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A View from The Bothy...

Try Not to Snap...

While some professional photographers have been known to complain that with the advent of smartphones ‘everyone’s a photographer’, the reality is that not every image shared on social media can be considered to be ‘great’.

Social media is an excellent and cost-effective resource for promoting your latest project and showing off what you’re capable of. So, we thought we’d share a few tips that could help you get the best out of your phone’s camera.

The first thing is to keep your lens clean. Wherever your phone is, either in a bag or your pocket, the lens is likely to be covered in fluff, dust and/or finger marks. The result is like a hazy filter across the photo, which has ruined many a potentially great shot. A quick wipe with a soft cloth will solve this problem.

Framing is important too. ‘Landscape’ is (quite appropriately) good for landscapes, but for individual plants and trees ‘Portrait’ is the favourite. It’s important to keep your horizon level, although the occasional jaunty angle can make some shots more dynamic.

Backgrounds are critical; there’s not much point in taking a beautiful shot of your work if there’s a pile of empty pots or a car parked behind your subject.

Good light is a must, try to have the light behind you if at all possible. But while sunny days are great, slightly overcast days are even better as they get rid of shadows. And on the subject of shadows, having yours in the shot is a no-no!

Focus needs to be sharp. If a plant is waving about in the wind, you might be able to hold the stem a bit lower down to keep it still. Take plenty of shots, you’re bound to get a good one in there.

And finally, it’s a good idea to try to keep your images at a similar size and format. Free software such as the Windows 10 Photo Editor (others are available…) is quick and easy to use, especially if you have several shots to sort out.

But whatever you do, even with your phone, try to take a photograph, not a snap…