Photography is the art of exposing our notions, beliefs, and desires to strangers. And each photo is marked by our personal and intimate interpretation of a particular moment of time. We choose the subject, frame the shot and master the techniques so as to transmit our idea as clearly as possible.
Regardless of what our inspiration is, we all want well-composed pictures of professional-quality.
So should we opt for smartphone cameras or Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras (DSLRs)?
Both ways could allow us to achieve remarkable and quick results. Let's go through the pros of using the well-established creators of photography masterpieces - the DSLRs.
Quality, Versatility, and Battery
Although their prices might raise eyebrows sometimes, nothing really surpasses the depth to which they can create pictures of masterful quality. These cameras are fast, responsive, and create images of stunning clarity.
Shooting with DSLRs leads to marvellous results, not only when photographing static subjects in good light. These cameras are world-renowned since we could control how bright the images are, whether the background is sharp or blurred, and we also have the power to freeze moving subjects. Fortunately, the colour could also be readily adjusted so that they appear natural. By just learning four fundamental things about taking photos with DSLRs: ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance, we could master the art of taking a perfect photo, achieving the rich detail we all long for.
Clearly, these cameras have many functions and the outstanding image quality in particular is determined by the lens' quality and the high-resolution sensors the cameras have. In most cases, DSLR lenses are interchangeable. We could achieve great results just by changing our current lens.
It's worth pointing out that DSLR bodies and lenses tend to become more and more compact over the years. All that contributes to better performance. With DSLRs you could definitely enjoy your creativity to a deeper level, if you commit to learning the craft.
They're better at shooting close-ups and they allow us to experiment with action shots. Apart from freezing fast-moving objects, we could also capture a moving object in sharp definition with blurred background. It's also extremely nice that we could take even hundreds and even thousands of photos per battery charge, depending on the model.
All this sounds so good because DSRLs allow us to use manual control. They perform exceptionally well in low-light, easily produce sharp images and give us the chance to be creative with external flash.
Yet, what about the new revolutionists in the world of photography - the smartphones?
Convenience, Multitasking, Sharing
If we want to dominate the dynamic digital landscape, the smartphone will fulfill these desires remarkably quickly. They're lightweight. They're simple. They also allow us to upload pictures wherever we want at the touch of a screen.
Sharing via our functional DSLRs, in general, requires a computer and cables or card readers. Not that convenient.
Smartphone cameras, though, allow us to share quickly. They also give us the option to multitask while uploading, we could be also checking our email or sending a message. One device, billions of options.
Many smartphones also offer free apps to tweak exposure or add filters. Easy to achieve the great edit we need!
Smartphones are portable - the best for unexpected holiday destinations. Let's not forget that some of them are also water resistant. How convenient! We could slip into selfie mode underwater.
Most importantly, we also could send all the photos into cloud storage and preserve them. In the long term, that proves to be very important in the event of a catastrophic breakage.
Even though smartphone cameras offer less autonomy and do not allow us to get the richest possible detail, they're the best gadget we have at short notice.
So the debate is ongoing. What's true is that the smartphones have revolutionised photography.
DSLRs are reacting to this - they're becoming easier to use and more compact.
It's up to you to decide if you would opt for the convenience the smartphone offers, or the outstanding clarity which the DSLR's picture provides.
Let us know what your prefer @PhotoWeekUK
One question we’re always asked is: what’s the best way to display photographs?
With social media and digital technology becoming so prominent, printing seems to be a dying art. Taking a photograph is one thing, but the motive behind photography as a whole is to capture a memory, and surely the best way to do this justice is to keep a physical copy of the picture, either in an album or displayed on a wall, which you can show to people. This will keep the memory alive for you; a tangible piece of time you can hold onto forever.
The way in which you may wish to display your handy-work may be reflective of the occasion of the image, the location, or if it is intended as a gift, but whatever the reason, being able to hold it in your hands is something you shouldn’t take for granted. Gift packages are very popular with printing companies and are a brilliant way to cherish a memory as a keepsake or a very personal gift.
An obvious way of displaying photographs is to frame them. Photo frames can make or break the work depending on how you choose to display it. When considering a frame, you should consider the entire piece, how will your photo look with this frame? Frames could appear tacky, or ruin the colour scheme. Choosing a bespoke framing service for particularly large prints could make your photograph something truly special. When considering the context in which this work would be displayed, there are more factors to have in place. Who will be seeing this? Where are you displaying? One would frame their work very differently for their mantelpiece compared to a gallery show. Companies such as Picture Frames Express, Snappy Snaps, and Frame Frog offer online services to choose a frame that would directly suit your photographs, or visiting stores in person would be even more beneficial to be able to discuss options on what is right for you.
For amateurs and professionals alike, a brilliant way to present your photographs would be in a photo book. The approaches to this are endless.
Many companies offer online services to create your own book, quite easily, just by inputting your photographs and choosing the layout in which you want to present them. From here there are also options to choose a cover, which could also be a photograph, or could be a hard back option. Companies such as Jessops and Snappy Snaps also offer these services in store, which can make brilliant gifts.
Recommended create-your-own photobook websites: Snapfish, Blurb, VistaPrint.
Another option would be to actually create your own Photo Book. This becomes a very personal process and is very rewarding. There is definitely a distinct difference between a Photo Album and a Photo Book, as Photo Albums and Scrapbooks are typically printed photographs, stuck into a pre made book, with accompanying relevant annotations. A Photo Book would typically be printed directly onto the paper and a book formed from these pages.
Creating a Photo Book from scratch can be relatively easy. Printing from home, using a programme such as Abobe InDesign or Photoshop will allow you to create a book size, layout, and input your photographs in any way you choose, adapting the size and position. From here, the process can be moved onto a bookbinder, who will be able to finish your creation, similarly to online sites, choosing individual cover materials and even personal embossed lettering.
If you are super crafty, you could even try binding yourself, which would allow you to create this full piece yourself, which would make a very special gift, keepsake, or even to be sold. There are plenty of binding tutorials online which can help you along the way, with the simplest being a staple for a DIY approach, or sewing on a cover, with various methods of exposed stitching which add to the overall aesthetic. Craft stores such as Hobby Craft or book making stores will sell all relevant supplies for creating your own special books. Photo books also have a lot of archival value as they are usually kept closed unless being browsed through.
Jessops, Snappy Snaps, and Boots, to name a few, offer in store printing from SD cards, mobile devices and tablets, as well as developing film. There are various size options and gift printing options, for example creating a Snow globe or a mug. This creates a perfect gift idea.
Printing from a bespoke printers allows you to choose a service taylor made to you. This could be for your own personal work, for professional purposes, or as a gift. Wedding packages, for example, are a popular idea for this form of printing. Bespoke services such as The Print Space offer various paper types as well which will allow you to choose something that would display your photographs in the best possible way. Choosing the right type of paper will enhance the best features, bring out particular colours, or give a range of pristine finishes such as lustre, gloss, and matte. Many companies also offer poster printing, or fine art prints, such as printing onto canvas. Mounting and framing combined, this will give your photograph the best possible outcome, as a creation from your eye, to a work of art.
This National Photo Week, take new photographs, archive old photographs, choose something you feel deserves to be printed and displayed, or even a series for a book. Use #NationalPhotoWeek on Twitter and share your results!