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The Block fan favourite, Sticks Croker (of Sticks and Wombat fame) takes pride in creating that perfect Instagram feed. Here, he shares his top tips for taking picture-perfect Instragram snaps.
As an amateur photographer who takes pride in the posts I upload on my Instagram, I know how frustrating it can be when you end up with the perfect setting in front of you but without your trusted DSLR camera on hand. However, as technology has evolved, those little devices in our pockets are delivering increasingly professional-like photos at the push of a button or tap of a screen, meaning you will never miss out on capturing that awesome shot.
You absolutely don’t need to be an expert in order to craft a cool Instagram feed. With just some simple steps, you can score some attention-grabbing snapshots—without a photography degree or tons of expensive equipment.
So here are my top tips for snapping that all-important instagrammable image on a smartphone:
The key to snapping a great shot is focusing on one, interesting subject: be it a person, product or nature! The best way to make sure that the subject of your frame stands out is making sure that two-thirds of the photo is comprised of negative space and the subject should be in clear focus. Tap the screen on your smartphone to focus on the subject and make sure the lighting is optimised to highlight the best features of that subject. For example, in the image below, I made sure that two thirds of the shot comprised of negative space above the face of my legend of a Dad.
Many modern smartphones are jam-packed full of features that mimic professional equipment. This includes having the ability to speed up or slow down the shutter speed so that you can freeze action and capture moments that slip by without notice. In the shot below, the contrast between the stillness of the footprints in the sand against the render of the silky white blur of the moving water really makes for a striking image. I achieved this shot with a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second on my moto g7 plus.
There’s no simpler change that will so drastically improve your photos than paying attention to your lighting. However, good lighting doesn’t necessarily mean ‘in abundance’. It’s about knowing what type of effect you want to achieve and manipulating natural light to compliment your subject.
Some of the best shots I’ve captured have been in low-light settings. Sometimes, the contrasting shadows against selective, minimal light sources create really prominant and emotive pieces. In the shot below, the single source of light peering through from the entrance of the mine creates an eery contrast against the deep red colours of the playing cards and showcases the rawness of the man’s hand. You can also see that the deck is in full focus using the ‘tap to focus’ tip I mentioned earlier.
The most appealing images are the ones that most people haven’t seen before. This could include a shot taken low to the ground, using a drone or one taken underwater. I took the image below of my brother from the top of a bridge and felt it captured a different angle rarely seen by most. Normally a surfer is shot from front on. I finished it off with a couple highlights to draw your eye to the surfer and make the shot even more striking.
Put simply, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or break the bank to create beautiful imagery for your feed. Most smartphones these days have all the necessary features you need in order to achieve that Instagram-worthy image that will be sure to make you the envy of all your mates. So, take these tips for a spin and you’ll be well on your way to leveling-up your Instagram game.
All my photos were taken on the new Motorola moto g7 plus which is available online here: https://store.motorola.com.au
Women Love Tech would like to thank Sticks Croker for his story.