Take Pro-Quality Photos With Your Instax Camera | Thomas Smith | Skillshare

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Take Pro-Quality Photos With Your Instax Camera

teacher avatar Thomas Smith, Professional photographer and CEO

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Introduction to Instax Photography

    • 2. Choosing the Right Instax Camera

    • 3. Basics of Using an Instax Camera

    • 4. Nailing the Focus

    • 5. Getting Exposure Right

    • 6. Putting It Together

    • 7. Sharing Your Instax Photos

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About This Class

Instant film is a serious photographic medium that has been used by legendary photographers like Ansel Adams, Walker Evans,and many more. Professional photographer Thomas Smith shows you how to take beautiful, professional-quality photos with your Instax instant film camera. You'll learn:

  • Why Instax is awesome (and a serious artistic tool, too)
  • How to choose the right Instax camera for your own unique vision
  • The basics of using your camera right
  • How to master Instax's often-tricky focusing system
  • How to get a balanced exposure (and when not to use an Instax camera)
  • How to shoot various types of subjects (landscapes, portraits, nature, and more).

You'll also learn how to scan and share your photos on social media, or store them for the future.

Throughout the class, Smith showcases real-world examples of techniques drawn from his own work. Whether you're a professional photographer already, or you've never heard of an "aperture" or an "F stop", you'll get something out of this class. Participants will walk away with the specific skills needed to take great photos using the Instax format.

