Ever wondered how to capture that breathtaking landscape , a magnificent close-up image of a butterfly or that perfect action shot? Here’s how…
Rex Makemson, ‘C panel’ judge for the East Anglian Federation of Photographic Societies, keen photographer and West Norfolk resident, shares his top photography tips:
What do I need to be able to take a decent photo?
ANYTHING is the answer, anything capable of producing a photograph from a box with a pinhole (you’ll need to look that one up), a mobile phone, compact camera, super zoom cameras also known as bridge cameras and DSLR’s (Digital Single Lense Reflex) used by the discerning amatuer and the professional alike.
There is a saying that I think everyone has heard of and relates well to photography “it is not what you have got, it is how you use it”.
When I first started judging an experienced judge said to me “every photo is a good one if the author is happy then it’s great work”.
What are you going to be looking for?
Landscape: I came across many possible definitions including “the branch of photography dealing with the representation of natural scenery” to “photos of pretty much anything as long as it’s outside”.
You need everything in focus from the front of the picture to the back, see if you can find something for the eye to focus on preferably not in the middle, if you can get this point about a third of the way from the left or right also try not to have the horizon through the middle of the picture once again about a third in a third from the top or a third from the bottom.
All this is called the rule of thirds however it is only a guide not a hard and fast rule. Put your camera into Aperture priority mode (A on Nikon and on Av Canon) this will fix the aperture and allow the speed of the shutter to adjust itself to allow the correct amount of light in, use F8 to F11 and practice around these settings.
Macro: Is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size.
You want the concentration all on the subject and have a non intrusive out of focus background so the subject shows out, we would still be looking at aperture priority but with the camera set to about F1.4, F2, F2.8 – Also dependent on what your lens will allow some lenses have a macro setting. Once again practice makes perfect including the way you hold your camera ‘Keep it Still’ or use a tripod.
Action: a photograph featuring the subject in motion or action; also called action picture, action shot, which would include casual movement like walking.
Here we go in the middle of both slightly out of focus background and concentrating on the individual being photographed, bear in mind what I said in Landscape about the rule of thirds (as a guide, however now we use the ‘S’ setting on Nikon, ‘Tv’ on Canon, many cameras can vary). Speed needs to be enough to almost stop the action but not completely a little blur in movement can look good. So play around with speeds of 500 or 1000th second, once again practice ahead of time.
With camera phones you have little control over speed and apeture but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out on top. If you have a good eye then it matters not what you have in your hand, take the shot……….
– Rex Makemson
So there you have it, grab your compact or bridge camera, mobile phone, or DLSR and get out onto the Norfolk Trails to have a go at using Rex’s top tips.
Remember, it’s fun, it’s creative so give it a go.
Check out our ‘A Trail for All Seasons’ Photo Competition and put your skills to the challenge to capture that creative shot of the Norfolk Trails in all its seasonal splendour.