increase your ISO.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISO?
Without going too much into technicalities, let me just tell you that it’s best to keep your ISO as low as possible. The thing is that your ISO makes your photo lighter, which is nice. However, if you put your ISO too high, your photo will lose quality and become noisy. Different cameras have different abilities to keep the quality of the photos high with high ISO. Usually, it’s up to 1600 which is still fine. That doesn’t mean that you should set it like that. It’s a lot better to set your settings at 100 and shoot during the daylight. In addition to that, do not worry if your photos look dark in-camera, you can always make them brighter with presets or simply by messing with Lightroom handles.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT SHUTTER SPEED?
I am guessing that you will not be taking some landscape photos with cars running down the street. In that case, you need a tripod and to keep your shutter speed low. However, a shutter speed that is slower than 1/60 is difficult to manage because usually, it gets blurry. In most other cases, the shutter speed should be fast. That makes sure that each part of your body will be sharp in-camera. Even if you move a little bit, it will be fine. Okay, so let’s say you have a lens that is 30mm. Then your shutter speed should be 1/30 or faster. Honestly, a little faster is probably a better bet. Just to be safe that your pictures don’t turn out blurry.