Meet Your Teacher

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Thomas Smith

Professional photographer and CEO


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1. Introduction to Instax Photography: I'm Thomas Smith and this course will teach you everything you need to know to take professional quality in stacks photos on your Fujifilm in stacks camera. And I'm a professional photographer and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. And my traditional photographic work routinely and peers and publications including the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine and many more. I do a lot of photographic work and I love to shoot photos on the in stacks camera. Now insects is super fun to use, but in order to take professional quality photos with it, there are a lot of tips and tricks and some understanding of camera basics that you need to have in order to really optimize at the photos that you're going to take on these cameras. That said if you can do it right, it's a unique format. The instant film format is really an incredible way to get into analog photography and to join a proud tradition of instant film. Most people think of these as kind of a kid's toy or something that's a little bit on the childish side. But actually, incident film is something that has been used by some of the most prominent photographers, including and Cl atoms Walker Evans, and even Andy Warhol. When you're using technology like this, it's often based on older Polaroid technology that those major photographers used. And that means that you're following in the footsteps of some giants there. So it's a really wonderful format to start out with if you're just exploring analog film, but it's also a format that's serious photographers love to use in their work and something that I linked to incorporate into my own work too. We're going to look at some of the basics of these cameras. How to use your insects camera with a very basic kind of settings. And then we'll also look at some of the fundamentals that are really sometimes tricky to get right. Like making sure that you've got the right exposure, that your photo is not too dark or too bright, that can be challenging on these cameras. And I'll explain why that is and some strategies you can use to get the right exposure, getting your focus correct. Again, there's some tricks to these cameras that you need to know about in order to do that. And we'll also talk about choosing subjects. We'll talk about choosing the right and stacks format. And we'll talk about how to take these physical photos that you'll end up with and scan them and share them more broadly. So I'm excited to share all this with you and I hope you'll join me to learn more about how to take Pro quality photos on your stacks and camera. 2. Choosing the Right Instax Camera: If you're gonna take photos on an insect's camera, the first thing is choosing the right kind of in stats camera to use. There are a lot of different options out there, which is great. There's a lot of versatility, but it can be a little bit overwhelming at first, knowing exactly which camera you want to use. And it really depends on what your goals are, what your project is, or what style of photography you end up doing most of the time. So let's take a look at some of the different options for in stacks cameras. Fundamentally, in stacks cameras come in three different formats. The sort of classic in stacks is the Mini. This takes photos that are about the size of a credit card. So they're about two by three inches. This is the one you see most commonly there's the most of these cameras. And it's probably what most people are gonna use when they get a in stacks camera. The nice thing with this is that the cost of the film is usually lower because they make it in bulk. The film is smaller or as we'll get to in a little bit, just physically smaller. This is a great place to start within stacks spinning. Another formulas in stacks wide. This is a wide a camera. There's far fewer options with these. The camera has to be very, the lens has to be a very long focal lengths. This is a 95 millimeter to accommodate these giant photos. And the photos here are about double the size of an stacks mini photograph. They're about the size of a traditional Polaroid photograph. So if you want something that's going to have a lot more detail because it's a bunch of bigger negative. Or if you want to have something that's just gonna be capturing a larger physical space. For example, if you're doing a lot of landscape photography, then this is a good option. These are often also used for more practical purposes, not artistic purposes, like capturing People's photograph for an employee database For example. People sometimes use these are documenting Medical kind of photography, documenting skin conditions, have seen these cameras used for that when you need to create an instant photograph that can go right into someone's chart. Fun to use if you want one of those bigger sizes. And insects wide is really, really a great format for that. It's much more expensive to shoot because there's not so much of it out there. And it's also just a physically bigger negative. So keep that in mind, but it can definitely be fun, especially as you get more experience with the mini to switch to the wide format. The final one is the stacks square. This is exactly as the name implies, is square format. It's about the same size as an in stacks mini print, except it's square. And it's nice because that sort of mimics the format of Instagram or square kind of photography. People have gotten used to unsocial. It also mimics the original format of Polaroid photos, which were also square. So it's nice because of that legacy of instant film to get something that's square. I really liked the square. I also really liked the mini. For this lesson, we're gonna be talking about the mini because that's the most common format and it's a great place to start, especially when you're first starting taking in stacks photos, you're probably going to go through a lot of film trying to get your technique down. And it's nice to work with something that's smaller and less expensive, more commonly available, you can walk into many drugstores and by film for the stacks mini camera. These cameras are not always the most durable either I've dropped and broken probably five or six of them over the years. It's nice to be able to replace the camera relatively inexpensively and quickly as well. So those are the basic formats that you can use within stacks. Again, we're going to dive in with the stacks mini format. 