Instagram: Take Beautiful Photos That Will Leave Your Friends Speechless! (PART 1) | Leighton Ferris | Skillshare

Instagram: Take Beautiful Photos That Will Leave Your Friends Speechless! (PART 1)

Leighton Ferris

Instagram: Take Beautiful Photos That Will Leave Your Friends Speechless! (PART 1)

Leighton Ferris

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18 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. 1.1 Introduction

    • 2. 2.1 Choosing A Camera App

    • 3. 2.2 Exposure

    • 4. 2.3 Shutter Speed

    • 5. 2.4 ISO

    • 6. 2.5 Focus

    • 7. 2.6 White Balance

    • 8. 3.1 Composition

    • 9. 3.2 Perspective

    • 10. 3.3 Lighting

    • 11. 3.4 Using A Flash

    • 12. 3.5 Getting Sharper Pictures

    • 13. 4.1 Choosing A Photo Editor

    • 14. 5.1 The Snapseed Interface

    • 15. 5.2 Tuning Your Image

    • 16. 5.3 Sharpening For Extra Detail

    • 17. 5.4 Correcting Composition And Distortion

    • 18. Congratulations!

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About This Class

Welcome to "Instagram: Take Beautiful Photos That Will Leave Your Friends Speechless". In this course you'll learn techniques for taking better photos, and acquire new editing skills.

You can take your photography skills to the next level, TODAY. More flattering selfies, amazing landscapes, and food so vivid you can almost taste it; enroll today and start upgrading your skills in my easy-to-follow course.

This course is for anyone who wants to improve their photography, and while I focus on Instagram, the techniques used don't require the use of Instagram. By the end of the course you'll have a robust set of skills to take beautiful photos of a wide variety of subjects, and skills to edit them and get that extra bit of gloss.

I’ll be teaching you how to use apps to manually control your device's camera, and to get comfortable with manually adjusting shutter-speed, ISO, white-balance, and focus. After that we'll go in depth with the versatile photo-editing app "Snapseed"; You'll learn to correct exposure, tweak colours, and apply a wide variety of attractive effects.

At the end of the course we'll apply everything we've learned, and take several types of photos, including: selfies (portraits), landscapes, photos of food, and vehicles.

Go ahead and click the enroll button, I look forward to seeing you inside.

