Instagram has become a fast-sharing and rising photography platform, great to update your followers, friends and more on what you’re doing, where you’re going, or of something that inspires you visually. It’s great on the go, and has become more professional since it’s conception, meaning that the photos we respond to more have to appear cleaner and eye-catching, and a huge part of this is down to lighting. Lighting, as easy as it seems, can be out of our control so how do we solve the issue of shadowy snaps and make our posts stand out from others?
As I said, lighting is a huge factor in the world of photography and can change the quality of an image instantly. Natural light is forever championed as the best condition to shoot in – particularly a slightly overcast bright day with diffused rays – however it’s not always accessible due to a number of factors, but thanks to modern technology (and a clever trick or two) there are ways you can achieve better lit images than what your stationed conditions are offering you.
Firstly, if you have too much shadow on one side of your image or object, using a reflector can help cancel out shadows and bounce light back into the frame. Reflectors can be anything from foil to white card, or even these Manfrotto Collapsible Silver/White Daylight Reflectors which can be used on the go or propped up against a chair if shooting at low-level.
If you’re somewhere with low light or yellow lighting, you can change the white balance settings on your camera to balance out the tones, and brighten using your manual settings or an attachable Manfrotto Lumimuse Series 8 Led Light to help diffuse yellow tones and provide better lit conditions. Also combining the last two points, if the light is too artifical, you can always use something white and thin to diffuse the yellow light – for example, a dark restaurant causing havoc on your Instagram snap? Grab a menu, block the harsh light and snap away with a more neutralised cast across your plate that’s easier to edit!
Post-production is another fab way to brighten those images even further; mobile apps for Instagram have improved significantly, and most can now brighten and balance photos beyond belief. I personally like Snapped as you can selectively brighten, saturate and contrast areas so the whole image is balanced (too many shadows in one area? Just brighten that area and then it’s easier to edit overall!) Plus, Instagram itself has expanded it’s editing tools so you can decrease shadows and enhance highlights, giving the image more depth and detail whilst overall brightening and lightening the image to share with friends.
Lighting your images for Instagram has never been easier, and now that you know the essential tips and tricks to improve your photos, you’ll be increasing in likes and skill in no time!