Get the best photo, video quality from your smart devices
Even if you don’t know Zeke Bryant personally, you might be familiar with his work.
As Ivy Tech Community College Northeast’s multimedia specialist, Bryant is responsible for a number of photos and videos that are routinely seen by the College’s alumni and friends. For instance, he’s a regular photo contributor to this magazine, and he shoots and edits video for a number of student-focused projects, such as the European Competition for aspiring chefs, New Venture Competition for entrepreneurs, and A Reason to Taste fundraiser for academic program support and scholarships.
Away from the College, Bryant’s talent is known to local sports fans. He works part time for Memorial Coliseum, directing and producing game coverage of the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, Fort Wayne Komets, and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
“All of this work is an art form,” Bryant says. “I love to put a production together to entertain people and bring images to life.”
To date, Bryant’s signature moment was winning a regional Emmy Award early in his career for his camera and graphics contributions to a 2007 short documentary, Little River Wetlands, while a production assistant at WFWA-TV PBS39.
Despite Bryant’s enviable assignments and access to some high-end Canon cameras and Blackmagic Design video gear, he is no different than anyone else when he wants to capture an image quickly or take a selfie on the fly: He reaches for his smartphone.
While using a smart device yields obvious photo and video limitations, smartphones and tablets are still capable of snapping some quality images and video clips once best practices are observed.
Make a clean sweep.
Clean your lens, especially if your smart device isn’t kept in a protective shell.
Approach with eyes wide open.
Determine a game plan for your photos. Change your settings to high-resolution (large file size) photos if you plan to do more than upload them to the web. Skipping this step may leave you with pixelated images if they are ever printed.
Find your frame of reference.
Imagine a tic-tac-toe board (known as the rule of thirds or gridlines) on your field of view. Consider aligning your subject on one of the four intersecting corners of the grid to create more interesting and visually pleasing photos and video clips.
Broaden your horizons.
Shoot photos and video in landscape mode to minimize the loss of important details to the left and right of your subject.
Get up close and personal.
Fill the frame with your subject. Avoid using a digital zoom.
Simplify the scene.
Remove extraneous visuals that don’t help tell your story.
Go toward the light.
Use a natural light source whenever possible, especially with faces.
Check for intruders.
Be diligent to avoid potential photobombers or similar background distractions.
Snap like a turtle.
Take as many pictures from as many high and low angles as possible to add variety.
Explore all avenues.
Consider downloading photo- and video-editing apps, such as Photo Editor Pro and Photo Effects Pro, to enhance your images for quality and fun.