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Practical hands-on shooting advice

Master important exposure settings

Discover your camera bag essentials

Top tips & techniques

Easy tricks for better
Learn the photo rules Use fresh perspectives Work with leading lines Experiment with zoom


Switch to
RAW now
Why you should leave
JPEGs behind forever
the moon
How to capture
the night sky
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and share your shots!
Essential guides for
Plain English award winner
Jargon-free photo magazine

Photography for Beginners 3
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Get in touch with usAsk questions, leave feedback on the magazine or share your shots via the following social sites
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@PFBMag PFBMag PFB Magazine
essential skills
you will learn
in this issue
Discover how to take striking
shots in-camera on p18
Head to p38 to shoot, edit
and share a creative avatar
Turn to p42 to capture sharp
shots of the night sky
Learn to capture landscapes
on your cameraphone on p50
Find out how to shoot and
edit RAW images on p56
As its my rst issue taking the reins of Photography
For Beginners, we thought we would pack it full of
fantastic features, practical tutorials and useful
tips to help kick-start your springtime shooting.
Theres a great Beginners Guide to composition
on p18, where youll discover how to compose
stunning shots in-camera, and a helpful ten-step
guide to perfect photos of any subject on
p28. Weve also got an ten-page feature
on why you should switch to RAW, along
with advice on shooting landscapes
using your cameraphone and more.
I hope you enjoy the issue. Dont
forget to share your shots online!
Hayley Paterek
Deputy Editor
Follow us at @PFBMag
Issue 36
Photography for Beginners 3
Issue 36
Shutter speed: The
time your shutter is
open for, in seconds
Compact system
camera: Good image
quality, lightweight
Smartphones that
are always with you
Compact: Small,
low-cost and easy-
to-use cameras
Aperture: The depth
of field of an image,
as an f-number
4 Photography for Beginners
06 Your photos
Send us your shots for a chance to
appear in the section thats just for you!
10 Readers challenge
Get your hands on some slideshow
software by entering our competition
12 How to share your photos
Ways to send your shots to the PFB team
for advice and to share with our readers
14 Need to know
Check out Olympuss latest camera and
win a landscape masterclass in Argyll
16 Join the debate
Would you share your shots online without
a watermark? Tell us your thoughts now
17 Win a camera worth 250
Be in with a chance of winning a fantastic
Samsung WB350F by entering today
46 Subscribe!
Save money on your copy of Photography
for Beginners with our exclusive offer
78 Ask the team
Your questions answered and problems
solved by our panel of photo experts
82 Quick start guide
All you need to get to know your camera
in just ve minutes
84 Upgrade
On test: Nikons latest DSLR, the Sony
RX10, the Fujilm X-A1 and more
92 Accessories
Latest cameraphones reviewed, essential
landscape accessories and more
98 Architecture cheat sheet
Learn the key things you need for
incredible architecture shots
DSLR: Usually more
expensive, but
good image quality
the right
Nikon D5300 and
more rated inside
Create a cool
online prole pic
Discover how to capture
stunning shots in-camera
with our top tips
Creative portraits
Tricks for better
Capture sharp shots of the night sky
Shoot the moon
Your quick-start guide to all the icons youll see in Photography for Beginners WHAT THE ICONS MEAN
Learn composition rules on p20
Latest kit
18 Easy tricks for better
composition now
Shoot images with more impact by
following our composition tips and tricks
28 10 steps to great shots
Discover the secrets behind getting a
great shot with our step-by-step guide
36 5 tips for natural portraits
Improve your people pics in an instant
38 Shoot, edit and share a
creative portrait
Transform your online prole with a
mind-bending avatar image
42 Shoot the moon
Get sharp shots of the moon tonight
44 Capture a backlit still life
How to take a photo with a difference
48 Story behind the shot
Find out how to photograph light trails
50 Take stunning landscapes
on your cameraphone
Tips for capturing fantastic vistas
54 Retouch phone captures
A step-by-step guide to using the
Handy Photo app
56 Get to grips with RAW
Discover the benets of shooting in
RAW for bigger and better quality shots
66 Add a light leak
How to create a retro camera effect
68 Use the History palette
Learn how to undo editing adjustments
70 Choosing the right cloud
storage service
A roundup of the best cloud storage
options that are available online
74 Organise your shots by
location in Elements
Assign places to your images
76 Print your photos
5 tips for printing your
photos at home and on
the internet








Issue 36
For back issues & more go to
Find out how RAW can
transform your shots
Switch to RAW
capture today
Adjust shutter speed on p31 Master metering on p32
Enhance exposure on p62
A practical guide to getting
fantastic images every time
10 steps to
great shots
6 Photography for Beginners
Your photos
Take a look at our favourite photos taken
by our talented readers this month and be
inspired to send in your own
A Sam
sung 16GB
ory card
Every issue, one winner will receive a
Samsung 16GB SDHC memory card
or a prize of equal value
Full terms and conditions
available online
Faireld Church, Kent
I set the camera to bracket
and red ve shots with
different exposures, then
used Photomatix to turn them
into an HDR image.
Shot on: Nikon D7100, 35mm
lens, ISO 100, f8, 1/30sec
Sent in via: Email
Reader: Damien Harrow
6 Photography for Beginners
Readers gallery
Photography for Beginners 7 Share your shots at: Share your shots at: Photography for Beginners 7
Readers gallery
8 Photography for Beginners
Reader: Lisa Donoghue
A Break From Life
I had no intentions of taking any
photos, but towards the end of the day,
the clouds and the light took on a
strange look. I decided to race home,
grab the camera and basically chase
the strange clouds in the sky.
Shot on: Sony Alpha SLT A-65, ISO 100,
f10, 1/125sec
Reader: Ian Angus
Young Bird
The was taken on the path down
to Threave Castle. He sat on the
fence post and I managed to get
four shots from three feet away.
Shot on: Fujilm FinePix
HS30EXR, ISO 100, f5, 1/60sec
Matthew Woodhouse
The Dark Hedges
This was taken at 5:10am,
before sunrise. The trees were
all in shadow, so I decided to
park my car in the middle of
the road (there was no trafc
at that time), turn on the car
lights full beam and take the
shot using a remote release.
Shot on: Canon EOS 60D, ISO
100, f22, 20sec
Gareth Cheshire-Whatley
Lily On A Duck Pond
I saw the lily and was attracted
by the colour and petals. After
having your magazine delivered to
me with an article on zoom burst, I
felt inspired to give it a shot as my
rst editing experience.
Shot on: Nikon D3100, ISO 400,
f9, 1/160sec
Reader: Shazz Hooper
Disco Ball
I wanted to try something
creative, so I set up a disco ball in
a dark room, placed it against a
wall to get the light to bounce
back and got this effect.
Shot on: Canon EOS 70D, ISO
100, f8, 1.3sec
Readers gallery
8 Photography for Beginners
Share your shots at: Photography for Beginners 9
Reader: Kaye Amos
Gentle Blues
These beautiful blue rams are recent
morphs of the common rams. These
sh are very sensitive to certain
environments and need extra care. I
love how vibrant they are and how
chilled they are.
Shot on: iPhone 4S
Reader: Eleanor Payne
Title: Sunset Silhouette
Reader: Teri Humphrey
Title: Amazing Mother Nature
Reader: Jai Crawford
Title: Innocence
Reader: Alun Clinton
Title: Old Pier
Reader: Jo Cantelo Bond
Title: The Tower Of Gold
Share your shots at: Photography for Beginners 9
Win cameraphone kit!
Send us your cameraphone shots and you could win a Manfrotto
KLYP kit worth 95/approx $150. For more info head to www. Full terms and conditions available online.
ENTER NOW: Send your shots to
You might think that low-light situations are not
ideal for photography, as photography is
essentially the recording of light. However, there
are plenty of great photographic opportunities to
be discovered as the light begins to fade. In actual
fact, the hours of the day when the sun is low in
the sky are best for outdoor photography, as the
light is soft and golden at these times. You can
also get creative with articial light indoors,
experimenting with different setups for your still life
and portrait photos to produce really creative
results. In our Beginners Guide to Low-light
Photography in Issue 35, we showed you how to
shoot landscapes, portraits and still life when
there is little or no
natural light around.
We then asked you
to send us your
best low-light
photos, and here is
a small selection
of our favourites.
Low-light shooting
Learn how to make the most of
fading light in PFB Issue 35. Find this
issue and more at
Your next
photo challenge
Follow the guidelines from our Beginners Guide to
Composition feature in this issue and send us your
favourite photos by 18 March 2014 for a chance to win
MAGIX PhotoStory 2014 Deluxe.
Prize may be substituted for an item of equal value.
Full T&Cs available online.
Deluxe software
Send us your shots for a chance to win a copy
of MAGIX PhotoStory 2014 Deluxe, courtesy of This software, which allows
you to turn your photos into fantastic
slideshows, is worth 70/$70.
Stockton Innity Bridge
This was taken at sunset. I
knewwith the sky being clear the
white bridge would look good
againstthe blue sky.
Shot on: Nikon D3200, ISO 100,
f3.8, 3sec
Reader: Darren Price
Readers gallery
Low light
10 Photography for Beginners
Reader: James Walsh
Title: Notre Dame Basilica
Reader: Melinda Crouch
Title: On The Lakeside
Reader: Barry Liner
Title: Light Trails North
Reader: Michael Atkinson
Title: Redcar Beacon Light Trails
Reader: Kathryn Bowles
Title: Smoking Dragon


r s
Reader: Steve Martin
Title: Reection
Share your shots at:
Low light
Photography for Beginners 11
Heres how to show us your stunning snaps
Share on our social sites Join the Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities
Click the Compose New Tweet box and select
Add An Image. Find your shot and click Open.
Write some text, include @PFBMag, then click
Tweet and we will see your photo!
PFB Magazine
Hit Upload to add images. Click on the image
you want to share, then click Share>Grab the
link. Email it to pfbteam@imagine-publishing. or post it to us on Facebook or Twitter.
Search for PFBMag and click the tab. On our
page, hit Photo/Video, then Upload Photo/
Video. Browse for your image, write a message
and click Post for it to appear on our wall!
Also share on our website Head to now
Become our favourite!
We pick our favourite shots to
highlight in our Featured Image
section. This could be you soon,
so get uploading!
Create a gallery
You can showcase your favourite
images by creating your own
gallery page on our website. Its
quick and simple to set up.