3. Basics of Using an Instax Camera: Now that we've chosen our format, let's talk about the basics of working with the insects camera. If you're trying to take professional quality photos with an Ajax camera, you're looking at getting the exposure. You're looking at getting a focus, right? And you're also looking at choosing a subject that's a good fit for insects. Film. In general, nature and landscape scenes are really beautiful on in stacks film. Same for portraits. It's really wonderful ability to take a candid photo of somebody or you're not trying to take a 100 different smartphone photos and choose the one that you're going to use. It. There's an immediacy to having the image printout and not being able to edit or change it. It's really lends itself to portraiture. Those are some good subjects to look at. Ones that are a little bit more challenging are anything that involves interior photography. So we're gonna get to that in a little bit. Why that's difficult than in stacks camera. But if you're trying to take photos of interior spaces, that can be more difficult. Also, anything that requires getting very close up to your subject can be challenging. It's not impossible and we'll talk about techniques for doing macro photography and close in photography with the INS tax camera. But when we look at focus, we'll talk a little bit about why a subject like a landscape where you can be a good distance away from it is usually the best type of thing to shoot, as well as portraits where you can be standing several feet away from the person as you get closer in and gets more challenging to get the focus and exposure correct, especially as you start to move indoors. So choose that subject carefully. That's going to make it a lot easier to end up with professional quality photos out of the stacks camera. I'm going to use my mini 26 here. It's a very common in stacks camera to use to load it with film. The first thing we're gonna do is flip it over. You can see I've got an empty film canister in there right now. If I power the camera on, you can see it's going to read 0 on the display showing a 0 exposures left. So I know this is empty. The little yellow tab here indicates that it does have filmed, but again, it's an empty canisters, so I'm going to go ahead and shut the camera off. And then I'm going to press this film door release. We're going to open that up. Take out my empty cartridge here. And then this is the format we get when we purchase a stack's Mini Film. It's a caster of ten different prints in here that we can, we can take, and it's usually sealed in this kind of foil to keep it protected. A couple of important things. Don't push on it as it's showing here. If you do that, the the actual prints in here are spring loaded. So if you press them down and you can end up messing that up, you're just going to tear the foil bag off here and we're going to open this up. And here's what this looks like. You don't have to worry about doing this in a dark space because it does have a dark slide over it that's going to protect it until it is in the cameras will see you in a moment. So we just wanted to align the little yellow tabs here and then just drop that into the back of the camera. We're going to close our film door. It should snap into place. All of the cameras are going to be essentially the same process and it can be a little different than the mini 26 here, but all of them are going to follow basically the same process. Now we're going to power the camera on. You can see the lens will extend. When we do that, we're going to press the shutter. In this case, it's on the front of the camera one time and we're not going to waste an exposure here because what we're doing is just getting rid of that dark slide. The first thing that's going to happen is that dark slide, it's going to pop out. Then the film is ready to go inside the camera. And you can see when you do that or frame counter is gonna go up to ten. We have ten frames we can work with here. Otherwise, the camera is extremely easy to figure out. You've got a viewfinder you can look through on the back. Here. Again, you've got that frame counter. We've got some buttons to control flash and exposure and focusing distance. We'll get to that in later parts of this class. And on the front we've got a flash, we've got a little selfie mirror if you want to take a selfie with it, which some people do like to do. And we've got the light meter on the front here. The only thing I would say is important to keep in mind when using this is don't cover the light meter. If you cover the light meter with your hand as you're holding the camera, you will prevent it from metering correctly. So we'll get into metering later, but make sure to add to hold this in a way that doesn't cover that. Otherwise super easy. You look through the camera, you press the shutter button and it will eject the film on the side. It takes about 90 seconds for those instant prints to develop. Now if you're a film photographer, you know from a photography, one thing that's neat to know is that this is an 800 ASA film that in stacks uses. So it's a pretty fast film. And again, we'll get to why that is later on. But it is able to capture in relatively low light depending on how you end up using the camera. One final thing, there's batteries in here. This one uses lithium batteries. You may have to get those specially, I can just get them a target, so they're pretty easy to find. You can also get them on Amazon, but makes sure to have some ready to go in case you run out because it's not in many cases just a standard double AA or AAA. Those are the very basics of using the camera. Very, very simple and it's one of the nice things about in stacked. It just feels so intuitive. You're not dealing with all the settings in a full modern DSLR camera. I shoot with a Leica camera for my main camera for client work. And there's so many settings and things that you have to learn and get right to get the perfect shot in stacks. One of the reasons that even pros love is just so intuitive. You pick it up, you point it, you press the shutter button and you get a print. It's ready in 90 seconds and you're ready to go. I'm just gonna demo that really quickly. For completeness sake here, we're not going to end up with a probably usable photo from this, but we look through the viewfinder, we press the button on the front. Take an exposure there. It's going to eject out the side. Then you don't have to shake it. You don't have to bend it or anything. In fact, you shouldn't bend it. Just let it sit, just start to see that image sort of magically appear. This is one of the coolest parts of instant photography, just watching that print materialize. This is something people who love to do for probably 40 years now, I'm watching, starting with those early Polaroids. And it'll start to start out kind of faded. It'll start to develop more. And when a fully developed, so get all of the fully saturated colors on there. So it's kind of cool to watch that. It's actually a neat abstract print, definitely not a professional quality and stack sprint here since I just aim the camera randomly, but you can see the basic process with that as it begins to develop. 