Meet Your Teacher

Co-founder and CEO of Gunnar Wickstrom Studios

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1. 1.1 Introduction: Welcome to Instagram. Take beautiful photos that will leave your friends speechless. In this course, you'll learn techniques for taking better photos and acquire new editing skills. You can take your photography skills to the next level today. More flattering selfies, amazing landscapes and food so vivid you can almost taste it and roll today and start operating your skills in my easy to follow course. This course is for anyone who wants to improve their photography. And while I focus on instagram, the techniques used apply to photography in general. By the end of the course, you'll have a robust set of skills to take beautiful photos of a wide variety of subjects and skills to edit them and get that extra bit of gloss. I'll be teaching you how to use APS to manually control your devices camera and to get comfortable with manually adjusting. Shutter speed is so white balance and focus. After that we'll go in depth with the versatile photo editing app Snap seed. You'll learn to correct exposure, tweet colors and apply a wide variety of attractive effects at the end of the course will apply everything we've learned and take several types of photos, including selfies, landscapes, photos of food and vehicles. Go ahead and click the enroll button. I look forward to seeing you inside. 2. 2.1 Choosing A Camera App: it's easy to take pictures using Instagram itself, however, it doesn't offer enough control for getting the most of your devices camera. We want to camera app with three specific features. First, we want controls to manually just the shutter speed focus and ice over camera. Second, in many cases, particularly when photographing landscapes we want to feature known as HD are third. There may be cases where we want to capture as much detail as possible in minimized grain, even if it means sacrificing other features such as manual camera controls. For this, we'll need a very specific camera app. Unfortunately, it is likely to be extremely difficult to find one app with all three features. But don't worry using a different app. Reach function is fine. If you use an apple device such as an iPhone, I highly recommend Pro Can. Three. At the time of this video, Pro Cam costs about $5 US and offers an excellent set of features such as manual camera controls, HDR, anti shake and even the abilities to save in the tiff file format, which is a higher quality photo format than the most commonly used format J pic Shoot made by the same company is essentially a simplified version of Pro can. Three. At lower price, Muse Can is free and offers excellent manual camera controls. Yeah, Mara is a free ad supported out that gives you manual control of your camera, although with an arguably less efficient interface. Finally, shutter is an easy to use and completely free app that gives you manual camera control the only potential issue being that it does not tell you exactly what you've set your cameras parameters. Dio, for example. You can manually adjust the ice so and see the result in the preview, but you won't be able to tell whether you actually set it to 100 or 1000 as it does not display the actual number. Well, I personally don't have experience with android devices android app. So the functions were looking for do exist. For example, Camera FV five or the aptly titled Manual Camera on the Google Play Store are highly rated camera APS that have many of the features that we're looking for. Don't be afraid to experiment with different APs for the last feature I listed. That is when that can take pictures with extreme detail in minimal grain. There is only one app I know of that does this, and fortunately it is available on both IOS and Android. The name of the APP is cortex camera. While the app is premium and there doesn't seem to be a free version, I highly recommend it for taking detailed photos and photos in low light conditions. However, I want to point out that cortex camera is not suitable for taking pictures of moving objects, and while you can use your camera in your hands is normal. Having something to stabilize it like a mono pod or tripod is very helpful. 3. 2.2 Exposure: increasing the exposure affects the brightness of the images, a whole moving all the parts of the image equally towards white. Decreasing it, on the other hand, moves all tones towards black. Don't confuse the exposure setting with the brightness setting in photo added wraps. It's not the same thing, and we'll go over what brightness is in a later lesson. The best definition of a correct exposure setting is when that captures a scene without over or under exposure. Sometimes this will be almost impossible. Photos and landscapes with dark shadows and bright skies is a common example, and in these cases we can use HDR. We call the difference between the darkest and brightest point in a scene its dynamic range . Generally, the cameras and mobile devices have a low dynamic range. Your eyes, on the other hand, have a high dynamic range, or HDR for short. This is why you can see the bright sky in the dark areas beneath the trees. At the same time, without the sky appearing pure white, with shadows appearing pure black, we can artificially produce a photo with a high dynamic range, using a camera app with an HDR feature. How does it work with HDR? Enabled two or more photos of a single scene are captured in rapid succession at different exposures and are then combined into a single photo in a landscape photo. This might mean using the sky from the darker photo in the shadows from the brighter photo . Since HDR doesn't take multiple photos at the same time, there's a small delay between each picture. Because of this, HDR is not suitable for scenes with a lot of movement. Unless, of course, you find the artifacts caused by movements in an HDR photo to be desirable, you find that an intentionally under or over exposed image is what you want to betray. Go right ahead. Photography is as much an art as a science. 