The best of the rest
on our great website
Enter the
Your shots are
entered into our
section and
pitted against
other peoples
have fun
watching your
score rise!
Be inspired
Browse through all the different
categories to be inspired by
other readers photos and get
ideas of your own.
Tips and tutorials
Our website is piled high with step-by-step
tutorials and useful tips to help you take
better photos of any subject.
News and debate
We help you keep up-to-date with the latest
industry news and releases. You can also
get stuck into hot topics with our debates!
Head to and
enter our weekly competitions to win some
really fantastic prizes!
12 Photography for Beginners
One of the latest cameras to be launched by
Olympus has a particularly handy function for
photographing wildlife and sports. The SP-100EEs
built-in Dot Sight helps you keep track of moving
subjects in the frame, even when you are fully
zoomed in, so that you wont miss a great shot
opportunity. The Dot Sight is featured on the
camera body, rather than being an optional and
bulky accessory, and automatically pops up above
the viewnder when you switch the camera on.
The cameras 50x optical and 100x digital zoom
will also help you get fantastic close-up shots of
far-off subjects, while the 24-1200mm focal range
is versatile enough for shooting a range of different
scenes. The deep, textured grip on the front of the
camera makes it very comfortable to hold for long
periods of time, and the single-nger-operation
control dial allows you to change your settings
quickly and easily. Inside the camera is a 16MP
CMOS sensor, which promises high-resolution
images, and built-in image stabilisation is on hand
to keep shots sharp even at full zoom.
The Olympus SP-100EE has an RRP of
350/$400. Olympus has also launched a new
feature-packed CSC, the OM-D E-M10, and a
super-tough compact camera, the TG-850. For
details on these other new releases, head to our
Reasons why we cant
wait to get our hands
on this camera
We want to see just how
useful the Dot Sight is for
taking shots of fast-paced action
Were going to see if the
built-in image stabilisation
really does keep shots steady
Well discover how easy
this camera is to use for
beginner shooters
Never miss an action
shot with Dot Sight
The new Olympus SP-100EE has an innovative feature
Record HD video
Capture high-resolution full HD
(1920 x 1080) 60p movies to
record even more of the action
and accompanying sound
Add art lters
You can choose from seven
different art lters to apply to
your photos, including pop art,
soft focus and grainy lm
Share your shots
Use the optional FlashAir card
to wirelessly connect the
camera with any Wi-Fi-enabled
smartphone, tablet or PC
Frame with ease
The built-in Dot Sight is
positioned above the electronic
viewnder and helps you frame
shots of moving subjects
Shoot super macro
The cameras Super Macro
mode lets you focus on
subjects up close and 1cm
away from the lens
14 Photography for Beginners
A snapshot of whats exciting us this month
WIN a landscape photography
masterclass in Argyll!
Get one-on-one
photo tuition on the
stunning west coast
of Scotland
If you want to brush up on your landscape
photography skills, then the breathtaking
scenery of Scotland is a fantastic place to
do it. Knowing where to start might seem a
little daunting though, so we are giving you
the chance to learn from a pro. If you enter
our competition, you could win your very own
one-on-one photography masterclass with
Bill Baillie from Rainy Cloud Images (www. He lives in Argyll,
Scotland and feels very fortunate that he
has such a beautiful landscape to use as his
classroom. Bill says: Photography provides
me with the perfect medium to capture the
outstanding beauty of Argyll. Its rugged
coastal landscape, the passing seasons and
the history that seeps through the land are
the ever-changing backdrop for my work.
The winner of our competition will not only
win Bills expert photography tuition, but also
get a free two-night stay for two in the
beautiful Loch Melfort Hotel (lochmelfort., set in 17 acres of gardens and beach
on the romantic coast of Argyll, plus a
delicious dinner for two. Please note that
travel expenses are not included and that
accommodation at Loch Melfort Hotel is
subject to availability. The winner will liaise
with Bill Baillie at Rainy Cloud Images on a
mutually convenient date for the workshop.
For your chance to win this fantastic prize,
all you need to do is send your name,
contact details and your best landscape
photo to
by 3 April 2014 and include Scottish photo
course as the subject header of your email.
Capture fun photos of oil and water
A great photo project to try at home
is to take creative close-ups of oil
and water. The two do not combine,
leaving perfectly circular drops for
you to photograph, and our guide will
show you how to get great results.
This month on
Take great photos of aeroplanes
Aeroplanes in ight provide you with
a great opportunity to practise your
action photo skills, but knowing how
to get sharp and well-exposed shots
can be tricky. Let us show you the
best settings for striking photos.
Complete guide to
camera modes
Street photography
Great competitions
and exciting news
Terms and conditions
Travel expenses will not be paid by Imagine Publishing or Bill
Baillie. The winner must be of reasonable mobility, as some
walking will be involved. The two-night stay at Loch Melfort
Hotel is subject to availability. This competition is open to
residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Imagine
Publishing has the right to substitute the prize with a similar
item of equal or higher value. Employees of Imagine Publishing
(including freelancers), Bill Baillie, their relatives or any agents
are not eligible to enter. The editors decision is nal and no
correspondence will be entered into. Prizes cannot be
exchanged for cash. Full terms and conditions are available on
request. From time to time, Imagine Publishing or its agents
may send you related material or special offers. If you do not
wish to receive this, please state on your competition entry.
The breathtaking scenery in
Argyll is a photographers dream
Enjoy a tasty
dinner for two
Photography for Beginners 15 Share your shots at:
16 Photography for Beginners
Join the debate
Join the debate at...
Search for PFBMag on...
If Im sharing my photos publicly online, I
always add a watermark to them so that
if someone does copy them, at least
they will still be accredited to me. It is
easy to create a watermark using
editing software or free online tools, but the tricky part
is making the watermark look discreet so that it does
not compromise the photo too much. However, you also
have to make sure that it cant be easily cropped out
and that it doesnt just blend into the photo, so I usually
put it in the centre but make it a very pale colour for a
more subtle effect.
Do you share shots
without a watermark?
The internet is a fantastic tool for sharing your
photos with the world, but it also leaves them
vulnerable to being copied and used by others
without your permission. Adding a watermark to
your images will help you protect them online, but
this can also compromise the look of your shots.
Would you share your photos online without
adding a watermark rst? Take a look at what our
Staff Writer has to say and what some of our
readers think.
What Photography For Beginners readers have to say
Price: 100/$130
This family-friendly compact is
waterproof and shockproof, and
it has bright, colourful and simple
menus for kids. Plus it comes in a
great range of fun colours.
Sigma 18-200
f3.5-6.3 lens
Price: 350/$500
Sigmas new lens, compatible
with many cameras, has a very
versatile focal range for shooting
both wide-angle landscapes and
far-off wildlife and action.
FaceFilter 3
editing software
Price: 21/$30
This photo retouching tool lets
you apply make-up to portrait
shots for really attering results.
Smooth skin, remove blemishes,
and even reshape facial features.
Booq Python
Mirrorless bag
Price: 68/$80
Protect any CSC or small DSLR
with this stylish bag. Made from
water-resistant nylon to protect
your kit against the elements, it
can also store a small tablet.
Search for #PFBLoves on
Twitter to see what we love
Simon Kitt
I've dropped my
watermark due to nding
my pictures were still
getting stolen anyway and
cropped down.
Sent in via Twitter
Bob Slassor
I am not prepared to sit
back and let thieves not
only steal my images but
potentially make money
from them.
Sent in via Facebook
Tim Marshall
I don't see the point, as
most people have editing
software and can remove
watermarks unless you
completely cover a shot.
Sent in via website
Richard Davis
If someone really wants
to remove your watermark
they will nd a way to do
so, so why ruin a viewers
Sent in via website
Photography for Beginners 17
A Samsung
Plus three lucky runners-up will each get
a Samsung 16GB SDHC memory card
Samsungs new SMART Camera
WB350F makes sharing shots on
the go seamless. This cloud-
enabled camera features Wi-Fi and
NFC technology, which means its
possible to send images straight
from the camera over to your
smartphone, tablet or home
computer in an instant, which is
ideal for both sharing and backing
up your shots.
The WB350F also features a
16.3MP backside-illuminated
sensor, which enables you to shoot
better quality captures in low light
without the use of ash.
Its sleek and lightweight build
also makes it the perfect pocket
companion, and the 21x optical
zoom lens, which offers a focal
range between 23-483mm, will
ensure you can capture a range of
photographic subjects.
To nd out more about this new
SMART camera, simply visit www. For a chance to
win this fantastic camera, enter our
competition now!
Terms and conditions
This competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Imagine Publishing has the right to substitute the prize with a similar
item of equal or higher value. Camera colours may vary. Employees of
Imagine Publishing (including freelancers), Samsung, their relatives or
any agents are not eligible to enter. The editors decision is nal and no
correspondence will be entered into. Prizes cannot be exchanged for
cash. Full terms and conditions are available on request. From time to
time, Imagine Publishing or its agents may send you related material or
special offers. If you do not wish to receive this, please state clearly on
your competition entry.
Send your name, contact details and your
best shot to us by 3 April 2014.


Its possible to take several great shots
of one scene. Just experiment with
different compositions
Gear guideKit to help you with composition
High megapixel camera
Use a camera that can produce high-
resolution photos so that you can crop
to recompose without losing image
quality. The Nikon D3200 (650/$600)
has 24.2 effective megapixels.
Lens with a versatile zoom
A large focal range will give you lots of
scope for shooting wide-angle scenes
and great close-ups. The NIKKOR AF-S
DX 55-300mm lens (260/$400) has
a versatile 5.5x zoom.
Articulated LCD screen
Being able to tilt and ip your cameras
LCD screen is useful for framing shots
creatively. The Nikon COOLPIX S6600s
(199/$369) vari-angle LCD ips
outwards so you can tilt it at any angle.
Tripod with spirit level
A tripod with a spirit level will help you
steady your camera and keep horizons
straight. The Manfrotto MT190XPRO3
(185/$245) also has a tilting centre
column for even more framing options.
18 Photography for Beginners
Composition is one of the most basic skills
of photography, and yet it is often the
secret to turning a good shot into a great
one. It refers to what you choose to include
in your photo and how you position it within
the frame. A visually pleasing composition
should typically be simple and engaging,
showing off your subject in the best way
possible. There are a few tried-and-tested
rules that you can use to help you decide
what to include and where to place it.
