Let’s be honest here. The first thing that you notice when you discover a new blog, are the photos. Content is great, but the quality of the photos displayed on a blog is what catches our attention and believe it or not, determines whether or not a reader stays or goes. You’re probably saying, “well duh”, but since we all know this, you would think the first step to getting better quality photos for your blog is to go out and spend a hefty amount on a high quality DSLR camera and a nice lens, but there are a couple additional accessories that you can purchase to help improve blog photos. It wasn’t until I bought the following two accessories that I started to see an improvement in my blog photos that I took with my DSLR camera. What is it you ask? Well…
a tripod and a remote. Everyone talks about how important lighting is or having the latest and greatest editing software but not many people mention these two accessories and I always wonder why. I remember the very first time I put my brand new DSLR to work and shot my first blog photo. The photos came out blurry and dark. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my photos weren’t coming out like magic; instead they were quite unappealing, nothing like how I pictured they would turn out. Very frustrated, I began searching online for answers and I came across a few photography forums and I’m so glad I did.
In short, I learned that a tripod and a remote would prevent camera shake, which in some cases cause blurry photos (there are other reasons why your photos can come out blurry, for example being out of focus, but I’ll discuss that at another time). So I hurried out and purchased both items and boy oh boy, did my photos improve. I’m going to show you two photos that have the exact same camera settings and lighting; the only difference is the first photo will be shot without a tripod or remote and the second will be shot with the the tripod and remote. These photos are raw and untouched with ZERO editing once so ever. This is exactly how they came out of the camera. You’ll even see a bit of carpet in the background… pretend like you don’t 🙂
Without Tripod and Remote
With Tripod and Remote
Huge difference right? The lipstick is completely in focus and you can even clearly read the letters “M.A.C.”. Even though if it wasn’t in focus, majority of us would probably be able to recognize that little black tube in a heart beat. Besides the lipstick being in better focus, notice how the bottom photo is a bit brighter.
Before you exit out of this post and go looking for the best tripod or the best remote for your camera, let me tell you that you don’t need the best of the best to get the job done. My very first tripod was one that I found at Target for $14.99. The only reason why I don’t use that one anymore is because I lost the screw trying to raise the tripod. Instead of spending any additional time looking for the screw I just decided to go out and buy another one, which I paid about $30 for at Best Buy. I like my current tripod a bit better, because it’s taller and a bit sturdier on carpet. You don’t need to get the exact tripods I mentioned above; there are plenty of cheaper options that may fit your needs on Amazon. I will note however, that you should be aware of the weight of your camera since some tripods can only hold so much. I’m sure the last thing you would want is your tripod to tumble over and your camera break. Then you’ll be worried less about blurry photos and more about how you’re going to deal with that catastrophe!
As for remotes, I have a Nikon DSLR camera and unfortunately they do not come with software where you can control the shutter and other settings through your laptop like some Canon DSLRs do. Nikon does however, have an app you can download for free called NIKON WMU that allows you to set off the shutter and snap pictures from your smartphone. I started off using this since it was free (kinda; if you have an older Nikon camera that doesn’t come with built in wifi, you need to buy a wireless adapter which can be anywhere from 30-50 bucks), but I prefer just using an actual remote because the remote responds quicker than the iPhone app and I feel like it’s more reliable. My first remote I had for well over 9 months and didn’t have to change the battery, but of course I lost it. I loved that remote and paid less than $5 for it and when I went back to the store to get another one, I couldn’t find that brand again. Now I currently have a remote from the brand Insignia, which was $20 that gets the job done.
Now, I know not everyone has the ability to buy all of these products all at once so just in case you are looking for a free option to get the same results I have a trick for you. The purpose of the tripod and remote, that I mentioned above, is to reduce camera shake. You can get a similar result by placing your DSLR on a sturdy surface, like a table or even a stack of books, and then set a timer. The camera may still shake, but much less than if you were to hold the camera in your hand.
I hope this post was helpful to you all. What blogging tips would you like to see next?