4. 2.3 Shutter Speed: shutter speed defines how long the digital film, which is actually a sensor in a digital camera, is exposed to light before the picture is taken. This is usually expressed as a fraction, such as 1/60 which means that the sensor will be exposed for 1/60 of a second. A slower shutter speed causes the sensor to be exposed to more light, thus making things appear brighter. However, the longer the sensor is exposed, the more objects within the frame can move, causing motion blur. This could be used for artistic effect. You can often see it in pictures of the night sky. Where the stars appears have drawn white lines across the night sky. This is done by exposing the sensor for a very long time as the stars move across the sky to freeze subjects and photos. That is to make fast moving objects appear sharp, and still you need to use a fast shutter speed, leaving the sensor exposed for only a very short amount of time. Because the sensor is exposed for such a short amount of time, less light will hit the sensor so the resulting image is darker in dim indoor environments , taking pictures at a higher shutter speed will be difficult outdoors in the sunlight. You can use extremely fast shutter speeds without issue. However, you might not always want to use the fastest shutter speed possible for the reason that noise in grain will become more pronounced, the faster this under speed do you use the actual speedy's that the shutter two will very based on what effect you want to achieve. If you want to take a picture, was still plant. You can likely use a slower shutter speed without significant blur. If the plant is blowing in a strong wind and you want to capture it sharply, you'll need to increase the shutter speed accordingly. Try experimenting with slow and fast shutter speeds on different subjects to see what kind of results you can get. So to recap, slower shutter speeds are more prone to motion blur but brighter and less noisy. Faster shutter speeds are sharper but darker and noisier. 5. 2.4 ISO: Ah Hirai. So setting makes her camera's sensor more sensitive to light, resulting in a brighter image. If we're trying to take a sharp photo of a moving subject in dim lighting, we can't simply use a slower shutter speed, even though the image will be brighter and will be blurred. Instead, we can increase the ice. Oh, there is, however, a downside. The higher the ice, so the more granny the resulting image will be. 6. 2.5 Focus: In most cases, using auto focus will be sufficient. There will, however, be some cases where using a manual focus is very helpful. One common problem occurs when taking photos of subjects with strong reflections. Sometimes the camera will automatically focus on the reflections rather than the object itself. In this case, you want to set your focus manually to avoid frustration. If the camera is not already properly focused on the subject, there will be a delay when you try to take a picture as the camera adjusts its off when waiting to take a picture at an exact moment, this could be a problem in these cases. Set your focus manually before you take the picture to avoid this delay. 7. 2.6 White Balance: The white balance measured in Kelvin is used to adjust the color temperature of the image. Smaller numbers are colder, causing the image to appear more blue, while larger numbers are warmer, causing the image to appear more orange. When taking a photo doors on a cloudy day, things will appear more blue, and you can use the white balance setting to compensate for that. The light bulbs used in homes often produced warm colored life, so setting the white balance to a cooler temperature can help compensate for that. You can intentionally use a cooler or warmer white balance than needed to change the mood of a photo. To make a snowy outdoor scene look even colder. Use a cold temperature setting to make an indoor seeing look more cozy. Try using a warmer temperature setting. Be especially aware of white balance when taking pictures of people. An excessively cool or warm setting can make many skin tones appear very unnatural. 8. 3.1 Composition: having good composition is critical for taking pro quality photos. In its simplest sense, when we say composition and reference to visual art such as photography, we referring to how objects are arranged in a picture. To some extent, we can compare a composition to lay out of something like a magazine, where objects such as text and images are arranged on a page in a way that is visually pleasing and naturally guides. The viewers eyes through the contents of the page. The biggest difference between taking photos and a magazine layout is that the latter requires us to consider the function of the content that is to be good. Our magazine needs to convey information to the viewer. Our photos should evoke some kind of emotion and can but do not necessarily need to convey information. Photography is both an art and a science. We can choose to compose our photos. However, we like whether that means taking photos like a journalist or with subjects portrayed in an abstract and even unrecognizable way. Good composition is something that you learn to recognize and isn't really something that can always be pinned down with an exact set of rules but I'll provide you with some guidelines that should generally help you to take photos with better composition. By the way, the only thing you can do to change the composition after taking a photo is to crop it. If cropping doesn't improve poor composition, Onley more drastic and