Although we call them rules, they are
actually more like guidelines, as the way you
frame your shots is ultimately a matter of
personal opinion. However, these rules
come in useful as a great starting point for
when you get stuck and can also help to
inspire you when youre looking for
something to shoot. Then if you decide to
bend or break them, you can follow your
own artistic instinct to decide what you
think is best for the shot.
Unlike modes and settings, composition
is a technique that can be applied no matter
what camera you are using, whether its a
DSLR or even a cameraphone. It can also be
used with any photography genre, as many
of the rules we will show you over the next
few pages can be applied when shooting
anything from landscapes to action. If you
dont get it quite right in-camera, well also
show you how to recompose your image
using editing software.
Easy tricks
Discover how to capture eye-catching shots in any genre
for better
Take time composing
by using a tripod
Beginner's guide
Photography for Beginners 19 Share your shots at:
The rule of thirds is perhaps the most
popular compositional technique, as it is
very easy to master. It involves imagining a
nine-section grid over your scene and using
the lines to help you position your subject. It
is suggested that you place the main focal
point over one of the intersecting points of
the grid, as this is where the viewers eye is
likely to be drawn to first. If you are taking a
landscape photo, then you can also use the
horizontal lines of the grid to position the
horizon in either the top or bottom third. If
youre struggling to picture the grid, many
cameras have a gridlines display function
that you can switch on and use instead.
Where should I put the horizon? Top tips for composing landscapes
Top of the frame
If the foreground is the most important
part of the scene, position the horizon
in the top third of your photo to draw attention
to it and remove any expanse of dull sky.
Bottom of the frame
If your vista has an interesting sky,
position the horizon in the bottom
third of your photo to show it off, but be sure
not to cut out any important foreground detail.
Middle of the frame
If the sky and foreground are equally
important, position the horizon along
the centre. If your scene is reected in a lake
or river, this will also help to create symmetry.
Use gridlines to help you frame your shot
Rule of thirds
t c

y. S
t it in

r s

t h
Beginner's guide
20 Photography for Beginners
Including lead-in lines in your
photo is a great way to help guide
your viewers eye through your
photo or towards your main
subject. Look out for natural lines
made by pathways, fences,
bridges or anything else you can
spot, and carefully position them
in the frame. You could even use
the lines of a building or other
structure, or introduce your own
lines into a still-life photo.
Foreground interest
Avoid shooting just the land and sky of a
landscape, as this can make for a dull
shot. Look for something of interest to
include in the foreground, such as a
building, colourful flowers or other
inanimate object. This will serve as the
main focal point, giving the viewer
somewhere to first direct their gaze before
they explore the rest of the photo.
Golden ratio
The golden ratio is a traditional
compositional technique often used
by artists. It follows a design that is
commonly found in nature and is
universally pleasing to the human
eye. The idea is to position the most
important part of your photo
towards the centre of the spiral
and the rest of your main focal
point within its curve. It can be
tricky to master, but some
cameras and editing programs
have a spiral display function
that you can use to help.
Leading lines
Beginner's guide
Photography for Beginners 21 Share your shots at:
Look for
Symmetry is automatically
appealing to the eye and can
be found everywhere, be it in
nature or man-made
structures. It also gives you
permission to ignore the rule
of thirds, as it works best if
you centre your
subject in the frame.
Eye-catching elements
Look out for visually pleasing compositions
Find patterns
and texture
Interesting patterns and textures
can add to your existing photo or
serve as the main subject of your
shot. Shoot them close-up to
capture as much detail as
possible, and keep an eye
out for repetition too.
Beginner's guide
22 Photography for Beginners
Including reflections allows
you to double up your main
subject and can also create
symmetry in your shot, or
you could just shoot the
reflection on its own for a
different perspective. Look
out for mirror images in
lakes, puddles and even the
windows of buildings.
with colour
Bright colours will help to grab peoples attention,
and so they make a great compositional element for
ensuring your photos get noticed. Try not to include
more than three different colours in your shot, as this
can leave it looking cluttered and overwhelming.
Frame your
Look for something else in the
scene that you can use to frame
your main subject. This could be
a natural frame such as tree
branches or a man-made frame
such as an archway. It might
just be a case of shooting from
a different angle.
Beginner's guide
Photography for Beginners 23 Share your shots at:
Sometimes the best way to
shoot your subject is up
close so that they fill the
frame. If your subject is
surrounded by lots of empty
space that doesnt add
anything to the shot, then
zoom in to take a more
striking image. Similarly, a
close-up will eliminate any
distractions in the surrounding
scene to ensure your subject is
the main focal point of the shot.
This can also make for a really
intimate image, particularly for
portraits, so get your subject to look
right into the lens for a really
engaging photo.
Fill the
Take an
A longer focal length
will allow you to keep
your distance and
prevent lens distortion
If your subject is lling the
e, use a narrow aperture
(high f-num
ber) to keep
everything in focus. Start
at f8 and check that
it appears sharp
t y
Beginner's guide
24 Photography for Beginners
your shot
Solve compositional
problems in Photoshop
Straighten horizons
If your horizon is wonky, select the
Straighten tool and choose if you
want it to automatically crop your shot or
keep it the original size. Then draw a line
across the actual horizon of your shot.
Crop in
The Crop tool lets you choose a
grid to help you recompose your
shot. You can use the rule of thirds or the
golden ratio and highlight the section of
your image you wish to keep.
Flip or rotate
Go to Image>Rotate and choose
from the menu options. You can
rotate by a set number of degrees,
choose a custom amount, or ip your
image horizontally or vertically.
Leave some
active space
Leaving active space in front of your moving subject
will help the viewer to visualise where it is moving to.
Without it, your shot can look a little static and create
the illusion that your subject isnt moving. If you are
struggling to achieve this, zoom right out to leave lots
of space around your subject that you can crop into
later. It is a good idea to leave a large
enough space for your subject to
fit into again.
Consider the
When taking your shot, watch out for anything in the
background that could divert attention away from
your subject, and re-frame if you need to eliminate
distractions. You could simply change your position to
capture a different background, or add your own
backdrop with plain card or curtains. Another way to
simplify the background is
to use a wide aperture
(small f-number) to
create a shallow
depth of field and
blur it out.
It's not uncommon to open an image on
your computer and realise that a horizon
is not completely straight, or that a
tighter crop would work better. Here's
how to recompose quickly in Photoshop.
Beginner's guide
Photography for Beginners 25 Share your shots at:
High angle
Shooting from a high angle is attering
for portraits, as you avoid accentuating
the nose and chin, but it's also great for
shooting a birds eye view of landscapes.
Low angle
Taking your photo from a low angle can
create a really dramatic shot,
particularly when shooting buildings and
structures, as it emphasises their height.
Eye level
Taking photos of people at eye level
will create a natural shot with
everything in proportion. Try this when
photographing children and pets too.
Experiment with unusual angles Shoot from fresh perspectives
Break the rules
Sometimes you need
to trust your instincts
Centre your subject
Although following the rule
of thirds and positioning
your subject off-centre in
the frame works for most
situations, try placing your
subject in the middle to
make them really stand
out, particularly so if this
also helps you to create
some symmetry.
Cut off your subject
Sometimes including only
a small section of an
object will encourage the
viewer to focus on that
area of detail and leave
them guessing about what
you didnt include. This can
leave you with an artistic
abstract photograph of an
ordinary subject.
Break eye contact
Capturing your portrait
subject looking away from
the camera isnt always a
bad thing. Although eye
contact is more engaging,
a candid shot of someone
looking away can still make
a big impact. It can also
help to show your subjects
natural emotions without
the forced and cheesy
smiles they typically give
when they are told to look
at the camera.
Don't add a focal point
By not including an obvious
focal point, you force the
viewer to explore the entire
photo and make up their own
mind about it. This will enable
you to concentrate on using
other compositional elements
to make your image stand out,
such as bright colour, patterns
and texture.
Beginner's guide
26 Photography for Beginners
Not just for
A clear, comprehensive series for people who want to start learning
about iPhone, iPad, Mac, Photoshop, photography and more
Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
Available on the following platforms
So you want to take some great photos, get in a
bit of practice and improve your camera skills,
but where do you start? It can be a little daunting
when youre just starting out and lacking
condence behind the lens, so the best solution
is to break the process down into simple steps.
Thats what were going to do for you over the next
few pages, as weve worked out that there are
actually only ten steps to taking the perfect photo.
We will start with the tricky decision of what to
actually shoot, because if youre not already inspired to
photograph a particular subject, then it can be difcult to
decide what to point your camera at. However, there is
always something to photograph and we will show you a
few simple ways to kick-start your creativity.
Once youve found an interesting subject to shoot, we
will guide you through what kit to use and which settings to
choose, before showing you how to actually take and then
edit your photo. Everything will be broken down into
bite-sized chunks that are easy to follow and understand,
plus well be busting some of that confusing photography
jargon along the way. So pick up your camera and let us
show you how to take your best-ever photos step-by-step.
Follow along to get perfect
photos of any subject
10 steps to great shots
28 Photography for Beginners
Find a subject
Search for photography inspiration
Pick a theme
Try choosing a theme for your photographs and then nd subjects
that will represent it. For example, you could choose the theme of
love, happiness or friendship, or even set yourself a speci c colour
or shape to look for.
Choose a genre
You could narrow down
your choice of subject
by picking a specic
genre to focus on, such
as portraits or wildlife.
Then you can start
searching for a subject,
maybe asking a friend
to model for you, or
going to a zoo to
photograph the
Set a space
Force yourself to really look for something to
photograph within a small space. That could be your
living room at home, a corner of your garden or an area
of your local town. Youll be amazed at what you can
nd to shoot.
Go from A to Z
Challenge yourself to only photograph things that begin with a certain
letter, picking a different letter each day until you have completed the
alphabet. You could even look out for your chosen letter in nature or
man-made structures and photograph it.
10 steps to great shots
Photography for Beginners 29 Share your shots at:
Choose your kit
Load up your kit bag with everything youll need
As well as making sure your camera is
charged up and that you have enough space
on your memory card, you may need a few
other accessories to help you take great
shots. If youre going to be photographing in
low light, then a tripod will come in handy for
keeping your camera steady and your shots
sharp while you capture as much of the light
as possible using a slow shutter speed. An
external ashgun will be useful for adding a
more powerful burst of light than your
cameras ash when taking portraits, and
can be bounced off of the walls or ceiling for
a softer and more attering effect.
If you have more than one lens in your kit
bag to choose from, then make sure you
choose the best focal length for the scene
you will be shooting. A short focal length of
18-35mm is best for landscapes,
architecture and group shots, but zooming
in to between 50 and 200mm will be useful
for portraits, sports and wildlife.
