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Why Your Photographs Are Not As Good As They Should Be

Lady in front of a graffitti wall

Many Instagram and Facebook users put a lot of effort into their photography. After all, social media is a constant reminder that photos are the best way to immortalise memories, and to tell our stories in exactly the way we want. 

This isn’t always easy, however. Even for the best photographers, capturing scenes exactly the way they are is a task that can be gruelling to achieve. While there can be a number of reasons for this, there is one answer that always stands out.

Colour Is Key

With any photograph that doesn’t quite work, you will find that it always comes down to colour. You can be on a beautiful beach, enjoying a cocktail with your friends, or you could be on a morning family hike, with a valley of flowers spread out in front of you. The colour is striking and it stands out, but somehow it doesn’t translate into the picture you take. 

Think about it, how many of us have taken photographs of moments like these, only for them to come out far blander than they should? It’s like taking a picture of a beautiful full moon. Incredible to look at in the moment - not so incredible to look at on your phone.

If this sounds like something you sometimes struggle with, then you shouldn’t fret. There are ways to take amazing photographs with colour that pops in exactly the same way it does in reality. If you care about your Instagram and you want to make a photo book straight from your Instagram page, then here are the two key steps to help you out:

Harmonise The Scene

Although there have been many advances in phone photography over the years, it is still difficult for any camera to capture things exactly the same way the natural eye does. In this way, it is up to you to give your camera a bit of a nudge. While we might look at a gorgeous, yellow sand beach and think it looks good enough to snap, the camera might need a bit more convincing. 

What it desires is a way to harmonise the scene, allowing the colour to pop and feel as vibrant as it does to the natural eye. The use of complementary colours can help to achieve this, allowing the subject of your photograph to stand out and hit stronger than it would do on its own. 

If you are taking a picture of the beach, tilt the camera to include the ocean as a backdrop. If you are taking a picture of wildflowers upon a grassy plain, ensure that the sky takes up a good portion of the frame. This may seem counterintuitive, but the subject of the photo does not have to be the only thing in the picture. Instead, including other subjects will harmonise the scene and allow the colours to bounce off each other, making them look and feel stronger as a result. 

Saturation Is The Best Tool

As mentioned previously, even the very best cameras can sometimes fail to find the “umph” of a given scene. This is why, at times, that umph has to be found after the photograph has been taken. In any photography circle, you will hear the term “saturation” crop up quite a bit. Saturation is another word for increased colour. In short, the higher the saturation of an image, the more vivid and colourful it will be. 

Many Instagram users overdo this method, which results in their photographs looking fake and plastic. But there is a way to saturate images properly. There are many photo editing tools which give you full control over every aspect of a picture. If you have a picture of your friends standing in front of a neon-lit bar, then you can adjust any part of that image to make it pop. Do you remember the colour of the bar sign being a lot more vibrant in person? Simply adjust the saturation until it looks the way you remember. Do you think your dress isn’t really glowing as much as it did on the night? Heighten and lower saturation accordingly to let that specific colour come to life again. 

You shouldn’t be afraid to edit and play around with your photographs after they are taken. This is not a case of slapping a filter on it and hoping it works. This is the careful adjustment of parts in your photograph that don’t work, turning them into something more real and true to the scene. If you do this, then you will find your social media feeds and photo books pop far more than they ever did before, making your immortalised memories just as beautiful and eye-catching as they were to live.


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