undesirably complex methods can help. For this reason, you'll want to make sure to have a good composition when you're taking the photo instead of trying to achieve it afterwards, depending on what you're photographing and what feeling you want your picture to evoke in the viewer, your composition will need to vary accordingly. Let's go over some composition guidelines for common kinds of photos. First, the portrait. This can either be a photo of someone else or a selfie. This particular type of photo is very difficult to master and is really deserving of its own E course. A particularly important part of taking Good Portrait's has to do with lighting, which will learn about later. There are, however, some composition guidelines we can follow to immediately increase the quality of our portrait's. If we want to take a very flattering portrait angle is important. Try taking a photo from a 3/4 perspective. That is, if you point your camera between the subject's eyes directly in front of their face, try moving the camera in a circle around them and rotate around them by about 45 degrees while keeping the camera pointed at their face. Avoid taking portrait at any angle lower than the subject's eye level. Try not to let the person's face feel much more than about 1/9 of the image. Finally, keep a fair distance between the camera and the subject. As mobile devices are especially prone to lens distortion that can cause a subject's face to appear warped. You can achieve a different mood based on where you position your subject in the photo close up, distant, centered or off to one side. The subjects. Gaze also plays a role in the mood of the photo, for example, to evoke a feeling of curiosity or mystery in the viewer, try positioning the subject to one side with their eyes looking towards the side. They are closest to at something that is outside the edge of the picture. Subtle body language plays an important role. A subject with crossed arms will appear defensive, whereas for example, a tilted head can show curiosity. Second, the landscape photo by landscape. I mean taking a picture outdoors of a fairly large area. One important part of landscape photos has to do it the horizon. Most of the time, you want to have a perfectly level horizon. While a tilted horizon can be used for dramatic effect, it's best left unused until you've gained quite a bit of experience taking landscape photos . And at that point, it should be used quite sparingly. Another important aspect has to do with the balance between the portion of the image filled with sky and the portion that is not sky. Most of the time, a perfect 50 50 split between the sky and land will not create as much visual interest in any other ratio. A camera app with an HDR feature can be especially useful for taking landscape photos. Often taking pictures outdoors means taking photos that contain areas ranging from quite dark to extremely bright. Cameras don't work well with this, as they can only see a limited range of brightness compared to the human eye, which has a much larger dynamic range. HDR takes a Siris of photos at different exposures and then automatically combines them. This will make sure bright areas like the blue sky aren't overexposed, and dark areas, like the shadows beneath trees aren't too dark and have visible detail. Third vehicles. When photographing a vehicle, the composition you choose will need to vary quite a bit, depending on what you're trying to show. If you're trying to emphasize the design of a vehicle, try taking photos of specific areas of the vehicle at close range. When photographing vehicles with shiny paint. Reflections are very important. You should consider the reflections as if they were solid objects in your photo. Busy reflections will likely detract from your composition. You can also use reflections to emphasize parts of a design. Place an especially bright or dark reflection along a contour in the vehicle structure. To emphasize the shape, try lining up reflections along key parts of the design that you want to draw. Focus, too. Be careful not to make the reflection of you, and your camera appeared to clearly taking a picture of a vehicle with camera tilted. Comply speed. Try taking a picture of a large vehicle like a raised pickup truck from below to emphasize its size in strength. Fourth, food Photographing food can be tricky In most cases, you don't want to simply photograph a plate of food sitting directly in front of you in the way that anyone would be used to seeing it when they eat at a table. However, the kind of composition you'll want to use will vary depending on the food. The plate, it's on the color and the way it's arranged. Most of the time, you want to make the food appear as delicious as possible. For this reason, warm that is more orange Colored lighting is usually better as it gives a comfortable feeling. More saturated colors imply more intense flavors and freshness. To show that the food was carefully prepared, make sure that the visible parts of the dishes and bowls of food are in our very clean. For example, if you take a photo of a bowl of pasta with sauce, make sure there isn't any sauce anywhere but on the past itself. Any sauce for pieces of food outside the bulk of the pasta or on the edge should be removed . You can often see it is done in cooking magazines with professional photos of food 9. 3.2 Perspective: perspective is more of a property of your composition than anything by perspective. I'm referring to how you portray three dimensional objects on your two dimensional photo, which is heavily related to England composition. The placement of people in objects in the scene and their distances from each other and from the camera can dramatically change the perceived difference in size of the subject to show just how small that compact cars have someone stand next to it. 10. 