The next step to taking your photo is choosing
the best shooting mode for your scene or
subject. Those available to you will depend on
the camera you are using, but can usually
be found by twisting the mode dial or
delving into your camera menus.
Auto mode will do everything
for you, picking the best
settings based on the light
so that you can concentrate
on simply taking the photo.
This is useful for
unexpected photo
when you dont
have time to
ddle with all
the buttons.
P stands for program mode, and this gives
you a little more control. It will take care of the
main exposure settings, but you can adjust
your ISO, white balance, metering and ash,
which well explain later.
Aperture Priority mode (A or Av) will let you
pick the same settings available in Program
mode, as well as your aperture. The camera will
then choose a shutter speed for you based on
the adjustments you make. Shutter Priority
mode (S or Tv) does the opposite, letting you
pick the shutter speed while the aperture is
chosen for you.
Manual mode (M) leaves everything up to
you. You have to pick the aperture, shutter
speed, ISO and all of your other settings and
nd the perfect balance between them. Dont
worry if it takes some time to master.
r s
Master camera modes for well-exposed shots
Pack your camera bag with
all the essential kit before
you venture out on a shoot
10 steps to great shots
30 Photography for Beginners
Get the light right for your shots
Use natural light
Natural light is often the most attering for
photography. Shooting when the sun is low in the
sky will also provide you with a lovely soft light.
Add articial light
Using a single light source
such as a lamp when
shooting indoors will cast
shadows across your
subject. You could ll in
these shadows by adding
another light source or
bouncing the light back into
the dark areas with a
reector or piece of paper.
Fire your ash
Use your ash to illuminate
subjects in poor lighting or to ll
in shadows when your subject
is backlit. Try bouncing your
ash off of a piece of white
paper to soften its effect.
Control your
The size of the opening in
your lens is controlled by your
aperture. Aperture is
measured in f-numbers, with
a small f-number creating a
wide opening and a large
f-number creating a narrow
opening. Therefore, a wide
aperture (small f-number) can
be used to let in more light
and brighten up your shots,
while a narrow aperture (large
f-number) will let in less light
to darken them.
Set your shutter speed
The length of time your cameras shutter stays open for after
you press the shutter button is set by your shutter speed. To let
plenty of light reach your sensor, use a slow shutter speed of
1/60sec to 30sec, but youll need a tripod to prevent camera
shake. A shutter speed faster than 1/60sec will let in less light
and allow you to shoot handheld without getting blurry shots.
Adjust your ISO
Your ISO can be used to adjust
the sensitivity of your cameras
sensor to the light available. To
make it more sensitive and
brighten up your shots, use a
high ISO value, but watch out
for noise as this will reduce the
quality. Some cameras are
better at dealing with high ISOs
than others, so test yours out
to see how far you can push it.
However, its best to keep your
ISO as low as possible and only
raise it if you cant use a slower
shutter or wider aperture to
capture more light instead.
10 steps to great shots
Photography for Beginners 31 Share your shots at:
Explore your
camera menus
Discover more essential settings to get even
better looking photos
Change your metering
mode to suit the scene and
get even exposures
Prevent colour casts in
your captures by selecting
the correct white balance
Adjust white balance
settings in the menu
Master metering
Every time you half-press the shutter
button, your camera measures the
available light in the scene so that it can
pick the best settings for you in auto and
semi-manual modes. This is known as
metering, and adjusting your metering
modes lets you control which part of the
scene your camera measures the light for.
Evaluative/Matrix metering reads the light
for the entire scene, so is commonly used
for shooting landscapes. If your subject is
in the centre of the frame, use Centre-
weighted metering, as this will measure
the light for the middle of the scene. Spot
metering measures the light for whichever
part of the scene you focus on and so it
can be used to choose which part of the
scene you want to keep well-exposed (for
example, the bright background to create
a silhouette).
Learn about white
balance settings
If youve ever noticed that the colours in
your photos dont look quite right, then it is
probably a white balance issue. Your
camera can sometimes struggle to read
the colour temperatures of different
sources of light. To avoid strong orange or
blue colour casts, change your white
balance setting to suit the scene.
10 steps to great shots
32 Photography for Beginners
Focus your shot
Keep your subject sharp by choosing the right setting
Experiment with your
cameras focus settings
and get pin-sharp results
Follow the photo rules and
youll have well-structured
shots that really stand out
Continuous autofocus
If you are photographing a moving
subject, then this is a handy mode to
use. Your camera will continuously
re-focus the shot to keep your subject
sharp, even if they are moving erratically.
This is very useful for if you are trying to
capture animals or children on camera.
Single-point autofocus
Many cameras will let you choose which
part of your image you want to keep in
focus, which is particularly important for
when you are using a wide aperture
(small f-number). Position the focus point
over your main subject so that it stays
sharp and only the background blurs.
Manual focus
Focusing manually is only possible on
some cameras, but can be helpful in
certain situations. For example,
autofocus can struggle when your
subject is very close up, so use manual
for macro shooting. Simply twist the
focus dial until your subject is sharp.
You can also use manual focus when
photographing moving subjects. If you
know the path of your subject, such as a
car travelling along a road, then you can
pre-focus on an area it is going to move
into and then take the shot when it
moves into view.
Learn composition
Decide where to position your subject
Before you come to take your shot, it is
important to think about how you are going to
frame it that is, how are you going to position
your subject in the photo. Composition is of
course subjective, so it is up to you to decide
what works best. However, there are few
tried-and-tested guides that you can use to
help you. Check out our Beginners Guide to
Composition on page 18 for an in-depth look
at these compositional rules and see how you
can apply them to your photo. Then, once
youve taken your shot, try a new approach
and see how many different ways you can
photograph your subject.
10 steps to great shots
Photography for Beginners 33 Share your shots at:
Take your photo
Choose the right mode and get into position
Now youre all set up, the time has come to
take your photo. However, rst you need to
consider your drive modes. If youre taking
an action shot, then Burst mode will take a
series of images while you hold down the
shutter button, increasing your chances of
getting a great result. If you want to create a
HDR image, choose autobracketing (if your
camera has it) to take a series of shots at
once with different exposures. If you want
to put yourself in the picture and your
camera is on a tripod, then youll need to
use self-timer to delay the shutter so you
have enough time to get into position.
However, if you just want to take a standard
photo, then you can stay on the default
single shot mode, which will take one photo
as soon as you re the shutter. Now all you
need to do is hold the camera steady with
your feet shoulder-width apart and your
elbows tucked into your sides, and press
that shutter button.
Select a drive mode that
suits your subject and start
shooting fantastic photos
Rather than just packing your camera away after youve taken
your photo, make sure you check it in Playback mode on your
LCD screen. Zoom in to make sure that its sharp and
analyse the exposure and colours to determine
whether you need to adjust your settings and
take it again. You may even be able to check the
images histogram, a graph that shows you how
many bright and dark pixels are in your photo.
If its bunched to the right, your shot
may be overexposed, but if its
bunched the left, your shot could be
underexposed. Try changing your
exposure compensation setting until
you get the graph to peak in the
middle, as this shows that your
image has an even spread of
tones throughout.
Review your photo
Check the image and learn from your mistakes
10 steps to great shots
34 Photography for Beginners
Boost the colours
Go to Enhance>Adjust Color> Adjust
Hue/Saturation. Increase the
Saturation slider, but avoid pushing it too far
as the results can appear unnatural.
Sharpen it up
You cant x an out-of-focus shot,
but if some of the details in your
photo are a little soft, go to Enhance>
Unsharp Mask and increase the Amount.
Correct composition
Finally, use the Straighten and Crop
tools to recompose your image. You
can even use gridlines when cropping to
help you reposition your subject.
Correct the exposure
To x an over or underexposed shot,
go to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>
Levels. Drag the arrows to boost the blacks
and whites and brighten or darken it up.
Remove a colour cast
If an incorrect white balance setting
has caused a warm or cool colour
cast, go to Filter>Adjustments>Photo Filter
and select a warming or cooling lter.
Shadows and highlights
Next, go to Enhance>Adjust
Color>Adjust Color Curves and move
the Highlights and Shadows sliders, and
give the Brightness and Contrast a boost.
If youre completely happy with how
your photo looks straight from the
camera, then you can choose to skip
this step. However, most photos will
benet from a few basic tweaks to
get them looking completely perfect.
Editing software can work miracles
for correcting common problems
such as bad exposure, inaccurate
colours, soft details and unwanted
distractions. If youve chosen to
shoot in RAW, an unprocessed le
format that retains a lot more
information than a standard JPEG le,
then processing your photo is
essential and youll have much more
control over adjusting your exposure
and white balance. However, JPEGs
need some love and attention too, so
here are some basic edits that you
can apply to get the most out of your
shot. Weve used Photoshop
Elements, but most editing software
will have the same adjustments.
the shot
Improve your photo with simple edits
10 steps to great shots
Photography for Beginners 35 Share your shots at:
5 tips for
There are some key ingredients that
go into a great portrait image,
including great lighting and a good
choice of location. However, your
model will make all the difference,
and with good direction and plenty
of natural smiles, you cant really go
wrong. To help you get some great
natural portraits this spring, check
out the top tips below.
Use a reector
Use a white reector or a large piece of
white card to bounce light into shadow
areas on the models face. Position the
reector at an angle under their chin to
create subtle catch lights in their eyes.
Set the focal length
Check the focal range your lens has to offer.
Most standard zoom lenses are built to
shoot a variety of subjects. For a attering
portrait, step back and zoom in between
50-80mm for the best results.
Select a mode
Set your camera to Portrait mode, which
will take care of the exposure and ensure
the model appears sharp and in focus. If
you want to experiment with manual
modes, start with Aperture Priority (A or Av).
Relax the model
The secret to getting a natural-looking
portrait lies in how relaxed the model is.
Dont just direct on how you want them to
pose; keep a light conversation going so
that you get plenty of natural smiles.
Shoot in the shade
Avoid squinting shots when taking a portrait
outdoors by positioning your model under
open shade. This way youll be able to get a
better exposure and still make use of the
bright, natural light within the surroundings.
Capture relaxed
photos outdoors
Quick tips
36 Photography for Beginners
Available from all fne camera stores
Focal length: 18mm
Exposure: F/16,
1/20 sec, ISO 320
Focal length: 270mm
Exposure: F/6.3,
1/250 sec, ISO 320
F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
One lens for every moment
This Tamron Megazoom-Lens is an unbeatable
combination of fexibility and performance.
