Photography tips

Straighten it out

Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley, author of the Busy Girl’s Guide To Digital Photography and teacher of one-to-one photography training, says "Pay attention to keeping horizons level in your frame – it can make or break a shot."

Process with care

Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley says: "Always spend a little bit of time to process your favourite images. Less is more: lifting the shadows, lightening and brightening and subtle sharpening can bring out the best in your shot."

Invest in a prime lens

"A prime 50mm lens is an indispensable, inexpensive piece of kit to have, giving beautiful crisp images and the ability to open up the lens really wide for maximum shallow depth of field" – Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley

Reinvent the wheel

"If you’re buying an SLR camera, it’s always worth having a dedicated command wheel to control your shutter and your aperture independently, making manual exposure easier" – Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley.

Get trained

Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley says "Invest in some good-quality one-to-one training, to fast-track your way to getting off auto and shooting manually. This will put you in control of your image-making. And learn basic processing techniques to give your work professional polish."

Trial and error

Creative photographer Mark A Hunter says: “Don’t get hung up on nailing a shot first time. For example, rather than determining exactly what depth of field to use, put your camera into Aperture Priority mode and grab a few different shots at a range of apertures – you might surprise yourself with the results.”

Give yourself assignments

Fine-art photographer James Stanford says: "Sometimes knowing what to shoot is a big relief. Other times, being extemporaneous is the way to go. I love to go out and see what the universe is presenting to me on any given day. Learning to be sensitive to what is out there with no preconceived idea is a wonderful way to discover new subject matter. But only looking for the shot that presents itself in the moment seldom creates new technical skills. In order to master the camera, I give myself special assignments. Giving yourself an assignment helps you to learn about photography and your equipment. By knowing what you want to achieve, you can plan things out. This way you can slow things down. Shoot and confirm. Take notes. Concentrate on getting the shot just right! You will learn to master Aperture Priority, shutter speed, ISO, manual settings, and more."

Research your subject

Nature photographer Roeselien Raimond says: "No matter whether it’s an animal you are trying to photograph or some kind of phenomenon, the more you know about your subject, the better you will be able to anticipate what’s to come. Learn to know when animals breed, hunt and sleep. Find out when mist or thunder is likely to occur. It might cost some time, but it’s an investment that will pay off."

Explore!

Travel and urban photographer Nico Goodden says: "If you want to succeed as a photographer while always learning and never being bored, do not fear exploring other genres. Instead, be wary of people who tell you to stick to a single genre or niche – it may not be the very best advice if you look at life as an opportunity to discover new things. I have found that instead of hindering my development, shooting a multitude of genres has taught me many transferable skills and brought exciting new clients and commissions through the variety of what I shoot, eventually snowballing into even more unexpected commissions."

Choose your moments

Architectural and travel photographer Denys Nevozhai says: "The main thing I’ve learned about photography is to not be obsessed with photography, and shoot only the most worthwhile moments or scenes. The realisation that you need to verify and edit too many photos will make you postpone the process, lose excitement and eventually pile all the set."

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