Photography on a Budget

20/10/2015 15:33:55

Photography on a Budget

You don’t need thousands of pounds of fancy kit in order to take great photos. There's no need to be too much out of pocket, you only need a few basic things to create a professional-looking shoot.

1.) Lighting & White Balance

Lighting sets the mood, without proper lighting you’ll have a very unappealing looking photo. What I normally do when shooting small products or objects is use desk lamps; I can bend them and direct the light in any way I want.

There is a difference between daylight and fluorescent light, without the proper white balance setting on your camera your photos could come out tinted yellow and orange.

lighting and white balance

So make sure you use the correct white balance settings. If you are still unsure, then experiment.

white balance a quick look

Tip: Is the lighting too harsh? Use tissue paper or tracing paper over the lights to diffuse them. Careful though – don’t set anything on fire.

2.) Camera

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need thousands of pounds worth of equipment to take decent photographs. However, it does help if you have a camera that is 8 megapixels or higher and has a manual setting option. Don’t use your phone or a webcam to take proper photographs.


Tip: If you don’t have fancy editing software like Photoshop then don’t fret, there is a free version called GIMP which is perfect for your basic editing needs.

3.) Stability

Nothing annoys me more than setting up the perfect shoot, getting the lighting just right… only to have left my tripod back at my flat. This has happened to me a lot and I never learn. Blur from hand / camera shake is the most annoying and it’s rarely fixable in the editing stage.

So if you don’t have a tripod (or are ditzy like me and forget) then you can use furniture such as chairs and tables to rest your camera on and minimise the risk of blurry photos.

camera stability

Tip: If your camera has a manual setting option, why not increase your shutter speed to help reduce shake-blur?

4.) Taking the Photos

Now you have your mini studio set up, you should be ready to take some photos.

When I do photoshoots, I always use the manual setting on my camera and adjust all the settings to what I need them to be. Using the automatic setting creates inconsistencies in the photos.

camera settings portrait

Tip: Need a backdrop? Use sheets of A3 and A2 paper to make a make-shift infinity curve.


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