3.3 Lighting: lighting is an extremely complex aspect of photography and could easily have its own lengthy course. However, we'll go over some basics here. Avoid taking portrait's indirect sunlight. This creates harsh shadows on the subject's face. Lighting someone's face from one side and leaving the other side, and darkness creates a mysterious effect. For a flattering portrait, try to light the subject's face softly from several directions at once. Have the subject told a flat, large object with a white or reflective surface at chest height? This will cause light to bounce up from below and soften any harsh shadows under the eyes, nose and chin warm that is, more orange lighting makes a photo appear warmer in temperature and more comfortable in its mood. However, lighting that is to arm can be overwhelming and makes skin tones appear extremely unnatural . Colder that is, more blue lighting makes a photo appear colder in temperature and makes a photo appear more barren, industrial and less comfortable in mood. Combining different colors of light can result in interesting effects. Try combining both warm and cold light in the portrait for an interesting effect 11. 3.4 Using A Flash: especially with devices that have a single led flash. That is compared to some newer devices that have a flash with multiple led zehr very in color. You want to avoid using the flash. The results are typically harsh and have sharp shadows, although sometimes you can use this to express a sort of impromptu to look. Of course, there are many instances where the subject is too dimly lit to photograph without a flash, but a harsh look is very undesirable. Alternative light sources, such as using phones with their led flashlight on actual flashlights or even light reflected by a mirror can improve them scenes enough to avoid using your flash. If none of those options are available, try obscuring the flash on your device using something semi transparent, such as a tissue to shoot paper or placing a smooth, opaque object with a flat surface in front of the flash to bounce. The light often end onto a nearby wall. This will help diffuse the light substantially. Additionally, you can experiment with different colors of semi transparent no Paige objects to achieve interesting color light effects 12. 3.5 Getting Sharper Pictures: camera shake usually arises directly as a result of the camera being held in the photographers hands. Even holding your device very carefully in a way that appears to be quite steady can still produce a blurred photo due to subtle vibrations in your hands. This is especially evident in low light situations where you will often need to use low shutter speed, which exacerbates the problem. Fortunately, there are several options you can use to get sharper pictures, some physical, some software related and even some that require no additional equipment to dio. Some camera app, such as Pro came on IOS have an anti shake feature, enabling this mode with the layer device from taking a picture after you press the shutter button until it has detected that the device is no longer moving, Investing in a tripod is a good idea. Using a tripod, you can achieve perfect civilization. They can be found in pocket sides. Versions get replacing on top of wall bench, table vehicle or any other stable service or in full size, while a full sized tripod is less convenient to take with you. This will allow you to get stable pictures virtually anywhere selfie sticks are useful for more than just taking selfies. Extend the stick to its full length and place the handling on the ground. Unlike a tripod, this doesn't balance by itself, so you'll need to hold the stick, and it isn't quite a stable as a result. Still, this is a drastic improvement over simply holding your device in your hands and is conveniently portable as many selfie sticks can be collapse small enough to fit into your pocket. Finally, if none of the previous options are available, you could make a sort of human tripod with your own arms and legs. Crouch while leaning your elbows on your legs to increase stability. Need to photograph something higher up? Hold your camera with both hands and proper elbows on a table or others all its surface. 13. 4.1 Choosing A Photo Editor: we're going to need an app to edit photos with. There are a lot of high quality options available for free or for a small price. In this case, we're going to use snap seed. It's free and available on both IOS and Android phones and tablets. It's an excellent choice. As unlike a lot of other camera APS, snap Seed performs a wide variety of functions, so you won't need to switch between several APS that only perform one or two functions each . Most mobile photo editing APS interfaces don't have a lot of similarities to each other or implement similar functions in very different ways. So while a lot of the concepts you learn here apply to other APS, if you choose an app other than snap seed, you will need to learn how to perform the functions in that particular app. 14. 