Photography tips

The art of light

Maria Falconer says: "Photography itself is a simple matter of using light to make marks. There are no actual rules – just ones that men have made up."

Use your screen

Landscape & wildlife photographer Francis J Taylor says: "Learn to use the histogram on your camera’s rear screen. When this is used in conjunction with the very useful highlight alert feature, you can ensure you quickly nail the perfect exposure every time."

Shoot what you love

Travel photographer Lottie Davies says: “Photograph the things you love. For instance, if you love food, shoot food – if you love adventures, shoot travel or cars, if your favourite place is at home with your family, photograph them. The energy of your enthusiasm will show through and make your images sing."

Accept the rain

Francis J Taylor says: "Don’t be a fair-weather photographer. Often the most interesting images are created in challenging and adverse conditions."

Smile and be selfish

Paul Sanders says: "We are guilty of taking our photography far too seriously, whether we are trying to impress our friends, fellow club members or that tricky judge. Photography is a hobby for many people, and even for professionals it’s a privilege to do a job that many would pay to do; so smile, enjoy your time with the camera and, yes, be selfish – this is time invested in you, so shoot what you like and not what you think will win things. It really doesn’t matter what other people think of the images you take, but if you truly enjoy what you take pictures of and the time you spend doing it, you may be surprised at the results, and possibly the prizes too."

Read this book!

Digital Camera Magazine editor Ben Brain says: "Read 'On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide' by Bill Jay and Magnum legend David Hurn. It’s a delight!"

Plan ahead

Francis J Taylor says: "Research your location to find the best time to visit. Remember that the position of the sun changes throughout the year so a location that doesn’t work in summer may be perfect in winter."

Get inspired by the arts

Ben Brain says: "Don’t limit yourself only to photographers for inspiration. Turn to painters, poets, musicians, authors et al..."

Use one prime lens

Ben Brain says: "Try using only one focal length (say 35mm or 50mm) for one year: I guarantee it’ll make you a better photographer."

Hide selection lines

If the dotted line of a selection is making it difficult to see an adjustment you’re making, press H to hide the ‘marching ants’ then make the adjustment without any distractions. Pressing H again will reveal the selection.