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Justin's Photography Tips

Andrew Grant Kidderminster were recently proud winners of our branch Photography Competition. The shots submitted were, in the words of the judges “absolutely fantastic”, so how do you set about capturing the perfect image? Justin Heath explains…
1. Strong composition – trying to give depth to the image by using manmade and natural lines found in the landscape (i.e. roads, pathways, rock formations) which help lead the eyes of the viewer through the image to the focal point/main subject. 

2. Exposure – ensure that the image is well exposed for, as underexposure will make the photo appear dowdy and overexposure will result in a washed out sky for instance. Use filters to help balance the image, such as graduated filters which help balance the exposure of the land with the sky. The land is usually darker than the sky and these filters help address this. Another fantastic filter is called a ‘polariser’ which intensifies the blue of the sky and helps reduce reflections in water. 

3. Use of light – when taking landscape photographs, the best light is often found at dawn and dusk as the sun is low in the sky. This gives subjects more definition and colour. For property late morning through to mid-afternoon is probably best, as this produces less shadows and is thus easier to work with. 

4. Straight lines – when taking property it is extremely important to try and keep the lines of the building and the rooms straight, and avoid what is known as ‘converging verticals’ which makes the building or the room look lopsided. 

5. Take control of the camera – if one is using a digital DSLR camera, it really helps to understand the technical workings of it so you can use ‘Manual Mode’ and really take control of how the image turns out. Mastering the camera means that one can manually change exposure, shutter speed and so on in, making for much more freedom to create diverse images. For example, this enables one to take long exposures which is great for blurring water and the sky, and is fantastic for taking photographs in low light (i.e. at dusk or night). There are many magazines and books available which give great tips and advice on taking professional looking images, the best of which include ‘Outdoor Photography’ and ‘Practical Photography.’

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