How to Take Great Photos of Light Installations, According to the Pros
Whether you're using a camera or just your iPhone!
There are plenty of light installations around the Metro that are definitely a feast for the eyes. And for the fashion-forward folks out there, these colorful installations provide a cool and vibrant backdrop for double tap-inducing OOTDs.
Nailing the perfect shot, however, can be tricky, especially because the brightness can make you look like a blurry or dark silhouette. So to help you snap the perfect shot, we've enlisted the help of three professional photographers to spill their tricks when shooting against bright backgrounds.
Ryan Ong says keep all your sources of light in mind. When posing in front of Christmas lights, you'll need ambient or surrounding light, like street lamps or car lights, to keep you in focus. "If the surrounding sources of light are inadequate, other than bringing professional lights or external flash, you can bring improvized lighting like a small continuous LED light," he shares. "Or the simple, steady flash light from your mobile phone will do."
He also breaks down simple camera settings you can use. "Twenty to 30 seconds for the shutter is okay for landscapes, as they won't move. But if you have a model, a five to 10-second shutter is okay. Then just increase the ISO to brighten up the photo."
"Here, the shutter was around 1/125-1/200, because she was walking so I set it higher to avoid blur, and then I adjusted the ISO up to around 3200," Ryan explains.
Meanwhile, Andrea Beldua spills a nifty trick when shooting with an iPhone: "Select the point of focus, hold and drag your finger down to lower brightness. Better to take slightly underexposed photos than to take overexposed ones. You can always fix this in post process rather than getting a too bright picture and losing details of the background or outfit."
Andrea shares a basic OOTD tip that works all the time. "Always take [the photo] from slightly center with the phone or camera pointing upwards. This makes you look longer and isn't too low of an angle that it isn't flattering for the face anymore." She goes on saying, "Play with reflections! Explore different angles with mirrors. They make a case for interesting shots. Interact with your reflection, experiment with the composition."
"Never over saturate your photo. I would highly recommend to desaturate the colors a bit, sharpen the details, add a small amount of clarity and choose a filter that matches the mood," Karlo says.
If you're a Snapseed user, Ryan notes to tinker with "just the basic brightness and ambient exposure settings, and add a little drama using the contrast tool."
This story originally appeared on Preview.ph. Minor edits have been made