Thanks to the 15x zoom the right focal length for every situation is available
anytime. The VC image stabilization and fast, almost silent PZD autofocus
completes the package. The low weight and compactness of this lens leaves
even enough room in your travel bag for souvenirs. Available for your digital
APS-C SLR from Canon, Nikon or Sony *.
* The Sony mount does not include the VC image stabilizer.
Creative portraits
38 Photography for Beginners
Create a
cool prole
Impress your friends
with a fun self-portrait
Perform some
digital trickery in
editing software
Creative portraits
Photography for Beginners 39 Share your shots at:
Choose a location
Using a location with a chair or bench
is a good idea as it will act as a marker,
so you always know where in the frame to be.
Its also handy if youre holding a heavy frame
as it means you can take the weight off.
Set up your tripod
Using a tripod will allow you to take the
shot and be in the photo at the same
time. Once youve set your camera up on a
sturdy tripod, frame the image, making sure
you leave enough headroom to t in the photo.
Focus the shot
Place the picture frame roughly where
youll be sitting and focus on it by half
depressing the shutter button. Afterwards,
switch to Manual Focus (MF) to prevent it
re-focusing when you take the shot.
Use the self-timer
Activate Self-timer mode to give you
enough time to get into position once
the shutter button is pushed. Alternatively,
you could ask someone else to push it for you
or use a remote shutter release.
Self-portraits are becoming increasingly popular in the
modern world. This is especially true when it comes to
social networking sites, as most require you to upload a
photo of yourself to be used as your prole avatar. This
picture is often the rst thing that people will see when
browsing your networking page, so why not get creative
and try capturing something thats a little bit different?
For some people, the idea of taking a self-portrait
might be slightly daunting. This is usually because were
so used to being behind the camera that the idea of
posing for our own shots may seem alien at rst. But in
practice, its actually a lot of fun, and with yourself as the
main subject of the picture, its something that you can
try out whenever you like.
One of the biggest benets of digital photography is
that it allows us to perform some digital trickery using
editing software. One great example of this is creating a
portrait within a portrait. This requires taking a
photograph of yourself holding a large photo frame and
then using editing software to cleverly copy the image
inside of the photo frame over and over again so that it
resembles a never-ending tunnel of images. The result is
one thats truly mesmerising and makes for an
interesting prole picture on social networking sites.
Whats more, the great thing about this technique is that
you dont need any expensive or sophisticated photo
equipment either; it can be done using just about any
type of camera, including a simple point-and-shoot or
even a cameraphone. You will need a tripod, however, to
set your camera up on, or alternatively you can rest it on
a straight, at surface.
To nd out how to shoot, edit and share your own
creative avatar now, just follow along with our simple
step-by-step guide below and well show you everything
you need to create your very own mind-bending picture-
in-a-picture self-portrait.
Shoot We show you how to capture a creative self-portrait
Take your image
Fully depress the shutter button and
get into place for the photo. Review
the shot on the rear screen and make any
compositional changes that you need to make.
Carry on taking photos until youre happy.
Digital camera
Editing software
Canon EOS 600D
Slik tripod
Adobe Photoshop CS6
Any digital camera
Adobe Photoshop
How to create a picture-
within-a-picture image
Select Aperture Priority
Set the camera to Aperture Priority (A
or Av) and dial in an aperture of around
f5.6 this should nicely blur distractions in
the background. Dont worry about the shutter
speed as the camera will set this for you.
for taking
Wireless shutter release
A wireless shutter release is a handy tool that lets
you take a photo from a distance using a small
remote. Whats more, with prices starting at
around 20/approx $33, theyre affordable too.
When it comes to taking a self-portrait, investing
in a sturdy tripod is absolutely vital, as itll allow
you to keep the camera held securely in position
while youre busy getting ready for the photo!
Flip-out LCD screen
If you own a DSLR with a ip-out LCD screen, try
activating the cameras Live-view function and
use the ip-out screen to view yourself while you
take the shot, to help with composition.
Apps for
Twitter Free (Android/iOS)
Twitter is a microblogging service that
lets you send and read tweets from
other users, which are either short,
140-character messages or photos.
Instagram Free (Android/iOS)
Instagram is a free social networking
app that allows you to apply funky lm
effects to your images and then share
them with other users.
Flickr Free (Android/iOS)
Flickr allows you to upload and share
your images with other photographers
around the world. Creating an account
is quick and completely free to do.
Resize to t
Head up to Edit>Free Transform, then
click and drag one of the corner tabs
to resize the layer to roughly t the photo
frame. Holding Shift while you resize will make
sure that the layer stays in proportion.
Edit Construct your picture-in-a-picture in Photoshop
Duplicate the layer
The rst step is to create a duplicate of
the image on a new layer in the Layers
palette (Window>Layers). Do this by Ctrl/
right-clicking the Background layer, choosing
Duplicate Layer and then clicking OK.
Rotate the layer
Move your mouse to the outside edge
of one of the corner tabs, then click
and drag to rotate the layer until it matches
the angle of the frame. Once the image
roughly ts the frame, hit Enter to conrm.
Move into position
If the layer isnt in the right position,
click and drag in the centre of the
image and move it into the right place. If you
need to make further size adjustments, you
can also do this now.
Repeat until complete
Click the eye icon next to the top layer
to reveal it again. Now simply repeat
steps 1 to 4 but duplicating the top layer
instead of the background. Keep doing this
until youve lled in all of the frames.
Tidy up the edges
Click the eye icon next to the top layer
in the Layers palette, then grab the
Polygonal Lasso tool and trace the inside of
the frame. Go to Select>Inverse, then press
Delete before going to Select>Deselect.
Creative portraits
40 Photography for Beginners
Go to your page
Once youve successfully logged in to
your account, head up to the top-left
of the window and locate your current prole
picture. Next to it you should see your name
click on it to visit your personal prole page.
Share Upload your image as your Facebook prole picture
Log in to Facebook
Open up your web browser and type into the web
address bar. Type in your log-in details at the
top and click Log In. If you dont have an
account, create one using the Sign Up section.
Upload your image
In the File Upload window that appears,
navigate through your computer les
and locate your picture-in-a-picture image.
Click on it to highlight it, then click the Open
button at the bottom-right of the window.
Edit your prole picture
Hover the mouse over your current
prole picture in the top left-hand
corner of the window and youll see the Edit
Prole Picture option appear. Click on this and
from the list of options, select Upload Photo.
Wait for the upload
Your image may take anywhere up to a
few minutes to upload depending on
the speed of your internet connection. Once
the upload is complete, youll see your new
prole picture appear in the top-left corner.
Clicking Share will
allow you, and
others to show off
your image with
other users
With your image
uploaded, your
friends will be
informed about your
new prole picture
Gain Likes
Your Facebook
friends can show
their appreciation
by hitting Like
below your photo
Your friends can
also give feedback
about your new
photo by hitting
Creative portraits
Photography for Beginners 41 Share your shots at:
Learn how to take an awe-inspiring shot of the
moon thats free from blur
Capture sharp
shots of the moon
Camera with
Manual mode
Lens with 200mm focal
range or more
Nikon D7100
Sigma 50-500mm
f3.5-f6.3 EX zoom lens
Manfrotto 190 with ball
head tripod
Remote camera trigger
How to take great
photographs of
the moon
Shoot the moon
42 Photography for Beginners
Steady your camera
As youll be using a high magnication
to bring the moon closer, you need to
make sure the camera is supported properly.
Use a tripod, ideally with a head you can move
to point the camera directly at the moon.
Select a shooting mode
Set your camera to either Continuous
shooting mode if youre using a
remote camera release, or set it to Timer if
you arent. This will stop the camera being
moved when you release the shutter.
Set your exposure
Switch your camera to Manual and set
a shutter speed between 1/200 and
1/400sec (depending on the moon brightness
where you are). Set an aperture of f8. If youre
not condent in Manual, try Aperture Priority.
Change your ISO
The lower the ISO the better the image
quality, but you should set it to 800
initially as this lets you use a faster shutter
speed, eliminating any motion blur. You can
lower this if you nd your moon too bright.
The moon is an awe-inspiring sight, especially
when its set among a star-littered night sky.
Photographing the moon, however, can be
challenging, and particularly so if youre
shooting in your cameras Automatic mode,
which will often overexpose the moons
surface, resulting in a lack of detail. By
switching over to your cameras manual
settings, you can take more control over the
exposure and resulting image.
Although youll be shooting at night, you
wont need to use long exposures to get great
shots of the moon, as the moon itself is lit
directly by the sun. With this in mind, your
exposure settings should be suited to daytime
conditions as opposed to night. But of course,
your exposure settings will also change
depending on your location, weather conditions
and the phase of the moon you are shooting.
For great shots of the moon, always aim to
shoot on a clear night and away from heavily
light-polluted towns or cities. You dont always
have to wait until dark, however, as the moon
can also look fantastic at dusk, and with the
extra light around, itll be easier to change your
exposure settings on the go. If youre keen to
shoot a specic moon phase, why not check
out websites such as www.moonconnection.
com, which are great for nding out which
phase the moon is currently in.
To help you get started and ensure you get
great results rst time round, weve outlined
some easy-to-follow steps below. If your
camera doesnt feature manual modes, try
changing to Spot metering and frame the
moon centrally within your image. This mode
will work alongside your cameras Auto setting
to help ensure you still get a good exposure.
Shoot the moon Get a detailed lunar image
Shoot and review
Focus on the moon then switch to
Manual focus mode to stop the
camera from refocusing between shots. After
taking some test pictures, check their
brightness and adjust depending on results.
Moon phases
to photograph
Half moon
The half moon is a lot dimmer than a full moon, so
youll need to slow down your shutter speed a
touch to get the right exposure. If it is coming out
too dark, try increasing your ISO setting.
Full moon
To capture a full moon, consult the lunar calendar
to nd out when it will occur alongside moonrise
and moonset times. This is when the moon is at
its brightest, so you need faster shutter speeds.
Crescent moon
The crescent moon is at its dimmest and is a
mere sliver. This means that you will need even
slower shutter speeds than when you
photographed the full and half moons.
Shoot the moon
Photography for Beginners 43 Share your shots at:
Take great shots with the light behind your subject
01 Pick a subject
Translucent objects are great for backlit
photography as you can capture some of the
light shining through them. This really brings
out their texture, detail and colour in your
image, which adds more interest.