4. Nailing the Focus: Now that we've got the basics down of using the camera, Let's talk about focus. And I don't mean the focus on your craft or the focus on the creative process. I mean literally getting a shot in focus. And when you take a photo that is blurry, that means that unless he made that stylistic choice, you probably didn't get the focus correct. And getting a correct on an insect's camera can be challenging. And the reason for that is that most cameras that you use, your DSLR camera or even many cell phones have an autofocus system. And it's actually able to automatically make changes to the lens that gets your subject into crisp focus. The insects camera doesn't have the ability to make those kinds of minute changes to the lens to focus it. So there's no auto focus on these cameras. That means that it's not going to lock in on a subject and calculate the distance to it and automatically get that subject in focus for you. What it uses instead is a much older system called zone focusing. And that's actually something that would have been used on a camera like this. This is an Instamatic, this is a film camera very classic from the 1970's. In this case, another time period where consumer cameras didn't have these fancy auto focuses. The way that zone focusing works is that there's a defined distance from the camera where if you're within that, your subject is within that distance, it's going to be in focus on the stacks mini in this case, that zone is from about 1.5 feet. I would say two feet to be safe is the closest you can get to your subject. And then up to about nine feet, so three meters. And that's your first focusing XOM. That's really important because that's the zone at this camera defaults to. The reason for that is that most people use these for portraits. If you're snapping photos of your friends at a party or on a camping trip or whatever is gonna be greater than about two feet from you. You're not getting right up in their face. They're probably going to be closer than ten feet are also be awkward to stand that far away. So that's the focusing zone that Fujifilm and the others makers of these cameras is chosen. That means that if your subject again is within that zone, you're probably going to be okay, you're probably going to have your shot in focus. If you are closer than two feet, probably will not be in focus. If you are farther than nine feet than by default, it probably will not be in focus. And that's something a lot of people get wrong or don't know when they pick up and insects camera is that if you're shooting a portrait and you're within nine feet of your subject, you're golden. But if you're shooting a landscape where you're taking pictures of mountains or building that's further than nine feet away, it's gonna come out looking kind of blurry and it's subtle, but when you look at the print, you're probably not gonna be that satisfied with it. To take a professional quality print of a landscape, the first thing is just to adjust the focusing zone. And most insects cameras actually have at least two focusing zones, including the stacks mini 26 here. And what we're gonna do is a button and see on the back of the camera here. And it has a little mountain that is indicating an infinity focus. That means that it's going to choose a second focusing zone from nine feet out to forever. And that's the shot, That's the zone we want to be in for anything that's further away than that nine foot range or thereabouts. So taking a picture or a landscape, a mountain. That's why the mountains on there. We're just going to press this button until we get to that setting where that little mountain appears. And you can see when I do that, let's start started the camera back up. This is the basic starting point of that closer in zone. And then watch when I press the button to switch to the further focus. Here, that little shift changes the lens just a little bit so that it can focus from nine feet out to infinity. So that's the first super important thing to keep in mind. If you're gonna shoot further than nine feet, always make sure to make that switch and make sure that little mountain is showing up on their subtle but incredibly, incredibly important. And that will ensure that you get a crisp shot at that further distance. If you're going closer in than about two feet. So again, if you're gonna take a picture of something close to you of a flower or food. Some cameras do have a special mode that allows you to do that. For example, my INS tax square actually has what's called a macro mode. And that's a little flower. You can see the mountain is still there. And that's going to take you into an even closer focusing zone. It can focus even below that, about two feet. We have here. Some of these even have a lens, a special lens you can snap over to take even closer in shots, so you can experiment with that. But the two takeaways, I would say are in general to get the focus right, try to choose a subject where you can be somewhere between about two feet and nine feet away from them or whatever it is you're photographing. And if you're gonna go further than nine feet, which is totally a great thing to do. Take landscapes, to take architectural photos, even to take a lot of street style photos. Just go to the back of the camera, makes sure that you've got the little mountains showing up on there. And if you do, you're ready to go. If you're lucky enough to have a camera that has the macro setting and you're taking a closer in photo, go to the little flower setting, and that will ensure that you're in the proper zone to focus correctly even without the benefit of a modern audit focus. Let's see how that looks in actual practice. This isn't in stacks. Mini photo of a chameleon flower. You can see this is where I got really close to it. And the flower itself is sort of mushy and not really