Top 10 photography tips

No matter what you’re shooting, these tips will ensure your best ever photos. Here’s our top 10 shooting tips of all time…

1. Composition rules

When you’re setting up your shot think about the rule of thirds, and try to place your horizon on the top or bottom third line, and not through the middle. Look for leading lines to guide the eye, like fences, tree lines or meandering rivers. Place points of interest like castles or dominating trees on the third cross sectors. Don’t be afraid to move with your feet, not just your lens, to get the right composition.

2. Keep it straight

There’s nothing worse in landscapes than a scewed horizon. Invest in a spirit level or buy a camera with a level displayed onto the LCD or in the viewfinder.

photography tips

3. Light is everything

Think about the time of day you shoot. Midday sun can be fine for valleys or seascapes, but often landscapes look their best in the golden hours of sunset and sunrise. Try shooting the same location at a few different times of day.

4. Filter fun

Filters can transform your image from good to great. Invest in an ND Grad filter to darken skies and bring out cloud detail, and a polariser to enhance blues and greens. Continue reading

Shooting in low light

It’s tempting to think that once the sun has gone down, it’s time pack up your camera and go home – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Sunset itself is a formidable technical challenge with extremes of lighting contrast, but once the fiery globe has disappeared, the lighting becomes much more manageable. The best time to shoot low-light images is the hour after sunset, when there is either reflected sunlight in the clouds, or the sky still retains a blue colour. Once it gets black, then only firework displays or concerts are really worth persevering with.

The real attraction of low-light photography is that it largely doesn’t matter if it’s been cloudy all day.

After sunset, clouds take on a blue colour, and if there is artificial light in the scene, and you focus on that, then the camera’s auto white balance will actually enhance the blue colour.

Shooting in low light

In this feature, we’ll be explaining the best methods for photographing everything from seascapes to fireworks, showing what camera settings you need to use and explaining the problems that you’re likely to encounter, as well as how to overcome them to capture great images.

Master your camera settings and take control of your photography

The success of your low-light photography depends largely on good preparation and knowledge of your kit. We’ve always stuck by the philosophy that it’s the photographer, not the camera, that makes the picture. However, there are some models that do perform better than others after the sun’s gone down. Compact digital camera sensors are improving all the time. However, the low-light performance of some models can leave a lot to be desired. Manufacturers have a battle on their hands, insofar as compact sensors are tiny. This means that the number and size of the pixels they can pack onto them is limited, and, while by day image quality may be good, areas like noise performance can suffer as night falls.

DSLRs have larger sensors, and generally offer a greater range of ISO sensitivities to work with. They also offer greater control over settings and have interchangeable lenses, so the photographer can take advantage of the highest quality, fastest lenses that can gather far more light than the average fixed lens on a compact, making them ideal for low-light shooting. Continue reading

How photos can engage your readers

While a written blog certainly relies heavily on well-written and nutritious content in order to keep its readers coming back regularly, they also benefit greatly from the inclusion of a few great images. Confront your readers with a sea of words and you’re guaranteed that plenty of them will be overwhelmed and skip to the next page or out of your blog altogether. A healthy sprinkling of images courtesy of even the most basic of digital cameras will break up that text and can even complement the content really constructively, grabbing your readers by the shoulders and urging them to read on.

Visual learning

Ever heard the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, it’s actually true, because studies have shown that 60 per cent of your readers learn and retain information more effectively using image as opposed to text. A picture just makes us sit up and helps us remember a story.

amazing-picture

Metaphorically speaking…

You can describe a comparison you’ve made as much as you like in the hope that your readers will know what you’re talking about, but a photo will instantly paint the picture that lots and lots of words might not otherwise be able to.

So if, for example, you’re talking about the power of something (a business, a car, whatever), then you could choose a photograph of a big cat, perhaps. Similarly, if you’re talking about, say, government cutbacks and austerity measures, a big, shiny red axe would do nicely.

