|took this. on my phone. |
I'm kind of known for going on and on about how it's ok to be an amateur and we shouldn't expect to be professional riders when we just plain aren't.
But that doesn't just apply to riding.
I always think it's kind of funny when people post pictures of their horses and then say "It's just a crappy phone photo".
|best ears. yes edited.|
1) It's 2015. My crappy phone photos are FREAKING AMAZING compared to what a picture from a "real" camera would have been even ten years ago.
2) No one (not even me or Wendy
) has a professional photographer follow them around and shoot their every move. Most of our pictures (well, mine) are going to be screen shots from a video or ears pics on my phone or headshots of my horse standing still.
3) You can actually take pretty damn good phone pictures if you put a little work into it.
I mean. I'm not an expert. Or an artist. Or a photographer. I'm not educated about photography and the truth is, aside from Lauren's fantastic series
on taking horse pictures, I'm not likely to ever take a class.
But in 2015, the technology is available, accessible, and cheap.
|thank you burst mode|
90% of the photos on my blog are shot on my phone (iphone 5s). 85% of them are then run through a photo editor (also on my phone) in a sequence that takes under a minute. Here are some (REALLY REALLY) basic guidelines:
1) timing is your friend. You know that awkward moment in the trot where it looks like the horse only has two legs? No one wants to see that. Most phones have a "burst mode" option. On my phone, you literally hold down the camera button and get like 47 photos. Choose the one that doesn't suck. Delete the rest. Magic.
OR. (this is best if someone is taking pictures of you and their timing maybe isn't fantastic or the lighting is less than ideal.) Have them take a video. Pause. Screenshot. Voila! Exactly the moment you wanted.
2) Cropping is your friend. You know how to make a shitty off center picture into reasonably decent blog fodder? CROP THAT BITCH.
Seriously. You don't even need an app for that. Center the horse (more or less) in the frame. Zoom in as much as possible without pixelating the image.
Your photo is 75% better already. It took you less than 10 seconds.
Noted: I generally leave a little more space in front of the horse than behind if the horse is going forward. I leave more sky if the sky is pretty or more grass if the footing is nice. If both sky and footing are unremarkable, there's no reason for them to be in the picture. Just highlight what you want to emphasize.
Also noted: instagram likes square pictures. Blogger likes rectangles. On my more motivated days, I make different edits for different mediums. That is not every day.
|what my phone looks like before edits|
3) Apps are nice. I started with "afterlight" (go to the app store. It's either free or 99 cents). It's a fantastic basic editing program. There are four settings I use all the time--contrast (more or less), saturation (BRIGHT COLORS Y'ALL), brightness (summer in Idaho is a bitch), and... that other one.
There are plenty of other options, but these are just simple, basic things that can drastically improve the visual impact of your photos and take almost no time.
If you're all fancy and cool, you can get pricier apps. I just upgraded to "phototoaster" ($2.99 in the app store) and it has all kinds of bells and whistles and widgets. Part of me knows I'm not technical enough to capitalize on all this, but the other part is determined to make it happen.
If you're on an android platform, I hear rave reviews of Pixlr.
There are roughly a billion photo editing apps out there and you can get REALLY FREAKING FANCY if you want to. I'll admit I got phototoaster after reading this article
. While there are some great tips there, that person works a HELL of a lot harder than I do at photo editing. Also they sound like they have a clue about art, which I definitely do not.
|yup. phone. |
I mean, if photos aren't your jam, I totally understand. I'll never pretend to have the art chops that Niamh
But I see no need to apologize for a phone picture. They can be pretty rocking with just a very little amount of work.