sharp in detail here in the middle because I was too close to the flower. And if I move out a little bit so that it's beyond that. About two to three foot focusing distance, you can see the whole flower in the plant and everything here is nice and crisp and well-focused. So you can see the difference between kind of mushy out-of-focus here versus getting into that proper focusing zone, we get a nice crisp, clear shot. Likewise, I've got two pictures here of redwood trees. The first one I took on the default setting, the normal focusing zone of the cameras set to the second one I took with the infinity focus, that little mountains zone. And just look at the detail, especially on the left hand redwood tree. You can see the leaves. You can see the individual branches very crisply here. Here they're just sort of emotion. You don't get the detail on the leaves and everything just sort of blends together because it is not the proper focusing distance. The default setting here. And then this is again the infinity setting where you see the individual branches and leaves and everything really distinctly that tree. When you're going for something that's further away. Again, remember to go for that special setting. They live longer focusing zone infinity focus, you'll get much crisper shots like this where the focus is better. Likewise, don't get too close. You'll get a nice crisp shot like that. And not one of the sort of smudgy and machine like this one. 5. Getting Exposure Right: Now in addition to getting the focus correct, It's also really important to get your exposure correct. And the exposure refers to how light or dark and images. Now ideally you want to have a balanced exposure, something where there's not too many dark shadows, not too many super bright highlights. You want everything to be relatively balanced. Again, unless you're making a stylistic choice to violate that particular law. But in most cases you're trying to get a good balanced exposure. And that can be tough to do on the stacks camera. And there's a reason for that. And basically it is that in order to use that zone focusing system that these cameras use, they have to use what photographers would call it, very narrow aperture. For you, sort of traditional photographers out there. These cameras have an F12, 0.7 aperture. So it's a fairly narrow aperture. And if you don't know what that means, it just means it's not letting that much light in. And the narrower that aperture is, the broader in area that will be in focus in the image to get that zone focus. And we've got these big areas that are in focus. It means this not letting that much light in a very, very narrow aperture compared to a lot of your digital cameras or cell phone camera. And it was a revolt. Getting that exposure correct can be a challenge. So one way to get around that is by using a relatively fast, we would call it film. The film itself has an 800 ASA. I mean, it's letting a good amount of light and capturing it. It's equivalent to some of the faster consumer films you would have in a traditional film cameras. So that definitely helps also films. General forgiveness of being overly exposed helps a lot for these cameras. And they tend to err on the side of overexposing images. So again, if you're working with them and you're a traditional photographer, those are things to keep in mind. If you're just starting out in those terms, don't mean anything, don't worry about it. The thing to keep in mind is just that getting exposure right on here can be a challenge. If you get a photo that's too dark or too light, Don't worry about it. There's a lot of different things you can do to tweak that. The first thing is to decide whether or not you're going to be using the flash. Because this is not letting a ton of light in unless it's very bright outside linked direct sunlight, which is a great time to shoot with an insect's camera, then it's probably not going to have quite enough light coming in. And so oftentimes you'll want to use the flash and these cameras default to using the flash very frequently. So really anytime you're shooting indoors with an intact camera, you're going to want to use a flash because indoors the light is relatively dim. You're not letting much light into the camera. You're going to want to have a flash on. The good news is that the flash on a lot of these is intelligent. It'll vary based on the needs of what you're photographing. And so by default, it will automatically use this meter on the front of the camera to tell what shutter speed to use and whether to turn the flash on and off. If you want to force the flash to be on, There's usually a button that looks like a little lightning bolt. Press that until you see that that lightning bolt is going to be illuminated on the back there. And the flashes are set such that they can work within that standard zone of focus that we talked about before, up to about nine feet. Beyond nine feet. It's gonna be an infinity focus you're not really going to need to use, will be able to use the flash. So if you're photographing subjects that are further away than nine feet at night or indoors, it can be a little challenging to get the exposure right. So choose a subject ideally where either you're indoors, you can use the Flash or within that nine foot zone, that's sort of the magic zone for these cameras. You need to use the flash. And it's not using the flash. You can press this to engage the Flash manually. Again, you want to do that if you're indoors. Sometimes though even if you're outdoors, you want to use what's called a filler flash. Or you want to use a flash for a subject that's in the shadow. So even if you're out on a bright day, but you're photographing a person and a bright setting where their face is in the shade, they might come out too dark, even if the background is going to be bright. You can switch on the flash and use a filler flash to light them up. Also, if you're photographing an object outdoors, even if it's overcast and it seems bright enough to you, it may not be bright enough for the camera, so it can help to turn that flash on and gets, gets a well exposed image. And again, film is very forgiving of being overexposed in general and in stacks is particularly good at dealing with overexposure. So when in doubt, use more lights, photograph on a bright sunny day or against switch to that flash. The other thing that you can do on many of these cameras is engaged exposure compensation. If you take a frame here on the stacks mini and you find it's too dark. You'll see this L and D