5.1 The Snapseed Interface: snap seeds interfaces particularly unique and has very little resemblance to other photo editing acts and desktop photo editors, such as Photo Shop. Upon launching Stance Seed, you'll be presented with the screen containing only one button labels. Open photo tapping The button will reveal a menu where you can choose to open a photo from your devices. Photo library, take a new picture and immediately edit and snap seed or two over. The last victory took. After you've chosen a picture, we're finished taking a new picture. You'll arrive at the editing screen. You can tap the open button in the top left corner to reveal the same open menu from after you started. Snap seed. Naturally, the save button at the top can be used to save any changes you've made to your foot out. You have three save options available. Each one is self explanatory. The number beside the save button, which should be zero now increases by one every time you make a change to your photo. If you tap it, you can see a history of the changes you've made. If you tap on a previous step in the history, your photo will revert to how it looked at that point. Tapping the bar chart icon in the bottom left corner will reveal a graph called a hist a gram. The far left of the graph represents black. The far right represents white, and the rest represents all the great tones. In between using this craft, you can make sure that your photo is not over or under exposed by ensuring that the contents of the graph remained within its far left and far right edge. This graph will change as you make changes to your photo. Tap the pencil icon in the bottom right corner of the screen toe. Open the tools and filters menu. Tap a tool or filter to use it. To choose which property of a tool are filter exchange, slide your finger up or down the screen to change the selected property. Slide your finger left or right along the screen. 15. 5.2 Tuning Your Image: we'll start by using the tune Image tool. This tool allows you to make a variety of changes to your photo, with adjustments for brightness, Contrast, saturation ambience highlights shadows and warmth. The order to adjust the properties and mostly depends on personal preference. In this case, I'll go over them in the order they appear and within the APP first brightness. This is pretty straightforward, allowing you to adjust the overall brightness or exposure of your image. Second contrast, adjusting the contrast changes how much of a difference there is between the bright and dark areas in the image. When it's increased, it makes dark areas darker and bright areas brighter. Third, saturation. This one is especially simple in concept. Changing the saturation setting allows you to change the intensity of the colors in the image fourth ambience. Unlike the previous settings, this one isn't standard and does not appear in most photo editor APS. It is also one of the most useful properties under the tune Image Tool Ambiance is somewhat similar. To contrast, adjusting it effects the relationship between the lightest and darkest areas of the image. Sliding left will cause the difference between the darkest and lightest areas to increase sliding right will cause the difference between the darkest and lightest areas to decrease frightening shadows and darkening bright areas. Evening out the distribution of light in the image, the rest off experimenting with this setting to get a better idea of what it can be used to achieve. Fifth highlights. Adjusting this setting simply changes the brightness of the highlights in the image. Moving the right edge of the hissed a grams graft closer or further away from pure white shadows. This works the same way is the highlight setting. Except it changes the brightness of the shadows or darker areas of the image. Moving left edge of the hissed a grams graft closer or further away from pure black seven warmth. This is for adjusting what is typically referred to as white balance. Sliding to the right increases the warmth of the image, adding an orange tint and warm feeling, whereas sliding to the left increases the coolness, adding a blue tint and creating a cold feeling. You can adjust this to change the overall mood of your photo 16. 5.3 Sharpening For Extra Detail: often a photo can benefit from a little or a lot of added sharpness. Begin by tapping the details tool from the Tools menu. This tool has two properties structure and sharpening. Increasing the structure increases the contrast around the edges of shapes and colors, increasing the sharpness of the photo on a larger scale and not having huge effect on finer details. Sharpness, on the other hand, more exclusively effects a sharpness of fine details and textures but can emphasize green if used too strongly to avoid an unnatural looking photo. Avoid setting either setting too high. I would really recommend exceeding instructor setting and sharpness of about 50. 17. 5.4 Correcting Composition And Distortion: Sometimes the photos composition could use a little improvement. It's not always possible to get a great composition when you take a photo. Luckily, we can crop our photos. However we like tap crop from the tools menu and you'll be shown an overlay of a white box on your photo. You can drink any of the four corners or four edges of the box to select the area you want to crop to. By tapping the small rectangular icon in the bottom toolbar, you can choose a specific aspect ratio. The aspect racial represents the difference between the height and with of the image. For example, until recently, Instagram on Leone supported a 1 to 1 aspect ratio, meaning the height and width of the image are the same or, in other words, a square. By choosing one of these options, snap seed will maintain the aspect ratio of the white box as you oversized it. Additionally, the circular arrow icon in the toolbar can be pressed to alternate between cropping to a portrait orientation where the image is taller than it is wide and a landscape orientation where the image is wider than it is tall. When you press the check mark to a fire crop, everything outside the light box will be removed 18. Congratulations!: Congratulations. You've completed the first part of my class. Now do the project assignment, take a photo and apply the skills you've learned submitted in the class Project section. To get feedback from myself and other classmates, there's no better way to refine your skills. Parts two and three will be available soon. Be sure to enroll in them and continue upgrading your photography skills.