Backlit still life
If your subject is looking too dark, nd
your cameras exposure
compensation function and set it to
+1 or +2 on the dial to brighten your
shot up
Turn your mode dial to Aperture
Priority mode and select a wide
aperture (small f-number). This will
blur the background of your shot to
make your subject stand out
02 When to shoot
When shooting outdoors, sunrise and sunset
are the best times of day to take your shot.
The sun will be low in the sky so you can easily
position it behind your subject, and it will cast
a lovely, golden light over everything.
05 Reect the light
If your subject is in silhouette, try using a
reflector or tin foil to bounce the light back
into the shadows. This will ensure the
background and foreground are both well lit
and exposure appears even.
06 Set your focus
When using a wide aperture, its important to
focus your camera lens directly on your
subject. Use Manual or Selective Autofocus
mode to keep your subject sharp and make
sure just the background is blurred.
04 Consider the background
When finding an angle to shoot from, make
sure that the background of your photo is
simple yet attractive and does not distract
attention away from your subject. Using a
wide aperture will help to blur distractions too.
03 Avoid lens are
Including the light source in your photo can
create lens flare. To prevent it, keep the sun
or lamp just out of the frame, or use your lens
hood to shield your lens from the light.
Alternatively, work with it for a creative effect.
Spot metering mode will get your
camera to measure the light where
you focus, so you can ensure that
your main subject, and not just the
background, stays bright
A backlit subject
Digital camera
Nikon D3200
Lastolite reector
Any digital camera
Tin foil
How to take a
well-exposed photo of a
backlit subject
Backlit still life
44 Photography for Beginners
Sunrise and
sunset are the
best times of
day to take
your shot
Backlit still life
Photography for Beginners 45 Share your shots at:
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Story behind the shot
48 Photography for Beginners
Did you face any problems
when taking this shot?
The trickiest part of the process was finding
the best angle to shoot from. I started off
shooting the traffic side on, but the shots
looked a little dull with just straight light
trails running across them. Shooting from an
angle allowed me to capture a curve in the
trails. It was also a struggle to find enough
space to set up my tripod as the pavements
were so busy, but I eventually found a spot.
What was the inspiration
behind this photo?
I travelled up to London with some friends to
do a photo walk. We spent the day taking
photos of the fantastic architecture and
famous landmarks, but before we headed
home we thought we would have a go at
creating light trails. I had seen them online
but had never had a go at one myself, and
the busy traffic of the London streets
seemed like a great opportunity to try it.
What kit and settings did you
use to get this effect?
I used my Nikon D800 and set it up on my
Manfrotto tripod so that I could keep it
steady throughout the long exposure. I set
the camera to Shutter Priority mode and
selected a speed of 2sec. This enabled me
to blur the movement of the lights as the
traffic travelled through the scene. I also had
to set my white balance to Tungsten, as the
first shot I took had an orange colour cast.
Photography For Beginners Deputy
Editor Hayley Paterek tells us about
her creative low-light city shot
Story behind the shot
Photography for Beginners 49 Share your shots at:
What do you like most about
the final image?
Well the first few shots I took were just of
car light trails, which were very low to the
ground and meant there was quite a lot of
empty space towards the top of the shot.
Waiting for this bus to come into view really
paid off because it meant I could capture
several different light trails at once and fill
the frame with them. I think that makes for a
more striking image.
Is there anything you would
like to have done differently?
I would like to have stayed later to get a shot
after the sun had completely set, but
unfortunately I had to head home. As I was
using slow shutter speeds, the sky appeared
quite overexposed and blown out. If I had
had a graduated neutral density filter I could
have used that to block some of the light,
but instead I had to sacrifice some of the
detail in the sky to create the light trails.
Do you have any advice for
capturing perfect light trails?
Firstly, you need to be patient, as it takes
quite a bit of time to experiment with your
settings and angles before you get it right.
Find a road with a constant stream of
moving traffic so that you have plenty of
opportunities to take your shot. Also, try to
shoot oncoming traffic, as the front
headlights are much brighter, but remember
to stay safe and out of the way of the cars.
Shoot stunning
These days, most people have a camera
with them at all times. For some it might be
a DSLR or a compact, but for most it is
usually a cameraphone. As it is always in
your pocket or bag, the trusty smartphone is
often the go-to device for snapping away
when a photo opportunity arises, and now
that the cameras on these devices are
getting better and better, it is possible to get
some truly great results.
While you may not have much control over
your camera settings, there are lots of
simple ways to make sure you come away
with great shots every time. Then, and this is
the best bit about smartphones, you can
share your fantastic photos straight away to
keep your friends updated and even get
instant feedback on your photo skills.
Landscapes are fantastic subjects for your
cameraphone photography, as they are very
straightforward to shoot. Let us guide you
through the basics and teach you exactly
what to do next time you find a stunning
vista and have your cameraphone to hand.
Essential tips for capturing beautiful vistas on your phone
Frame your shot
No matter what camera you are using, you can
always control the composition of your photo.
In fact, it is often the secret to making sure
your shots stand out from all the others.
Before you start snapping, think about
which angle to shoot from to capture the
best perspective of the scene, and try to
include foreground interest. Common
compositional tricks such as the rule of
thirds and lead-in lines are great to use for
landscapes, and you can read more about
them in our Beginners Guide to
Composition on page 18. Many
cameraphones will also enable you to switch
on a gridlines display when you are shooting,
which will help you frame your scene and keep
the horizon straight.
landscapes with your
Cameraphone vistas
50 Photography for Beginners
Avoid lens are or embrace it
Wait for the
right light
Lens flare can occur when using any camera,
but smartphone cameras seem to be
especially prone to the problem. It is caused
by light reflecting internally off of the elements
inside the cameras lens and onto the image
sensor, and usually appears as a coloured
haze or series of coloured spots in your shots.
Typically, it appears when you are pointing
your camera in the direction of a bright light,
and particularly when you are including the
light source in your image. The simplest way
to avoid it is to change your position so that
you are not shooting into the sun, or you could
try shielding the lens with your hand. However,
lens flare is sometimes used deliberately to
enhance photos, as the haze it creates can
add a dreamy quality. You can even download
apps that add lens flare to your shots.
As with any landscape shoot, the hour after
sunrise and the hour before sunset will give
you the best light. At these times of day, the
sun is low in the sky and so will project a lovely
soft and golden light across your scene. It
might even give you the chance to capture
some of the fantastic vibrant colours in the
sky. However, if you dont manage to catch the
sunrise or sunset, you can still get great
shots. Bright blue and even moody, cloudy
skies will still look great in your images, and
you can always rescue dull shots by adding
instant creative effects using the thousands
of editing apps available.
Sun Seeker 4.99/$6.99
(iOS), 3.79/$5.99 (Android)
Find out the exact
sunrise and sunset
times at your chosen
landscape location using the
Sun Seeker app, which is
available for both iOS and
Android devices.
Cameraphone vistas
Photography for Beginners 51 Share your shots at:
Set up your shot
Choose the best settings for shooting a landscape
Switch on HDR
Most cameraphones have an HDR (High
Dynamic Range) function which will let
you take a photo with added contrast.
This is useful for landscape photography
as it will prevent your photos from
looking flat and dull and prevent blow-out
skies. If your phone does not have this
function, then you can download an app
to re-create it.
Turn the ash off
Your ash wont be of much use when shooting a
landscape, as the light wont be powerful enough to
illuminate the entire scene. If youre shooting in low
light or at night-time, switch it off to prevent it from
ring automatically.
Pick a scene mode
Some phones will give you a selection of scene
modes to choose from that will pick the best
settings for you. Use the Landscape mode to
keep everything in focus and boost the blues and
greens in the scene.
Adjust the white balance
If your cameraphone allows you to
change your white balance setting,
switch it to daylight, cloudy or
shade, depending on the lighting
conditions. This will prevent colour
casts and ensure the colours in
your photo appear true-to-life.
Select a metering mode
You might be able to adjust the metering
mode, which controls how it measures the
available light. Set it to Matrix/Evaluative
so that it reads the light for the entire
scene and picks the settings accordingly.
Pro HDR 1.49/$1.99 (iOS),
1.28/$1.99 (Android)
Create stunning HDR
shots that are full of
colour and detail on
your iOS or Android device
using the Pro HDR app. This is
available from Google Play and
the App Store now.
Cameraphone vistas
52 Photography for Beginners
Get creative
Take your photography further with panoramas and accessories
Add an accessoryLandscape photography accessories for your cameraphone
olloclip 4-in-1 iPhone Lens
Price 60/$70
Clip this gadget onto your iPhone and
use the wide-angle lens to capture the
whole view. You can also use the
sh-eye lens to really extend the eld
of view and take close-ups with the
10x and 15x macro lenses too.
JOBY GripTight GorillaPod
Price 25/approx $41
This mini tripod is exible so that you
can stand it on and wrap it around a
variety of surfaces. The attachment is
adjustable so it can hold any
smartphone model, even if it has a
case attached.
Holga iPhone Lens
Price From 16/$27
Clip on this case and use the rotating
disk to choose from nine different
lens lters to enhance your shots.
There are coloured lters, vignettes,
multi-image lenses and more, plus
you can preview the effect on screen.
Daylight Viewnder
Price Approx 18/$30
Reections on your iPhone screen on
a bright day can make it difcult to
see. This viewnder xes to the
screen to make things clearer. Attach
it with the screw-on suction pad and
download the free app.
Find Panorama mode
Many cameraphones have a
panorama function that will
automatically stitch several photos
together to create one long image.
Some will even let you create vertical
panoramas as well as horizontal
ones. If this option isnt available,
there are plenty of apps to help you.
Take a step back
If you take your photo while standing
too close to the scene you are
shooting, then any straight lines in your
vista may appear curved in your
panorama. It is best to shoot from a
distance if you can.
Avoid moving subjects
If someone is walking through the
scene you are shooting, they will
appear several times throughout the
photo. Wait until they are out of the
way before you take your shot to
prevent this happening.
Swivel smoothly
Start by pointing the camera at the
edge of the scene, and then slowly
swivel your body around as smoothly
as possible until you have captured
everything. Using a tripod will create a
more seamless image.
360 Panorama
0.69/$0.99 (iOS), 0.62/$0.99
If your camera does
not have a built-in
panorama function,
download the 360 Panorama
app and start shooting
seamless vistas in an instant.
Cameraphone vistas
Photography for Beginners 53 Share your shots at:
54 Photography for Beginners
App of the month
Locate the tools
Open the app and you will see three
options on the front screen. Either
choose to take a new photo or locate one
from your camera roll. Once it has been
loaded, you can now tap the top right-hand
icon to bring up the main tools.