A good photo is magnetic

Your photo can either be straightforward or it can be cryptic. A straightforward picture will compel the reader to continue reading about the interesting topic they’ve just spotted, and a cryptic picture will play on the reader’s curios side (we all have one), again compelling the reader to find out more.

For example, perhaps you’re going to cover the latest celebrity scandal – a good picture summarising what the article is about (e.g. a post about an affair would benefit from a photo of the cheating couple in question) will work wonders. If your article is about something a little more photographically inexplicable, then focus on a more abstract focal point of the article. You could even choose a photo that’s saying exactly the same thing as your title (i.e. taking it very literally). Continue reading

Lowlight Landscapes

What You’ll need

Sunrise and sunset times – knowing these are crucial as the best photographic opportunities are ½ hour either side of the set or rise.

Tripod – Long exposure times means a tripod is a must. Manfrotto make good tripods for outdoor photography.

Camera – This type of photography is easier with a DSLR however some compact models have manual controls.

Torch – This will come in handy once the sun has set!

Skills you’ll learn

Composition – how to frame a landscape image.

Exposure – how to open your camera for long periods of time

Location – The best time and locations for lowlight photography.

Lowlight landscape photography can produce some of the most visually stunning images full of colour and atmosphere. This tutorial will be closely guiding you through the shapes and tones of the landscape and teaching you how to capture the best images using the dramatic and minimal light produced by mother nature.

Lowlight landscape photography

Images can be taken any time of the year however the Autumn is one of the best seasons to be shooting as the colours in the land are spectacular and the time of sunrise is not at stupid o’clock as it is in the Summer months! The bad thing about Autumn is the weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you take sensible clothing on a shoot. Remember dramatic rain clouds can produce fantastic images so don’t be put off if it looks like it is going to rain. A large umbrella to protect your camera and gear may come in handy and a lens cloth is always a good accessory to have to hand. Also remember your tripod, as a long shutter speed will be needed to shoot in these conditions.

There are many locations that will work for this type of photography. For this tutorial we selected a forest and a seaside location however the same rules applies in other settings. For the beginner photographer there will always be a lot of trail and error in landscape photography so it is best to practice somewhere that is close to home and easily locatable to build skills. Continue reading

Celebration photography

This article will show you how to take inspirational party images.

What you’ll need

Camera – DSLR or compact.
Manual controls are useful however not fully necessary.
Light source. Whether you are using flash, natural light or dealing with sunlight learn some simple techniques.
Tripod. For lowlight light photography and light trails a tripod is an essential item.

Skills you’ll learn

Portrait tips for formal and informal celebrations and learning how to deal with the pressure
Long shutter speeds using some form of light source.
General photography portrait and lighting tips
Celebrating special moments in life for many of us becomes the perfect opportunity to get out the camera and take those all-important images, which will remain on the mantelpiece for years to come.

Weddings, birthdays, graduations and parties are just a few occasions to list where the camera is sure to make an appearance. Unfortunately while many of us have good intentions of taking some great images sometimes it can be extremely difficult to be in the right place at the right time, or know what settings to place the camera on.

If this sounds like a familiar predicament you often find yourself in, fear not as this is where DCE comes to the rescue.

Celebration photography

By following this simple celebrations photography guide whether it be photographing a formal occasion or just wanting to capture some natural looking portraits at a birthday party, this informative tutorial takes you though a through step by step guide so you can capture the best celebratory images of friends and family.

Learn to capture the moment, people and surrounding objects and atmosphere of any celebratory moment and remember those special moments for a lifetime.

Formal celebrations: For those once in a lifetime moments make sure you are fully prepared

Weddings, graduations, and some formal occasions are all key lifetime moments to remember so it is very important to be prepared with your camera and accessories.

While a good position and taking lots of images is essential to achieving great results it is not worth ruining some bodies day to get it. Giving good direction to your subject matter is important however try not to bark orders, as your attitude will be reflected in your image. A relaxed, organised and friendly photographer always produces the best results.

Group images can be hard to organise so unless you are the photographer in charge needing to get all the shots stick to photographing small groups of 3-4 people. Continue reading