Which selfie stick works best with Snapchat

With or without a stick: 11 tips for the perfect selfie

PHOTOGRAPHING WITH THE SMARTPHONE

Selfies are a must for anyone who leads an exciting life and wants to show their Facebook and Instagram friends what's going on. However, not all selfies are the same: You should make sure that your self-portrait looks good. With our 11 tips you can take the perfect selfie - regardless of whether you use a selfie stick or not.

The selfie has long been an integral part of social networks: From stars and starlets to Hinz and Kunz, everyone who is able to use a smartphone has already made one or two selfies and posted them somewhere on the Internet: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are classic platforms for the small, everyday vanity. But what do you do if your own selfies just, well: look shoddy? Or does it just not want to hail likes? Well: In such cases, you should optimize your selfie technique. We show you how to do it.

Front or back camera?

First of all, you should consider whether you want to use the smartphone's front or rear camera. Front cameras are more than lousy, even with current models, which provokes image noise, blurring and blurring. Sure: You can see yourself taking a selfie and modern smartphones like the iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S8 are of course "selfie-optimized" with comparatively powerful cameras. Still, the back camera simply takes the better photos. Take those if you can.

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Release with the buttons

If you use the back camera, there is of course another problem: How can you trigger the smartphone if you cannot see the shutter button on the screen? Well: Most Android smartphones and all iPhones from recent years can also be triggered by pressing the volume button. It's quick and easy - and prevents fiddling with the device.

Avoid lightning

Before you take your selfie, however, you should deactivate the built-in flash. With all smartphones in the world - as with all "normal" cameras, by the way - this is nothing to work with: The light is too bright and too direct, the range is modest. Smartphone flashes in particular have the disadvantage that their light temperature is rather cold, which makes pale skin appear even paler. In addition, skin blemishes and similar little things are clearly highlighted. So: stay away from the smartphone flash, it's bad!

Pay attention to the right light

What you should do instead is use the lighting mood. Ambient light plays a significant role in the mood of the picture, especially when taking pictures outdoors. What does that mean in concrete terms? Well: Everyone knows the soft reds and oranges of the sunset and the pale blue of the early morning. The very special light on a summer day or on the beach also sets the mood.

For indoor shots, it's the lighting or light effects. However, caution is advised here too, especially when direct sunlight is involved: If you have the sun behind you, the smartphone automatic controls the brightness of the entire picture - your face appears very dark.

If the sunset in your back cannot be avoided, this is probably the only sensible use of the smartphone flash: With it you can brighten your face in the foreground so that shading is no longer a problem.

Avoid direct light

In general, however, you should avoid direct sunlight: If it comes from behind, the camera shades the foreground, if it comes from the front, you may kneel your eyes and the selfie then looks accordingly modest. It can therefore make sense to use a diffuser.

Do not go into the shade, but look for a shelter without direct sunlight: It can be under a tree or a palm tree or, for example, if you are at a festival, one of these white tent pavilions. However, you shouldn't really put yourself in the shade: Here too, the smartphone software leads to unsightly over- and underexposure due to the difference in brightness between your face and the background.

A little tip: If you make the sun disappear behind your head, you will have wonderfully exposed - and illuminated - selfies without ugly shadows.

Posing properly

When the questions about the technology and the light have been clarified, you can take the selfie shooting. You have to be really tough now, dear duck-face or fish-gape protagonists. The sugar-snout, preferably with the smartphone camera held overhead, doesn't look "cute", but is utterly a selfie cliché.

If you do that, you are only one of the millions who do it. The same applies to sunglasses, by the way: Put the damned things off immediately, that's not cool, it's just ridiculously stereotypical. Especially since it completely contradicts the rules of photographic aesthetics. The artist knows that a self-portrait is photographed at eye level. Not over, not under.

Because that simply distorts the face - and mostly unfavorably: Those who take selfie from below get a nasty double chin. And the manga face that is supposed to be created with the camera held up looks unnecessarily artificial. Better to keep the smartphone camera at eye level - and create mood and emotion in the photo itself.

Provide interesting content

Many smartphone photographers believe that the success of a selfie depends on how good the person in the picture looks. So if you spend a lot of time with creams, Clearasil and your hair dryer: There you go. But that's only half the battle, because a selfie only becomes really exciting when it shows you in a situation or with an object that is interesting.

Are you at a comic convention? Take cool motifs with you on the selfie! You look at the Nürburgring at how family fathers destroy their Pampers bombers? That is also a wonderful background. If, and this is important, you pay attention to the perspective.

Ensure closeness

For selfies, as is the case with most other photographic styles, when in doubt, proximity is better than distance. In this way, the viewer gets the feeling of "being there" and not observing someone from a great distance like a voyeur. Therefore, it makes sense to take the selfie in such a way that you can also be seen easily.

By the way, mirror selfies help to take pictures of the whole body or to find a perfect pose, even though you are taking photos with the back camera. Important: look into the camera lens of your reflection, not the one you are holding in your hand. In this way you look at the viewer - and have a few bonus points with your friends, fans and followers.

Technical aid self-release and remote release

By the way, you can of course also take "remote selfies". All you need is either the headset of your smartphone, if it has a volume control - or a Bluetooth trigger, which is included with selfie sticks, for example. Incidentally, both together are a Bluetooth headset with volume control: As with a smartphone, you can trigger the camera directly via Bluetooth.

Simply press one of the volume buttons. The advantage of this solution: You can take the back camera and photograph yourself in a pose that does not allow a "normal" selfie with an outstretched arm, for example during yoga. Of course, you have to hold the headset so that you can't see it in the photo.

Another option is the remote release, which is limited to ten seconds in most apps: put the smartphone down, select the remote release and quickly get into a cool pose, for example a handstand. The self-timer is released and you have a unique picture that you would never have been able to do with your hand on your smartphone or a selfie stick.

Tip: Most selfie sticks are also small tripods, for example you can stick them in the sand or screw the holder onto a real camera tripod.

And what about the selfie stick?

Speaking of selfie sticks: the "full post antenna" almost became the word of the year 2016 for young people. You don't have to say more about it, do you? Basically, the following applies: The selfie stick can help to get more background into the picture due to the greater distance, for example when you are on vacation in front of a spectacular backdrop and absolutely need a selfie. As already described, it can also be used as an emergency tripod. So if you have one, pack it up, but only use it if you really need it.

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Filter or not?

Last but not least, a word about the numerous filters that social network apps like Facebook or Instagram have on board: Basically, they initially worsen the image quality, but can hide problem areas on the face or give the situation a small bonus in terms of drama and a Make an unspectacular selfie "pretty".

At the same time, the filter should also match the situation and mood. Be adventurous: black and white filters come into their own when something is supposed to appear creepy, dark, sad or artistic, color filters, on the other hand, emphasize certain color tones, which gives the picture a completely different impression.

Whether you filter - and which filters you use - is of course up to you, but for beautiful selfies it is definitely recommended to save the unfiltered version so that you can edit it again later on the PC if necessary.

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