In the first part of this series on how to capture the perfect photograph (which you can read here) we showed you five simple hacks to get your photos quickly looking professional. Here’s five more. 1. Hunt for the Light The perfect light is something that the photographer visualizes in their mind & actively seeks out, travels for, dreams of. It is the constant process of training the mind’s eye so the photographer’s cognitive visuals can become photographic reality. The sun, our natural light source, a mystifying, beautiful and dangerous phenomenon is our most powerful tool. Studying how the sun interacts with the scene where you wish to take your photographs is key to realizing the photograph that you wish to take. Don’t rush and don’t be afraid to leave your camera at home the first view times you visit the scene to learn the light. Feel the scene and learn it mentally. Be hawkish and look for anything of interest that the light reveals. Observe the direction of the light. Get a sense of timing. Know what is going to happen before it happens & set up for the perfect photograph. Extra tip: Treat yourself to the golden-hour – the period shortly after sunrise and before sunset. In fact, take time to learn the intricacies of this very short, but very sweet period in the day. This is the period where you can really make your compositions magical. (A shot taken in the golden hour) 2. HDR (High Dynamic Range) Dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light & the darkest dark of your composition. When the range is exceeded, certain aspects of the photograph will get blown out. Highlights will wash out & shadows will simply become ugly black marks. Luckily then, we have modern shooting techniques like HDR, (even luckier that Le Max, which we shot all these photos with, supports this). So, essentially HDR is three photographs taken at different exposures and combined together. Both the highlights & the shadows of the photograph are complimenting each other as they are properly exposed. When exposure is right, it allows us to capture the finer details of a composition. This is because the image you are looking at its best lit, most focused and colorful. Take the image below. The second image statue is obviously too dark. Whilst in the first, more details are easily viewable. 3. Weather The consensus is that we all love sunny days & dislike the rain, right? Not if you’re a photographer. Photographers appreciate the variety weather brings to images. Therefore, it is essential to learn our varying climates in relation to how it paves the way for the overall mood we want to bring to our photographs. So let’s give a few examples. Overcast – These days are perfect for portraits. You will find no harsh shadows under eyes, noses and chins. The result? This gives a real true-to-life and natural touch to images of this nature. You can also use overcast days to shoot dramatic, emotive photography of bleakly beautiful scenes. Rain – Your environment can be massively altered after rain. Reflections in puddles now pave the streets. Everything licked with water now has the potential to shine. It transforms what could be a mundane into magic. A flower petal before was just a flower petal, right? How about after the rain shower, where that same flower petal is now host to delicate drops of rain. It transforms the photograph immediately. 4. Use Flash Effectively It’s official, the effective use of flash makes photographs, especially close up portraits look ultra-cool. Flash can give you harsh-shadows that really makes the photos by drawing your eyes into the now dramatic contours of the image. Of course, flash should be used under low-light environments as it’s main intention is to obviously fill in areas of a composition that would otherwise be hidden under darkness. Also don’t forget your max flash range – around five steps away. Another tip – you can also use flash on a clear sunny day when overhead light is plentiful. This can add an extra dynamic to your photograph by creating shadows on the eye and nose. 5. Go Manual On Your #Superphone Your #SuperPhone has amazing features. Get creative and use them! Break using the defaults and soon you’ll be able to nurture your own style. Play around with the white balance, saturation, contrast, sharpness, ISO. This photo has Contrast at HIGH, Saturation at HIGH and Sharpness at HIGH So there you have it #SuperFans, 5 more tips, tricks and a little philosophy to boot. The best bit? All photos were taken and edited using #LeMax. Now over to you. Are there any personal tips you can share on how you get that perfect composition? Comment away! Share your photos! We hope you liked ours!