Spend Valentine’s day with a photographic partner and capture some sweet photos doing something fun!
Valentine’s day is a day of love and spending time with our romantic partners and now more than ever we know that this takes many shapes and forms. While some are out having fancy meals in restaurants, others go for romantic hikes together, or others still may prefer to stay at home and celebrate with a takeaway or a film on TV.
For those of us who love photography though, we know that behind a camera is where we’d really like to be. So why not take the opportunity this Valentine’s day, to partner up with your other half, or even spend time with a close friend, and take some new and unique shots in celebration of the day?
Capture a Loving Selfie With Your Partner
Valentine’s day, traditionally, is about spending romantic time with your partner and celebrating your love for one another. Selfies on a phone are a good way to capture some snaps of the day and may work as a lock screen for your smartphone, but getting a high-quality photo worthy of a print on the wall is on another level. That’s why it’s important to use a dedicated camera like a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Shooting a self-portrait is as simple as setting the self-timer on the camera, as we’ve done for decades, but as we all know too well, capturing a dynamic expression such as jumping for joy or throwing confetti in celebration is hard to do exactly on time. Fortunately, though, the MIOPS Smart+ trigger has a laser trigger feature that fires the camera when it detects a break in the laser. That means, as long as you’ve set up the threshold correctly when you go to do that jump or throw that confetti, the Smart+ will automatically trigger the camera to get the perfect shot. And don’t worry about missing the precise moment either, the Smart+ laser trigger mode has a built-in delay option up to 999ms and can trigger a sequence of up to 999 photos.
Get a Group Shot With Friends
Not all of us have a partner to share Valentine’s day with, and even if we do, we may feel it’s better to spend time with friends and have a day of togetherness. Whatever the reason, you can still celebrate the day with a bunch of friends, so why not set up the camera to get a gorgeous group photo?
Sure, you could set up a self-timer again to capture the group much as you did with the partner selfie, but this runs the risk of some individuals not being ready, looking off into the distance instead of at the camera, or some blinking and ruining the shot. Instead, set the MIOPS Smart+ to sound trigger mode. On the device, itself (or on the MIOPS smartphone app) set the threshold so that a loud signal will break through and trigger the camera to fire. Here we’re giving the example of shouting “cheese!”.
Set up the camera on the tripod and balance the camera settings to get a good exposure. Then get everyone in the group shot lined up ready for the photo and compose as desired. Next, head over and join the group and practice counting down like so: “3, 2, 1, CHEESE!” Keep the numbers quiet so the Smart+ isn’t triggered, but shout the “cheese” so the camera takes the photo as it passes the sound trigger threshold. You may want to try a few times to get this right, but it should be a much more foolproof way of getting that perfect group shot. Alternatively, this can also be used in conjunction with any transient sound such as a balloon popping, party popper opening, a whistle, a dog bark, and more.
Take Your Time to Capture That Perfect Moment
Valentine’s day is a romantic holiday and often the basis for many romantic gestures, such as a new announcement, perhaps the giving of a special gift, or even a proposal for engagement. Whatever the moment, you may want to capture it for the memory book or to share with friends and family on social media.
Let’s take the example of a proposal. You’ve just spent a good chunk of change on the ring itself and can’t afford to hire a photographer to hide in the bushes to capture the moment as well. That’s where the MIOPS Smart+ comes in. Set up the camera beforehand and dial in a timelapse via the Smart+. Have the camera trigger once every second or so and let it run. Then, when you’re ready, get in position and make your proposal. The camera will automatically capture the moment thanks to the Smart+ and you’ll have plenty of photos to keep for the photo album.
A timelapse is also a great addition to an event such as a party, or even renovating a house bought together. First of all, set up the camera in the corner of the most commonly used room where most of the action will be taking place. That means the living room or kitchen, if having a party, as people will flow in and out of the rooms as they head for food or drinks and dance to music. Use a wide-angle lens to give the biggest field of view possible so that everything in the room is captured during the timelapse.
Secure the tripod well to make sure nobody bumps or knocks it over if placed on the floor. Then set up the Smart+ by either heading to the timelapse mode on the device or in the app. Set the desired interval in seconds, we recommend one photo every three seconds to give the resulting timelapse sufficient energy when played back, this means subjects will be moving much faster than normal. Take note that the MIOPS app provides much more fine-tuning for these settings, enabling you to refine the interval (time taken between each shot) down to the millisecond.
Next, set the desired exposure from between 1 - 59:99 minutes, this will tell the device how long to expose the photograph for, and again a more accurate setting can be made with the MIOPS app allowing refinement down to the millisecond. Note that the interval timer must be longer than the exposure length, that’s because the interval defines the time between the start of the two consecutive exposures, not the time between the end of one exposure and the start of the next one.
Frames can be set from one to unlimited and this defines how many photographs will be taken consecutively. It’s important to be aware of frame rates here, as this impacts the timelapse’s length and speed. Typically, a film in the cinema will display at 24fps (frames per second) so 24 consecutive shots would make one second of film in this case.
However, US TV is broadcast at 30fps and UK TV at 25fps with lots of online video now reaching 60fps for a smooth-looking style. Before setting the frames run a quick equation to figure out how long you want the resulting timelapse to be, and multiply it by however many frames per second you want it to output to. For example, if you want the timelapse to run at 30fps and last for one minute then 30 (frames) x 60 (seconds) = 1800, so we’ll need to input 1800 frames in the Smart+ device or app. Note that the device has an upper limit of 10,000.
Making a decision is hard at the best of times, but when it comes to deciding what to shoot it can be an uphill struggle. That’s why we’ve put together a short list of inspiring ideas for you to draw from.
- Share a hug in front of the setting sun to become a loving silhouette
- Use party poppers and novelty sunglasses to create a dynamic portrait filled with action and poise
- Do a cake smash - similar to how baby photographers capture kids smashing into their cake and making a mess, do a grown-up cake smash, or opt for whatever food you prefer
- Set up a loving portrait with the family pet
- Play dress up and hire out (or better yet, make) costumes as you might at halloween or for cosplay
- Photograph your favorite food and add some dynamic movement. For example, bake a cake and sprinkle icing sugar on top while shooting. The great part is, you can eat the cake afterwards, too.
- Take some drinks photos - a bottle of bubbly, some fresh fruit, and maybe some ice look cosy set against sparkling fairy lights
- Set up your own boudoir shoot. Thanks to digital cameras we can now take our own more intimate photos at home without the need for film to be developed. Use some candle light and beautiful clothing or soft linen to make some tasteful boudoir shots
Blog Credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes
Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer, educator and writer. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients. Further information can be found in his website www.jasonpb.com.
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