Editorial photo basics – Equipment: this is the first post of a series focusing on editorial content. The aim is to provide tips on how to start with and set up editorial projects. Let’s start with the basic equipment required for taking good photos.
- If you want to take stunning pictures, capture many details and get a high-quality image, you have to use a smartphone whose rear camera offers 12 Megapixels at least.
- Check also the aperture to be sure it performs well in low light. It means a f/1.6 or f/1.8 aperture.
2. Storage/Memory card
- When you shoot an editorial project, you take ton of photos (maybe videos too) and it’s easy to run out of storage space. Before starting a shooting, make sure to have enough space.
- If your device provides a memory card slot, we suggest you to buy one or more cards to expand the phone’s built-in memory and always keep a spare.
When you want to take quality photos, you have to check the digital photography tools provided by your mobile phone:
- Grid: enable the grid view and use the rule of thirds for a fine composition.
- Manual shutter speed: check if your device allows you to set the amount of time the camera’ shutter is open and play with motion blur or freeze frame effects.
- Manual focus: it tells you exactly where the camera is focusing, all the subjects on the same focal plane.
- Manual ISO sensitivity: it’s the sensitivity of the camera to the available light. It assists in capturing correctly exposed photos.
- White balance: this feature helps to get true, natural colors and adjusts the tones of the images, for instance when the light source is artificial.
- Exposure compensation: if you want to manage the brightness of the scene, you can play with the values and get brighter or darker pictures, according to the luminosity.
- If your device doesn’t provide the features above, a third-party app is a must-have. (Find out more)
4. Tripod and supports
- They are necessary to take stabilized images (for instance interviews and portraits) and long exposure shots, such as light trails.
5. Power bank
- Efficient smartphones should provide a 3000mAh battery at least.
- Shooting videos and other photography features can kill the battery quickly. For this reason, it’s better to take two or three spare batteries, according to your activities.
- If you’re going to interview someone or taking a video, you have to use a microphone, a lavalier or shotgun mic: when shooting video, good audio is more important than the image and the phone’s internal microphone is designed to make calls, not to record high-quality tracks.
Once you have all the equipment you need, start practicing more and more.
Always remember to consider the ambient lighting. Learn how your camera’s features work and how many tools your photography app offers. Experiment with add-on lenses too.