How to Take Advantage of the Golden Hour for Great Photos

The golden hour is a magical time of day for photography. It spans roughly the hour right after dawn, and the hour right before sunset – though its length varies depending on the time of year, weather, and other factors.

The reason the golden hour is so magical hour is simple: Lighting. The lighting during that time right after dawn and right before sunset is warm, diffused, and directional – all of which are traits that you can use to capture truly impressive photos.

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Tips for Better Landscape Photography

Landscape photography is my passion, I love getting out in the fresh air and trying to capture beautiful photographs. 

There are lots of people who will give advice on getting this camera or that lens but if you haven't got the basics right, to begin with then it's a losing battle. 

Here are a few simple tips that I think will help you...

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Getting Children Interested in Photography

If you look back over your family photos what do they show? What can you see? IF they’re anything like ours then they will show the children, on rare occasions they show one parent and the girls while I’m taking the photos. 

I honestly can’t remember the last time I appeared in a photo and I certainly can’t remember the last time my wife and I had a photo together. 

Both my girls are at the age when I want to get them interested in taking photos and personally I think getting children interested at a young age is so important. We all know that children absorb information so quickly when they’re at school so this is a perfect time. 

I’m hoping my tips will help you get your children taking photos. I’m not talking about teaching them about ISO, shutter speeds but small tips to help them take photos they can be proud of. 

Pick The Right Camera

From experience picking the right camera is key, there’s really no point in getting them an expensive all singing all dancing camera but equally a disposable camera isn’t right for them. A simple basic camera with a zoom and importantly a screen is perfect. Even a phone with a camera is fine. Children need to see what they have taken a photo of and this needs to be instant not a few days later. 

Holding the Camera

Before you get them to snap away show them how to hold the camera. If using a phone then a grip where they hold it in each corner is normally good. Show them what happens if fingers are in front of the lens. No one enjoys looking through photos where little fingers are in the way. Show them before so they won’t get disappointed when you look at them later. 

Setting up the photo

When getting children interested in taking photos don’t bombard them with too much information. The best way to start is to tell them to start by getting everything in the centre then they won’t go too far wrong. This is where having a screen is ideal as they can see exactly what they’re taking a photo of. 

Experiment

The beautiful of digital photos and camera phones is that you can take endless amounts of photos and it doesn’t matter. If they get a disposable camera then it’s limited to 24 or 36. My tip would be to give them a camera on a day out and just let them snap away. You can then look back over them and explain what they did wrong and they will learn as they go. 

Get up Close

On most cameras, they will be some form of zoom but also explain to them that if something looks too far away then move up to the subject so more of the point of interest is in the photo. This is sometimes easier said than done. 

Focus on Interesting Things

Why are they taking that photo? Once they’ve got the basics of actually taking a photo get them to take photos of interest. What caught their eye? If it was an animal or person get them to focus on that and fill the photo with the thing they found interesting. 

Following these tips will give your child a good start in their photography journey and over time different things can be introduced such as Rule of Thirds or advancing to a larger camera with more advanced settings. 

Now step away from the camera and get your child to snap photos of you for a change instead of the other way round.

A Couple of Rules for taking photos with a blurry background with a basic kit lens

A Couple of Rules for taking photos with a blurry background with a basic kit lens. 

Do you want to get a blurry background in your photos but only have a  kit lens? 

Follow these simple rules and you'll be able to. 

It's all about these simple things: Distance to your subject, Focal Length and Aperture. 

1. Get closer to the subject with your lens that way the background will be more compressed. 

2. Zoom all the way in with your kit lens. Again you'll have a better chance at getting the background blown out. 

3. Shoot at the widest aperture possible and combined with the distance and focal length the better chance you have of getting that blurry background.

Go and give it a go and see what results you get. 

Note: My background wasn't the best but hopefully you get the point. 

The Moment Of Truth - How good is the A4 Pro Photo Book?

The Moment Of Truth - How good is the A4 Pro Photo Book?

If you haven't seen the Making a Photo Book video then check it out here - https://youtu.be/-c7OeDPP_ps

WIN a FREE A4 Pro Photo Book - https://gleam.io/YlKrb/a4-layflat-photo-book-worth-40

This is the first look at the book and my reactions to it. This book is of my London Collection 2016 and it's the first time I've had this style of book made. 

The Photo Book was made at Photobox.com using their layout tool. 

I'm super pleased with how it came out and if I was a client receiving this book I'd be really happy with the way it's come out.