Three photo tips from an Instagrammer of the Year
Here's what two amateur Instagrammers got out of a photo walk with Singapore's @deebawr.
Her Instagram feed is filled with striking photos of architecture, nature, and portraits.
Beneath @deebawr‘s feed of visually attractive images, we were surprised with her soft-spoken personality.
25-year-old Nur Adibah is the master of portrait photography behind @deebawr, one of the profiles that was crowned Instagrammer of the Year in 2016.
Adibah’s interest in photography started from a young age. The creative youth spent a lot of time admiring and studying the pictures taken by her father, who worked as a wedding photographer.
“Though I did not follow him to take the pictures, I looked through the final products. Back then, he used film, and I found that very intriguing,” said Adibah, with a smile.
The self-taught photographer has been posting photos on her Instagram account since 2012, and counts Italian photographer Alessio Albi as one of her idols.
The shy youth shared: “His shots are simple and minimalistic. Yet, it is very unique to look at.”
Inspired by her amazing work, Youth.SG invited her for a casual photo walk last weekend to pick up some tricks. Armed with nothing but our amateur photo-taking skills, we were in for an eye-opening experience.
Here are our takeaways from our photo walk with Instagrammer of the year, @deebrawr.
1. Patience and passion is key
We went to three locations for our photo walk: Singapore Polytechnic (SP), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West Dover.
We were caught in the rain while making our way to SIT, which left us in a funk by the time we reached the campus.
While we were engrossed with keeping ourselves dry, Adibah, accompanied by her friend and fellow Instagrammer Yafiq Yusman, were bursting with energy. They were busy taking pictures of each other at angles we couldn’t even comprehend.
It was pretty clear that these Instagrammers were willing to do almost anything to get their money shot.
2. Have an eye for detail
While we struggled with finding angles for our photos, Adibah and Yafiq settled down pretty quickly. We were dumbfounded by their speed and precision. They instantly knew the positions they had to stand or sit to get the best shot.
For instance, Adibah wanted to get a shot of Yafiq “falling” off a bridge at SP. They actually waited for 15 minutes for the sunlight to disappear from the frame.
“You need to play with the lighting and adjust accordingly to make [your photos] believable or realistic,” said Adibah, who is working as a backend staff at an insurance company.
With just a few instructions from Adibah, Yafiq was already lying on the floor with his fingers hooked onto the beam, as if he was clinging on for his dear life.
Meanwhile, when we attempted to recreate the “falling” shot, our photos looked nothing out of the ordinary. At least we tried!
3. Using multiple photo editing apps is okay
Adibah’s pro-tip is to not be afraid of using multiple photo editing apps. She uses up to four different apps – VSCO, Snapseed, Night FX and Filterstorm – to edit her photos, such as isolating the sunlight hitting the subject and customising the colour tones.
“It only works on iPhones though. Samsung cameras are really good too, but once the phone compresses the image, it becomes very pixelated and it won’t be as nice,” said Adibah, who currently snaps her photos with an iPhone 7 Plus.
She even taught us how to take puddle reflection shots with our phones.
Step one: Flip your phone upside down.
Step two: Place your phone camera as close to the water as possible. Adibah recommends submerging the tip of your phone in the water to get the best shot. (Warning: Hold on to your phone very tightly to avoid water damage!)
Step three: Adjust the position of your phone from left to right to get a symmetrical shot, and snap away.
Before we concluded our short meet-up, we asked Adibah the three items she swears by whenever she goes on a photo walk.
Adibah said, with a laugh: “My phone, duh, my portable charger and my portable fan. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my fan today!”