I have been on hiatus for a short-while on this blog. I have been taking the time off, while I try to figure out what’s next. (If you haven’t noticed, I cleaned up my blog a bit and organized my categories, and after doing so, I was once again stuck)The urge of creating, of writing, starts to creep in; I know the desire to create is there, but every time I try to write, all I get is a blinking cursor |. Until I got an email from a publishing company, asking if I would be interested to be a guest writer. And people, right there, is a sign. I realized, that maybe, just maybe, I am really made for this whole writing and blogging thing, that I should carry on and continue creating, that I am made to share and tell stories.
Moving forward, I was told to share photography tips on how to achieve the perfect OOTD. I got thrilled because it’s a combination of things I love doing; photography and writing. In addition to that, it’s actually my first time to have a magazine publish my article / work, an actual article I’ve written. So it’s surely one for the books. Yay!
Self-portraits by @jvntabernilla
And since I love you all, my readers, who are one of the main reasons why I’m still blogging, I decided to give out additional photography tips and elaborate some points. I will be giving personal tips, so don’t expect a professional approach.
GEAR – I mentioned in the article how important your gear is, we’re talking about QUALITY here. OOTD shots couldn’t be taken with a blink of an eye. Kidding aside, know your gear, setting and all that, yup. If it means reading the boring manual, do so. I can’t stress enough how important knowing your camera is; it’s like getting to know a future partner. If it’s a DSLR or a mirror-less with manual capability, know how to adjust your ISO, Aperture and Shutter-speed. Mostly, it’s on the menu. But most cameras’ has a shortcut to do that, or you could at least customize a button, so adjusting depending on light and your preference would be easier.
If you are still looking for a gear, below are some of my suggestions.
a. Mirrorless – Fujifilm X-A2 or Canon M10
b. Point & Shoot – Canon G7x or Nikon S9900
c. DSLR – Nikon D7000 series (I’m a Nikon DSLR user, so I can’t really suggest a different brand.)
For lenses, it’s wise to have a wide and close-up prime lens or if you have enough money to invest, a wide to close-up lens with a low aperture capability is ideal. 35mm f/1.4 is my favorite, it’s a blogger’s lens they say. 50mm is pretty nice, too. You get that nice bokeh effect, but note that using such lens on a crop sensor makes 50mm, somewhat like 85mm. But if I have enough moolah to spend, I’ll surely get a 24-70mm f /1.4 – ugh, dream.
ISO, APERTURE, AND SHUTTER SPEED – After acquiring a gear, the next step is to get to know these 3: ISO, Aperture and Shutter-speed. I will not write the direct meaning of these 3, because you have Google for that. But basically, ISO is use to adjust the brightness. If the sun is shining brightly, my setting is usually ISO 100 – 200, mid afternoon ISO 200 – 400, at night, the highest I could go is ISO 800, sometimes, I push it to ISO 1600. But note that as the ISO number increases, so does the grain and noise. If you like the noise, then go ahead and shoot at night, at ISO 3200 or up, be my guest. Aperture is basically the depth, the lower the aperture, the more blurred the background is.Shutter speed controls the light that goes through your lens. If it’s bright, your shutter speed would normally be of high number, but on low-light settings, it would be lower. Just be careful. Try not to go lower than 1/60, because if you do your photo will be most likely blurred. If you want to go lower than that, say for astrophotography, then use a tripod.
TRIPOD – Invest on a nice tripod and not a flimsy one. Benro and Manfrotto are nice.
REMOTE – If you have no one to take your photo, get a remote, or master the art of self-timer. Try to set it at 20 sec so you have more time to work on your pose. Also, you can do a continuous shot for more natural poses, click, move and work on it.
EDITING – I use Lightroom + VSCO presets. I do basic adjustments on: exposure, contrast, clarity, the black and whites, highlights and saturation. Lightroom also allows me to remove the grain. If you are using your mobile, VSCO is what I use to adjust my exposure and contrast, then I apply a subtle filter; HB2 is my personal favorite. Then I transfer it to Snapseed, that’s only if I need to adjust the whites, usually it’s for my flatlays or photos with white background. I like to use ‘Selective’ and adjust the brightness. Then, if I need to adjust the layout and lines, I use SKRWT. For additional colors, I use Colorstory. It might seem a lot, but it’s my own process, hence I don’t find it that taxing. I advise you to create your own process and editing formula. For reference, check out @filters.vsco.
SHOTS / DETAILS – If you have been checking Lookbook.nu, you’ll notice the way the photos are posted. It’s normally a collage of the following: head-to-toe shot, bottoms and shoes, a mid-shot highlighting your accessories and a portrait. They do it to capture the details, which is the essence of taking an OOTD. Make sure to capture ‘em details.
CREATIVITY – Be creative with your shots. If there’s an interesting background, do a from-afar shot. Take a walking shot, like your strutting on the runway. Make use of interesting floors, and highlight your shoes by taking a #fromwhereistand shot – you can see some of my shots at #happyfeetexplores. What I’m saying is, there’s so many ways to take OOTD shots. You can skip the conventional, ID / Portrait picture style and enjoy the freedom to be creative. I recently saw a video, demonstrating the different ways to pose. See it here.
That’s just some of the tips that I can share. Note that settings and all that jazz varies. The settings changes, as the light changes. Bokeh background is not always advisable, especially if you like to incorporate a bit of the background’s details. It’s all about creativity. Practice makes perfect. Keep shooting till you figure your own formula and signature style. Dress-up and take that OOTD shot. And most importantly, enjoy. I believe that OOTD shots not just boosts your creativity, but also your self-confidence. So I’m all for the hashtag.
Disclaimer: Thank you, READ. for the opportunity, shout-out to Mae and Bea for being so kind. This article’s content is solely my own and based on personal knowledge and preference. Fujifilm / Nikon / Canon didn’t compensate me to promote their product.