The Takes and Take nots of a good selfie shot
Say cheese!!!! Okay, that sounds a little cheesy (no pun intended) and so 90s, especially during this day and age, where taking pictures with cool gadgets has become as popular as a viral sex tape (am sure Univeristy chaps know what am babbling about). In late November last year, the photographic world was graced with a new word in the Oxford dictionary. “Selfie.” That’s right: The fine art of taking a photo of yourself has received the seal of approval—or something—from an institution that has some of the most esteemed scholars of the English language.
Love ’em or hate ’em, selfies aren’t going away. With the vast amount of selfie taking going around in Kampala today, especially with our Smartphones; it doesn’t mean we have to be stuck with crappy photography especially those we see on social media lately. Here are some tips (dos and do nots) for taking selfies that you or your friends will actually be proud of.
1. Use the right Gadget
First and foremost, know which kind of device you want to use. Is it a phone camera, tablet (bad idea, and I will get back to that) or point and shoot digital camera? I don’t need to mention the fact that cameras on dumb phones don’t count here. Back to tablets, it’s always a bad idea to take any sort or picture with a tablet, apart from you looking ridiculous and the poor cameras in tablets; the risk of that huge thing slipping out of your hands and dropping down is very high, If you decide to use a Smartphone just remember that front facing cameras on Smartphones always have lower resolution than the main camera. Always use the back camera.
2. Turn off flash for that mirror shot
From the bar or restaurant restrooms or your own home bathroom mirrors, we all know those are the perfect spots to take a shot of yourself while looking into the mirror thinking nothing can go wrong. And there is that camera flash you forgot to turn off, whose reflection ends up ruining that perfect moment. Nothing says I-don’t-care-how-this-looks like standing in front of a mirror and pointing a camera toward it. Be sure you will pick up many streaks, smears, or crud stuck to the glass. Just turn off that flash for a better picture.
3. Take Your Shots from above, not from below
All the selfies I have seen taken from below are a total disaster, for crying out loud most people don’t want to look up your nose in photos. This goes against any cultural norms of physical attractiveness—so always ensure to hold your camera at eye level or higher. This will also produce a more-flattering and worthwhile photo in general, since you’ll get a better angle of your face. I know many girls who actually have a favorite angles they expose whenever they are posing for selfies and trust me none of them is taken from below.
4. Say NO to Selfies at funerals…NOT cool
When I was still in school, I remember my teacher always saying Do the right thing at the right time and in the right place, There’s a time and a place for everything, and selfies are no exception.
Want to take a photo of yourself on your holiday /vacation or in a nightclub? By all means, go for it. But we advise you not to indulge in selfies while attending a funeral; something Obama and other world leaders were so willing and happy to do during Mandela’s memorial service. It wasn’t that cool as most people thought. Just sayin’.
5. Get to know where the light is coming from
Poor lighting can destroy an otherwise good photo. Too much light can make you look sickly; and too little can turn you into a lineation. Always remember the following rules when taking those spur-of-the-moment selfies:
- Keep off bad fluorescent lighting (think bathroom light): Abrasive fluorescent lights don’t do anyone’s appearance any good, unless you’re going for the pale look.
- Keep off backlighting: Unless you’re going for a lineation look, remember that light must be in front of you and not behind you, when you take photos.
- Avoid the flash at all costs: I need not repeat myself about that.
6. Is your room clean?
Okay, now STOP! Before taking that selfie look around you, If you’re going to take a picture of yourself, you’ll probably want to make sure you look presentable first. Not that everyone is tidy, I always find it awkward when people take shots with messy backgrounds. If it’s your room at least try to make the background look presentable before you take that shot. Take a few minutes and make your bed, also try to reduce unnecessary clutter, to avoid unnecessary background destructions.
7. Slap on a filter before you broadcast
There are plenty of photo filtering software, that make a picture more appealing to look at. Since we often post most of our pictures on social media, it doesn’t mean we deny technology the chance to pimp our pictures once in a while.
Most high-end Smartphones come with filtering software in their camera or gallery applications. But don’t frown if you don’t have. You could always go to the app stores and download a photo filtering app or just post the picture on instagram it will give you options of filters to choose from. Take note some filters may make things worse, so take care as well.
Am sure everyone would love to have a genuine “You guys look good ” or “looking pretty as ever” in the comment section after you post the pictures. Yes, I know me and my brother looked good in this one so hold your horses.
[signoff predefined=”Movie Review Signoff” icon=”icon-pencil”]The writer is still in selfie rehab , and there is -1.0% chance that he will recover.[/signoff]