Photography tips

Tips to get great POV photos

POV (point of view) photography was invented with action cams, but you can get some great angles and photo ideas by trying it out with a regular camera. All you need to do is get your hands or your face in the foreground and looking into the scene.

Get the Lensbaby look with 'freelansing'

Did you know you can take pictures with your lens detached from the body and angled manually to create Lensbaby-style tilt-shift effects? All you need to do is check your camera settings and make sure it will still shoot with no lens attached.

Use a wide-aperture prime for soft baby pics

You can get beautiful baby and newborn portraits using soft lighting and a prime lens with a very fast maximum aperture. The shallow depth of field emphasises the softness of the subject.

Tips for posing group shots

Posed group shots can look very staged and static, so for smaller groups try finding an activity or an action that breaks the ice and captures movement and expressions in a more natural way.

Professional portraits with a single light

You can get a professional 'headshot' look in a home studio, using a single flash, a softbox and a plain backdrop. It doesn't need expensive gear, just a little practice with lighting and a little patience in setting up.

To get ahead, get a head!

It's not always easy to find someone to model for you as you practice your lighting techniques, so here's our top tip: Purchase a mannequin head! We agree that they're not great company, but they don't complain and they have the same shapes and features as human heads and are perfect for polishing up your portrait skills.

Use supplementary lighting at night

Night-time portraits can be very atmospheric and colorful, but often then need some subtle supplementary lighting to fill in the shadows and bring out your subject against a bright background. An off-camera flash is idea, or a portable LED panel may be better still, especially if you want to shoot video too.

Use focus stacking to get amazing depth of field

Try focus stacking to keep tiny subjects sharp from front to back. Some cameras can do focus stacking internally; otherwise you can merge 'focus stack' frames in photo editing software.

Use extension tubes for low cost-macro photography

Extension tubes go between the camera body and the lens to allow it to focus far closer than normal. You need to get extension tubes to fit your camera system, so check before you buy.

Try close-up filters for macros

Close-up filters are another low-cost route into macro photography. They are simple correction lenses that screw on to the front of your lens, and they usually come in threes, to be used individually or combined for an even stronger effect.

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