Highlight the subject
Very few landscapes have perfect
positioning of the subject matter.
Scroll the tool wheel and select the Magic
Touch option. You can now drag the corners
to crop the image, but try to keep as much
necessary content as possible.
Remove unwanted objects
If you have objects that you would
prefer not to be there, tap the
Retouch option and then the centre icon in
the bottom-left wheel. Now scrub your nger
over the unwanted object and tap the screen
to remove it.
Edit your photos Improve and adjust snaps in Handy Photo
Creatively edit photos
with Handy Photo
Move objects, add lters, make precise adjustments and
retouch any photo Available on: iOS and Android Price: 1.49/$1.99 (iOS), 1.32/$1.99 (Android)
There are countless photo-editing apps
available for mobile devices today, but
few are as intuitive and as effective for
beginners as Handy Photo. You are
offered contextual help as you explore
every feature, and there is always a fail-safe in that you can
easily step back to remove any changes you have made.
Every single part of the interface has been designed to
take full advantage of the touch-centric nature of iOS and
Android devices, and with the ability to zoom in and
specically change levels precisely, you can spend as
much time as you need creating the perfect result. There
are also quick changes available such as lters and
textures, which can add personality to a snap, but it is in
the more advanced tools that the app truly shines.
Unwanted objects can be removed by simply scrubbing
them out, and they will be replaced with a perfect
background to offer the illusion of them never having been
there. You can make changes to one part of an image and
leave the rest alone, and you can even move objects to
make them look as if they are in a different location. Even
better, you can move objects to new photos and the
results are almost always exceptionally realistic.
Throughout the editing process you are shown the
changes as they happen in real-time, so you will always
know if they are working or if you need to step back. Much
care has been taken in the creation of this app, and it has
resulted in a solution that will suit beginners and the more
experienced in equal measure. The more you delve into the
features, the more you will get out of Handy Photo, and its
actually very hard to put down.
To give you a head-start, below we have provided you
with a simple editing tutorial. Download the app and follow
along to get standout photos in a ash.
iPhone, iPad or Android
Handy Photo app
Android device
How to enhance your
photos using just touch
App of the month
Photography for Beginners 55 Share your shots at:
Add some texture
Selecting Textures from the tool
wheel will present a new wheel with
multiple textures to choose from. Try
experimenting with each and when happy, tap
the left icon and then adjust each part of the
texture if necessary.
Experiment with lters
Tapping Filters in the tool wheel will
once again pop up a series of options.
You will want to experiment carefully with
these because many lters can make shots
look unrealistic. This, however, can
sometimes produce fantastic results.
Help is useful
There are many tools included in
Handy Photo, and most include extra
options, so tap the ? icon at the top to see
help that corresponds to whatever feature you
are currently using. With this handy addition, it
will all make sense in time.
Extra features
Many of the main features include
further adjustable icons for making
tiny changes to any part of a photo.
Select one and move your nger
over the screen for precise edits
Going back
It's easy to overdo edits with the
host of features on offer. The
upper-left clock icon lets you see a
list of changes made; just select
any point to jump back in time
The circular key
This icon will take you to all of the
most important functions within the
app. When it is tapped, they will
appear in a surrounding wheel
ready for spinning and selection
A real view
At every point of the process, the
photo you are editing will dominate
the view. This means that you will
see everything in great detail and
you can also pinch to zoom right in
Handy Photo
Handy Photo is also
available on Android
and offers all of the
same tools and a near-identical
interface to the iOS version.
The tool icons do look slightly
different, but the placement is
the same so you can easily
jump between the two and
know exactly what to do. For
similar editing on a Mac, try
ADVA's TouchRetouch app.
When shooting photos in JPEG,
your camera will automatically
apply subtle sharpness, contrast
and colour enhancements
If youve ever looked through your cameras
settings, you may have come across the option to
choose between shooting in RAW or JPEG. But
whats the difference? Well, its rst important to
know that each time you take a photo, your camera
has to decide how it processes the information it
has captured. It has the choice to output the data in
two different le formats RAW or JPEG. When your
camera is set to shoot in JPEG, it will automatically
make subtle enhancements to the image in-camera,
like sharpening and adjusting contrast, before
crunching the data down into a JPEG. The resulting
photo can then be viewed on a computer, uploaded
to the internet or printed straight from the camera
without any further processing needed.
Shooting in RAW, on the other hand, tells the
camera not to make any adjustments and instead
keeps all of the unprocessed (or RAW) data that the
camera captured. Unlike JPEGs, RAW les cant be
viewed initially without using specialised software,
like Adobe Photoshop, though once youve nished
editing your RAWs they can be converted to a JPEG
so that you can print or upload your shots straight to
the internet.
Discover how to start shooting more detailed images in
RAW and learn the benets of using this le format
Get to grips
56 Photography for Beginners
RAW les retain more
data than a JPEG, so
you have more control
during editing
Photography for Beginners 57 Share your shots at:
Why switch to RAW?
Discover the benets of shooting in RAW over JPEG
A RAW le retains a greater amount of data
compared to that of a JPEG. The benet of this
comes when editing your images, as a RAW le
allows for greater exibility when making
adjustments during post-processing. This is
particularly useful when shooting things like
landscapes that feature large amounts of detail
or require more complex adjustments.
The downside is that RAW les take up more
memory compared to JPEG images, so youll be
restricted to taking fewer photos and will
experience slower burst rates. However, the
benets of shooting in RAW heavily outweigh
the downsides. Take a closer look below at how
RAW and JPEG really compare.
RAW les are larger in size, resulting
in bigger and better quality images
As an uncompressed le, images
will feature more colour and detail
Higher dynamic range means you
can adjust exposures in editing
More data is available, so you can
edit and x your images freely
Its possible to batch edit images
and retain all of the original le info
JPEGs are smaller in size and lower
in quality but take up less memory
JPEGs are compressed in camera,
so they lack as much detail as RAW
Files are processed in-camera, so
editing options are greatly limited
Images will lose data and reduce in
quality every time you edit a JPEG
If you edit and save over a JPEG you
cant go back to its original state
58 Photography for Beginners
What you need to edit a RAW image and how it works
Processing RAW les
Every digital image is made up of
red, green and blue, and the bit
depth determines how many
shades of these colours it has to
create the images colour
palette. A JPEG that is an 8-bit
image has a choice of roughly
16.8 million individual colours.
RAW les dedicate more bits to
each pixel, meaning most have a
bit depth of between 12 and 16.
Blacks and
The Blacks slider
controls the darkest
tones in the image,
letting you lighten or
darken them, while
the Whites slider
manipulates the
brightest tones
Shadows and
The Shadows slider
lets you darken or
brighten the shadowy
tones within an image,
while the Highlights
slider lets you darken
or brighten the
photos lighter tones
As the name suggests,
the Contrast slider
allows you to either
increase or decrease
the amount of
contrast within an
image, for a more
striking or subtle
colour range
The Temperature
and Tint sliders are
used to control the
colour temperature
of an image, as
well as to remove
any unwanted
colour casts
The Exposure slider
is arguably the
most important of
the main options
as it allows you to
adjust the overall
exposure of the
image, correcting
signs of under or
enhancement tools
The Vibrance and
Saturation options are
used to either intensify or
completely remove the
colours from an image,
turning it black and white
The Clarity slider allows
you to control the amount
of contrast that appears
around any of the edges in
your image. This in turn
increases or decreases
the perception of clarity
Editing a RAW le requires specialised software (like Photoshop or GIMP)
thats able to read RAW les. Its important to know that when editing a
RAW le, any adjustments made to the image using a RAW editor will
never actually alter the original le; instead, the alterations you make are
simply stored as a separate .xmp le. Working in this way means that its
always possible to refer back to the original image at any time, which is
handy if you ever want to go back and re-edit an image. Another positive
to shooting in RAW is that its possible to batch edit a number of les at
the same time using RAW editing software. To do this in Photoshop
Camera Raw, simply open up the les together, click the Select All
button and make your adjustments using the sliders shown below. The
changes will then be applied to all of the images simultaneously.
Sharpening and
noise reduction
Clicking this tab will
grant access to the
Sharpening and Noise
Reduction sliders,
letting you increase
the sharpness of your
image and remove
any signs of noise
Photography for Beginners 59 Share your shots at:
Add some punch
to your shots
using the Basic
sliders in Adobe
Camera Raw
in RAW
Editing software
RAW image
Photoshop CS6
Photoshop Elements
How to enhance the
contrast and colours of
your RAW images
60 Photography for Beginners
Brighten the image
With your RAW image opened in the
Adobe Camera Raw interface, start by
brightening the image slightly by clicking and
dragging the Exposure slider to the right a
value of +0.30 was just enough for our shot.
Boost the contrast
Head to the Contrast slider next and
click and drag it to the right to subtly
intensify the contrast within the image. Be
careful not to be too heavy-handed here
though; a value of +25 worked for us.
Increase the whites
Making your way down the list, locate
the Whites slider. Slowly start to drag
the slider to the right to brighten the lightest
tones within the image, being careful not to
burn out any detail in the brightest areas.
Darken the blacks
Locate the Blacks slider, then click and
drag it to the left in order to intensify
the darkest tones within the image. Dont
push the slider too far here, as the image can
lose ne details in the darkest areas.
When deciding to start shooting in RAW le
formats, its important to remember that the
images youll receive will have been left
completely untouched by the camera. This
means that the camera has simply provided
you with the unprocessed or RAW data it
captured without performing any further
enhancements. This is unlike shooting in JPEG,
where the camera will automatically make
subtle adjustments to your images for you,
such as sharpening, boosting contrast and
enhancing colours. Although the resulting RAW
images may look a little at and lifeless at rst,
the advantage of this is that it allows you to
take the reins and have full creative control
over how your image is processed.
Arguably one of the easiest and most
rewarding adjustments you can make to your
images is adding a hit of contrast. Adding
contrast is a sure-re way to make your image
leap from your computer screen or print, and
its also incredibly quick and easy to do. To
learn how, just follow along with our simple
tutorial below, and discover rst-hand some of
the benets of shooting and editing in RAW.
Before we get started, though, in order to
make any adjustments to your RAW les, youre
going to need to have access to compatible
editing software thats able to understand this
le format. For this tutorial weve used the
Camera Raw plug-in in Adobe Photoshop CS6,
though there are plenty of other options
available, such as Photoshop Elements,
Lightroom and GIMP. No matter which piece of
software you decide to use, the basic
principles remain the same, and most share
similarly named adjustment sliders, so youll
have little problem following along.