button. It's going to lighten or darken the frame. And we can press that. And you can see this little l appears it's going to make it lighter and we can also press the D, it's going to make it darker. And you can experiment with that exposure compensation if you're not getting a nice balanced exposure with the settings are using on the camera. I find if I'm shooting a subject in bright lights and it's too overexposed, I can engage that setting, make it a little bit darker. Or if I'm shooting a subject in overcast light outdoors and I want to lighten up a little bit the frame. I can do that with the exposure compensation. Again. Choose subjects where you can either liked them with a flash from nine feet or less, or take pictures on a bright day. And either way, what you're doing with that, you can use that exposure compensation to tweak and get the exact exposure that you want for your shot. And often it's trial and error. So take take a photo, see how the exposure came out. If it's too dark, then maybe switch the flash on. If it wasn't on. If it's still too dark, you can use that exposure compensation. Or if it's too bright, then use that exposure compensation to darken it or switch the flash off. Take a couple of frames, experiment. This is why you need to use a lot of film. And eventually you can hopefully get a nice balanced exposure. Also try moving further or closer to the subject, especially if you're using the flash, although it is supposed to be an intelligent flash, sometimes if you move further away from the subject or closer to the subject, then you'll get a better exposure. And the final thing again, you're shooting indoors and there's a part of the room that's more than about nine feet away. The flash probably won't reach it and your background, we'll probably end up being underexposed and dark. If you're taking photos indoors, try to take pictures in a room that's not more than the walls are not more than nine feet away from you, and you'll end up with a nice balanced exposure throughout the frame. Again, Let's see how that looks from a practical standpoint. This is a photo of a wax plan, my backyard. This is the default with the flash on. You can see it's a bit overexposed there we get the highlights are kind of two whites. But if we switch the flash off, then we get a nice even exposure on there. You can play around with the lightening and darkening exposure compensation to get it even more evenly exposed, maybe to bring up the shadows in the background a bit here. But fundamentally, choosing to use the Flash or not used the flash depending on your distance to the subject. And then experimenting with those compensation, you go from something that's kind of blown out to whites to something where you've got a nice even exposure on the frame. 6. Putting It Together: So let's put everything together and talk about the best way to shoot different subjects with your insects camera to get a professional quality print. The first one we'll talk about landscapes, gamma landscape, and makes sure that you engage the setting on your camera that allows for that infinity focus also makes sure that you are photographing your landscape at a time of day when you're not gonna need to use the flash because the camera's not going to let in enough light to take an evening shot very effectively. The flash is not gonna be able to illuminate that landscape beyond about nine feet. So choose a time of day right around sunset is beautiful, midday and it's a lot of sun is a great time as well. And make sure that you are switching on that special setting to get the mountains or the infinity focus on your image. For portraiture, I've taken a picture of a person. Again, make sure that you are more than two feet away from them, but less than about nine feet away from them to get a nice crisp focus on that. And if you're doing a portrait indoors, you almost definitely want to use the flash. If you're outdoors, you can either use the flash, especially if your subject is in shadow and the rest of your scene is brightly illuminated, or you can switch the flash off and experiment with those exposure compensation settings. Maybe take three different exposures. One with your standard setting, one with a lightened and one with a dark, and it's called bracketing your exposure and then choose whichever of those you like the best. For macro shots, Close-up things like flowers or even food. If you have a camera that supports the macro mode, which again is that little flower you'll see on the back. Make sure to use that. If not, you can experiment with lens attachments that you can use with a camera link, the INS tax mini. Or you can simply choose to photograph that flower or food or plants from a little bit further away. They are within that zone of focus. As I showed with the plant outside though in some cases you'll have to experiment with switching the flash off. It may come on by default, you may want to switch it off and instead, use the exposure compensation to lighten that frame a little bit to make sure that everything is in focus and also is going to be evenly illuminated. Again, that's why those closeups are the hardest thing to get right with the insects camera. Another one that's great to do as architecture shots. And again, if you are with further than about nine feet away, then make sure you're shooting at a time of day when that building is gonna be nicely illuminated, it's not gonna be too dark. And make sure in most cases with architecture, unless you're taking a picture of a detail and the architecture, you want to engage that infinity focus setting a little mountains as well. If you do all of those things, it makes it a lot easier to get a professional quality print when you're shooting those kinds of subjects. So let's take a look at a couple of examples. This is an architectural image. I made sure to take a picture when the building is in full sun, so we get a nice level of detail on that. And I also engaged the setting that will be the infinity focus. So everything is nice and crisp because I am more than nine feet away. Notice that because the foreground is in full sun, the background does get a little bit too dark. That's okay. I really wanted to focus primarily on the foreground. But if you're trying to get the whole frame evenly lit, then usually want to choose the time of day when everything will be in sun. It's a lot harder to control the evenness of the exposure across the frame otherwise, for taking photos again, of planets and natural kinds of items, don't get too close. This is this camellia