| Bargain Outlet
Stephen Price

You’re proud of the hard work you’ve put into your home improvement project, and want to showcase your finished work on your Facebook page or Twitter feed.  Here’s a few tips to help take your pictures to the next level, regardless if you’re using a point and shoot, a DSLR or a Smartphone.

1/ Framing the shot: To compose your shot, so that your intended content fills most of the picture area. Take time to check your framing in your viewfinder before you take the picture.  Zoom in or move closer to your main subject in order to reduce distracting elements. Zooming in too much will lead to “grainier” and blurrier images since the zoom feature intensifies any vibration.

Clear the clutter before taking the picture of your finished project.

2/ Set the stage: Often missed by amateurs and hobbyists is the extra “stuff” in the background, ranging from stray grocery bags and minor clutter, to wandering pets and family members. Before you take your pictures, give your place a once over. Go around the room you’re shooting and systematically get rid of all the things that detract from its beauty.


3/ Use A Tripod: Camera tripods are handy tools to have around. They’re useful if you’re  taking shots under low-light interior conditions. For personal use, you don’t need a huge one - just a simple compact one that’s easy to pack. You can actually get a decent little tripod for your smart phone as well, and that can make a big difference since pictures taken with a phone often suffer from a lack of sharpness due to slight movements. If you don’t have a tripod you can stabilize your camera on a solid surface. For less vibration, use the “Self Timer” instead of  pressing the shutter button.


4/ Avoiding Under Exposed Pictures: Underexposed photos appear too dark, making it difficult  to see the details. If you don’t have enough light, try setting your camera/Smartphone into  “Full Automatic Mode”. For the more advance user, try adjusting your settings to increasing your camera’s ISO speed or adjusting the White Balance. As long as you don’t go overboard and increase things too much, you should be able to gain a little bit of extra brightness without making your pictures too grainy. As a last resort you can use the flash, but it can blow out reflective surfaces.

shower unit and lav sink

5/ Pick the right orientation: Your camera, and especially your Smartphone, produces a rectangular image. This gives you two distinct orientations to work with—vertical or horizontal. Often, your subject will lend itself to one orientation or the other. For example, a horizontal orientation is not ideal for tall objects. On the other hand, vertical orientation might not lend itself best to a wide shot. Sometimes it’s not so obvious which orientation to choose. One sure way to know is simply to take your photo both ways and decide which looks best.


6/ Use filters sparingly: Sure it’s great to have all the coolest filter apps for your phone, and maybe you really want to make it look like you used a 1980’s Polaroid camera, but there is a time and place for that. If you really want to show off your finished project, take a few without the funky filters, so people can see the actual colors and finishes of your completed home improvement.