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.
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.
5. All in the eyes
Whether your model makes eye contact or not can have a huge impact on the tone and message of your image. Strong eye contact can help draw viewers into the shot, while models who look away can give a more mysterious tone.
6. Think about crop
Portraits aren’t just head and shoulders. You can include the whole person, just the eyes or somewhere in between. Closer crops help focus the viewer on the face so ensure make-up and hair is perfect, while including the rest of the body means ensuring nails are well kept and the style of clothes is appropriate.
7. Props and colour
Add a flash of colour with a flower in the hand or hair, or by applying a shocking lipstick hue. Different colours have different connotations, like red for passion and drama.
8. Depth of field
Unlike landscapes, macro shots usually require a much shallower depth of field to focus the attention on the subject. Stop your camera down to around f2.8, with a fast shutter speed to erase blur.
9. Think about background
When composing your shot, remove any debris behind the subject and make sure there are no distracting elements. If there are, try to blur these out with narrow depth of field, or reposition yourself to get them out of frame.
10. Perfection is key
Every little flaw will be shown in this kind of photo, so ensure flower petals are perfect. If not, a little post-production can work wonders!