bush, and as you remember, I had to be at least two feet away. But if you do that, you can get these really beautiful colors on the frame here and everything ends up in a nice crisp focus. Again, relatively bright sunlight there. If we don't get too many kind of blown out highlights, we really get a nice even exposure on the frame here. This is a lemon tree. This is probably a little bit too overexposed. I would probably dial down the exposure compensation to that darker setting if I was going to take this one again, this is probably a more evenly balanced plant photo. This was a little bit closer in, but I did disengage the flash because I had enough light to do that and get a nice, Again, even balanced exposure where everything is crisply focused. And I really like the abstract aspect of these coming right at the viewer here. And the other one here was these redwood trees. Remember, because these are far away, make sure to go to that infinity setting. And you're not gonna be able to light these up with the flash. So you can see that this one was in the sun, so it's nicely exposed. This one a little bit darker. I think it's okay in this photo. But if you want to have again, an even frame go for a time of day when the whole shot is going to be in a consistent amount of sunlight. So let's take a look at some examples of actual photos that I've actually sold on in stacks. I said that you can take professional quality photos on an insect's camera and these are ones I've actually taken and sold. Usually it's not the sort of big name publications, but there are a lot of people that love these and love the stacks format in particular. This is one that's an image of a tree. This is on the stack, so wide format and you can see it really creates a gradient. I played around with the exposure on here, and I use that infinity focus setting to get the leaves of this tree nice and crisp. But you can see it goes from a really sort of dark exposure all the way on the left side of the frame to the parts of the leaves of the tree that are in full sun and then to the sky that even though it's negative space, There's nothing there, is evenly exposed. You can see those nice and deep and blues, kind of almost an abstract shots. But this is one that was successful. So here's another one. This is an architecture shot taken in Berkeley, California. And you can see I chose the time of day really carefully so that everything, including the tree in the image here is gonna be in even sunlight. And so I can get that nice even exposure. And knowing that a more than nine feet away, I can't use the flash to illuminate the scene. So I had to go for a time when it was a pretty nice even exposure across the whole frame. Just with that natural light. Again, because I'm more than nine feet away here, I did use the the infinity focus setting on the camera. And you can see even the text in the window and the buildings as Dwight is crisp and in-focus. Even though this is something we're on, probably a solid 2030 feet away from the subject. You definitely can sell these as a photographer and that should provide encouragement even if you're not attending to take these photos professionally, that these are a real format and this is something that people really love. And there's a long history of taking these kinds of instant photos. So it's really a serious format and something to take seriously and something to work on and perfect and experiment with and come to know really well. 7. Sharing Your Instax Photos: Now the final piece is, once you've created these photos, how are you going to share them with other people? If you have a phone, phone, photo, that's really easy to upload that to social media. It's really easy to share that. One of the cool things within stacks photos is that you do end up with his physical print and you can just give that to somebody, especially a portrait. It can be really special to document moments where someone can walk away with a physical print without having to print that out. So consider giving these away to people. It's a nice thing to do with them. But if you want to keep a copy for yourself where you want to post it online, there's a couple of strategies you can use. The easiest is just to place the photo in some kind of an interesting environments where the shot of the chameleon, a bush, for example, maybe I would put it in a natural setting like this with some texture and these interesting elements around it makes sure that you get this. There's not a lot of glare on the image because they are shiny. So I could take a picture of it in this kind of cool natural setting on my phone. And then that's something that I could easily share out to social media and it enhances the image. It's hard to get the frame so that it's totally centered in the phone and to not have glare because as you get close in, you're going to get, It's harder to get an even lighting on that image. So instead of trying to get it just right and to avoid that, Claire, I like to place the insect's photo in again and have a cool appropriate environment and photograph it there. And you end up with little bit of an enhancement to the photo that you ultimately share on social. Another strategy is to use the notes app on your iPhone or there's a Google PhotoScan app that does something similar for Android. And you're gonna select to take a photo and choose scan documents. And that's actually going to allow the phone to correct for glare, to correct for the angle. And what you'll get is actually more of a scan that's almost like a photographic scan right from your phone. And you can take this, save it out of the notes app and then share that on social. And that's really capturing, without any of the sort of extra context around it, just capturing the image itself. It doesn't always get the colors perfectly though, as you can see, kinda ends up altering the image, making it a bit more contrasty than the original image. But if you want to share something with literally just the photo and not having any of the environment around it. This is a good way to do that. The final strategy, probably the best one for getting an archival or even salable print out of these is actually to use a flatbed scanner. I linked to scan here on my Epson Perfection V 850 probe. This is a professional grade photo scanner. You can also get a much more basic I like epsilon or Canon scanners for about a $100. The camera scan lied line is a really good one from Canon for beginners. And you can scan and gets the full quality in the correct colors and everything in your