Effective Ways to Produce High Quality Cannabis Photos
Gelato, flowering stage by Yuma Way LLC

Effective Ways to Produce High Quality Cannabis Photos

Taking High Quality Photos of Cannabis With a smartphone or lower basic DSLR camera

Cannabis strain, Gelato. Flowering Stage.
Gelato, flowering stage. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.

For newly founded cannabis brands it can be difficult capturing high quality photos without a big production budget. So how can smaller marijuana brands compete with more well established companies? This guide will provide effective ways for brands to produce high quality photos with any smartphone or DSLR.

Cannabis strain Member Berry on week nine of its vegetative stage.
Member Berry, vegetative stage. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.

So keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what camera equipment you’re using, in 2020 good photos are easy to take. If you pair good photos with quality information and you have a recipe for success. So read on to become a master of the “Pot Shot”.

Effective ways to produce quality cannabis photos

First, understanding composition is key to capturing high quality photos. Don’t be afraid to gather inspiration from social media. The three biggest composition techniques to understand are formal balance, depth of field and the rule of thirds.

Cannabis strain Gelato on week nine of its vegetative stage.
Gelato, flowering stage. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.

Formal Balance

For instance we have symmetrical balance a concept of aesthetic composition involving equal weight and importance on both sides of a composition. Below are some examples of photos that have strong formal balance. 

This photo of flowering Gelato exemplifies formal balance.
This photo of flowering Gelato (our subject) exemplifies formal balance. Notice the subject is centered and maintains a consistent background. It also maintains equal focus throughout the photo which will be covered in the Depth of Field section of the guide. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.

Depth of Field 

In addition we have depth of field. Depth of field is having the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appear to be sharp. So, depending on your equipment, you may be able to adjust focus options on your smartphone camera or manipulate the aperture and focus ring on your DSLR camera. Many modern smartphones have a depth of field mode.

Cannabis strain Lemon Zkittles dried and cured bud.
This photograph of cured flower (Lemon Zkittles) exemplifies strong depth of field. The subject itself is in focus and shows a high amount of detail while the background remains unfocused creating a Bokeh background.

Rule of Thirds

Finally the rule of thirds is a basic guideline that proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts, allowing important compositional elements to be placed along these intersections. So following the Rule of Thirds is an easy way to guarantee aesthetic layouts.

The Denver skyline at sunset
This photo of the Denver skyline exemplifies that composing your photo using the rule of thirds creates a stronger visual.

Smartphone Cameras

Smartphone cameras have come along way in the last five years. So most smartphones today have the ability to capture photos that compete with photos from DSLRs. Moreover, remember a lot of these cameras have focus options by just tapping on the subject within your frame.

Also, with most smartphones have the ability to utilize third-party apps that will give you more ISO, shutter speed and aperture options. If you have a new smartphone, be mindful of keeping the lens covered by some sort of protective case to reduce scratches. A little foresight is the way to keep your devices lasting a long time.

Cannabis strain Cherry Hill grown by Veritas Fine Cannabis.
This photo of Cherry Hill strain grown by Veritas Fine Cannabis was taken on an iPhone 6 Plus.

DSLR Settings

If you have access to a DSLR camera these few tips will significantly increase the quality of your photos. If your’re shooting live plants inside a grow with HPS (High Pressured Sodium) light, adjusting your white balance to the “Tungsten Light” setting will get rid of that yellow tint the sensor is recording. Another more advanced option is to set a custom white balance in your cameras manual settings. This will generate the most accurate temperature in variable conditions, including HPS Light.

So if your white balance settings aren’t done correctly, you will end up with photos that look grungy and yellow. Very unattractive.

Photo of cannabis strain White Walker Kush. Taken without any white balance adjustment.
Photo taken without white balance adjustment. Strain: White Walker Kush, grown by Yuma Way LLC.
Photo of cannabis strain White Walker Kush. Taken without any white balance adjustment.
Photo taken with white balance adjustment. Strain: White Walker Kush, grown by Yuma Way LLC

Consistent High Quality Product Shots

When shooting cured flower or products it helps to use a tripod and intervalometer to reduce camera shake. So having a consistent light source and product position will increase the quality of your photos.

DIY, at home cannabis photography studio. Camera set on tripod, aimed at marijuana positioned on a white backdrop.
DIY at home photography studio for product shots.
Cannabis Strain Blackwater. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.
Blackwater. Grown by Yuma Way LLC.
A screenshot of Yuma Way's Instagram profile from featuring the Gushers Cannabis strain photo positioned on a white background.
An example of simple and sharable micro-content from just one high quality photo. Strain: Gushers.

In conclusion Cannabis in all forms is very photogenic and is easy to capture if you follow these easy steps for Effective ways to produce quality cannabis photos. Maintaining a consistent presence on social media is crucial to any business in today’s market, especially within the marijuana industry.

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