Contrast and colour Easily improve RAW shots
Add clarity
Towards the very bottom of the list
youll nd the Clarity slider gently
move this slider to the right to inject a nal
dose of contrast into the image. A value of
around +30 worked well for our own image.
How to boost
the contrast
using GIMP
Add contrast
Under the Exposure Compensation slider, click on
the Correct Luminosity, Saturation tab to reveal
a new set of options. Click and drag the Contrast
slider to the right in order to boost the contrast.
Brighten up
With your chosen RAW le opened up in GIMP,
start by clicking and dragging the Exposure
Compensation slider to the right in order to
brighten up the image.
Tone curve
Finally, head down to the Linear Curve and, using
your mouse, click and drag out a shallow S-curve
(like the one shown in the image below). This will
brighten the highlights and darken the shadows.
Photography for Beginners 61 Share your shots at:
Enhance exposures
using Camera Raw
Discover how to correct exposures and improve colours
Fix the highlights
Take a look around your image to see if
there are any highlights that appear
too bright. If so, you can x this by simply
moving the Highlights slider to the left to
darken them slightly and bring back details.
Adjust the shadows
Similar to the previous step, if there
are any shadows in your image that
appear to be too dark, lighten them slightly by
gently moving the Shadows slider to the
right-hand side.
Correct the exposure
If your photo is underexposed and
appears too dark, drag the Exposure
slider to the right to brighten the image.
Alternatively, if your photo is overexposed and
too bright, move the slider left to darken it.
Brighten the whites
Locate the Whites slider and move it
to the right to start brightening up the
lightest tones. Keep an eye on the image as
you do this to make sure that you dont
over-brighten any areas and lose ne details.
Its fair to say that on occasion, even professional photographers will
mess up the exposure of a shot. If the image was captured in JPEG then
unfortunately theres not much that can be done to x it. However, if the
shot was taken in RAW then you may just be able to save it from the
rubbish bin! RAW les retain a greater amount of data than a JPEG; this
means that when it comes to editing, theyre also a lot more forgiving,
and youll be able to restore some details that would have otherwise
been completely lost. This is particularly handy when it comes to trying
to x an under or overexposed image, as youll see from this tutorial.
Although shooting in RAW offers far more exibility, its important to
remember that its not a complete miracle cure, and theres a limit as to
how far your can push a RAW image before it starts to break up. Its for
this reason that its always sensible to try and get the exposure as near
to perfect in-camera rather than relying on xing it in Photoshop later on.
Add vibrancy
Working down the list of sliders, nd
the Vibrance slider and start to move
it to the right to boost the colours. Be careful
not to push this slider too much though or the
image will start to break up.
Darken the blacks
Next, click and drag the Blacks slider
to the left to start darkening the
deepest tones within the photo. Be careful not
to push the slider too far as this will over-
darken the shadows, turning them pure black.
Exposure and colour Enhance shots in Photoshops Camera Raw
62 Photography for Beginners
Increase saturation
Now, locate the Saturation slider and
start to move it to the right to further
intensify the colours. Just like the Vibrance,
be careful not to push this slider too far,
otherwise the colours will start to look fake.
Boost the sky
Click the Graduated Filter tool, then
move the Exposure slider left to a
value of -0.30 and the Contrast slider right to
+50. Dont worry if you cant see the effects
yet as this will become clear in the next step.
Add a grad
With the Graduated Filter tool still
selected, click at the top of the photo
and drag down the image, only releasing when
it reaches the horizon. This will apply the
effects we set in the previous step to the sky.
Editing software
RAW image
Photoshop CS6
Photoshop Elements
How to correct the
exposure of your RAW
Photography for Beginners 63 Share your shots at:
Correct the colour
temperature of
your RAW shots
using Photoshop
in RAW
Editing software
RAW image
Photoshop CS6
Photoshop Elements
How to correct the
colour balance in your
RAW photographs
64 Photography for Beginners
Choose your method
There are a handful of ways to adjust
the colour temperature of your RAW
images in Photoshop. Each method can either
be used on its own, or combined together to
successfully correct white balance.
Use the presets
One of the quickest ways is by using
the automated presets. Simply click
on the White Balance option and choose a
preset. If youre not sure, click through the list
until you nd one that looks right.
White Balance tool
The second method is to use the
White Balance tool, located in the top
toolbar. With this selected, simply click on a
grey area of your photo and Photoshop will
automatically make correcting adjustments.
Adjust the temperature
The third way is to make manual
adjustments using the Temperature
slider. Moving the slider to the left will cool
down the image, making it blue, while moving
it to the right will warm it, taking on red tones.
Have you ever taken what you thought was a
great photo, only to look at the back of your
camera and nd that the results appear to
have adopted either a blue or orange hue? This
is most likely caused by your camera being set
to the incorrect white balance setting for the
colour temperature of lighting in the scene. The
bad news is that if you shot the image in JPEG
then its almost impossible to restore the
photo to the correct colour, even with the help
of very sophisticated post-processing software
like Photoshop.
However, if youve shot the image in RAW
then youre in luck. As RAW les are able to
retain a greater amount of data than a JPEG,
its possible to manually adjust the white
balance of an image later on using specialist
tools in post-processing. Although this process
may sound rather complicated at rst, its in
fact incredibly easy to do and will take just a
few minutes to master. Whats more, once you
know how its done, the edit will take less than
a minute to perform and you will have your
images looking just how you intended them to
appear in an instant.
To nd out how to perform this potentially
shot-saving technique, simply follow along with
our ve-step guide below and discover
rst-hand just how easy it really is. Its a vital
technique that all budding photographers
should add to their arsenal, as you never know
when youll need it to get you out of a bind.
Although well be using Photoshops Camera
Raw plug-in for this tutorial, this process can be
repeated using virtually any RAW processing
software, including Photoshop Elements,
Lightroom and even GIMP. See our quick
tutorial on the right to learn how.
Fix white balance Control colour in Photoshop
Control the tint
Finally theres the Tint slider, which can
be found under the Temperature slider,
and is used to combat colour casts within your
image. Move the slider left to add a green hue
or move it right to add magenta.
How to adjust
white balance
White Balance tool
Locate and click on a grey area of your photo,
then click the Eyedropper tool (located right of the
Temperature slider) to automatically adjust the
white balance to suit the selected region.
Use presets
Under the White Balance tab, click the White
Balance preset (where it says Camera WB) to
reveal the list of presets. Scroll through and
choose the one thats best suited to your image.
Manual adjustments
Click and drag the Temperature slider to make
manual adjustments to the colour temperature of
the image. Moving the slider left will cool it down,
while moving it to the right will warm it up.
Photography for Beginners 65 Share your shots at:
Light leak
66 Photography for Beginners
iLeaker Free (iOS)
Create artistic light-leak images with the
free effects in this app. Once your
appetite has been whet, more creative
effects can be purchased in-app.
XnRetro 1.49/$1.99 (iOS), Free (Android)
Traditional photographic effects at a
touch of a button, plus other photo
editing adjustments are available. Easy
to use on all devices and quick to share.
XnLight Effect Bokeh & Leak
Free (Android)
Choose between a variety of traditional
light effects in this app. Experiment with
light leaks, bokeh, shapes and colours.
In this tutorial you will learn
how to add a digital light leak
effect to your treasured
photos, giving them a lovely
retro feel. A light leak is a
photographic term used when a
small hole has appeared in the
body of the camera, allowing
light to seep in where it
wouldnt normally reach,
ooding the sensor with extra
light. Some would consider it a
problem, but this effect can
also give your photos great
character and enhance the end shot.
Adding a light leak in digitally means you can
control the effect, colours and the amount of light
entering your image. It is a timeless technique that
can be created in a variety of programs, regardless of
your skill level, device or budget. Read on to see how.
Go to File>Open and select
your start photo. Go to
Windows>Layers Brushes, making
your Layers palette visible. Press the Create a
New Layer button at the bottom, choose the
Transparency option and hit OK.
Add a light
leak to shots
Inject character into your photos by
creating this retro light effect
Begin by opening your chosen
start photo by going to File>
Open. Click on the Expert in the top
panel to make the Gradient tool available in
the toolbar on the left. Select it and tool
options will appear at the base of your window.
Open up Snapseed and click
on the Open button, then
select your start photo. Down the
left-hand side you will see all the adjustments
available to you, and there is a huge amount
to experiment with. For this task, pick Retrolux.
Photoshop Elements 12
Available on: Mac/PC Price: 78/$100
Available on: iOS/Android Price: Free
Available on: Mac/PC Price: Free
Apps for
adding a light
leak effect
The nished result
Adding in a stunning
vintage lighting effect
will transform your
photos, making them
burst with atmosphere!
A suitable start image
One or more of the
programs covered
Photoshop Elements 12
Photoshop CS6 or
How to add a light leak
effect to your images
Light leak
Photography for Beginners 67 Share your shots at:
Click on your newly added layer. Go to
the Toolbox located on the left of your
screen and select the Blend tool. Under the
Toolbox, you'll see a Tool options palette lled
with Blend options. Click on the Foreground
square in the Toolbox and select orange.
Click the Background coloured square
and select yellow. In the tool options,
click on the coloured gradient and select FG to
Transparent. Click the pad and pencil icon to
bring up the Gradient Editor. Drag and drop
the Background square into this window.
Return to the Gradient tool options at
the base of your screen. Select Pin
Light from the drop-down Mode menu,
Reected Gradient from the ve options
available and 50% Opacity. Draw from the
bottom-left corner to the centre of your photo.
To choose an effect at random, press
the Shufe button. To access the
menu of effects, scroll up or down the touch
screen. Select Brightness to begin with and
move your nger left to right, increasing the
overall levels. Press the Style button.
Try out the styles, select one you like
best, then press the Properties button.
Here you can choose how strong the effect is
and alter the direction of the light leak. Tap
the screen and scroll upwards, then select
Light Leaks from the menu.
Move your nger left or right on screen,
altering the strength of the light leak.
To see how much your image has changed,
press Compare, allowing you to view your
image in its original state. When complete,
press Apply and then Save.
Click on the Edit button, opening the
Gradient Editor window. Select the
Foreground to Transparent blend. Under this,
on the long, checkered line, click on the black
stopper shown in the image. Click on the Color
box under this and select a bright orange.
To add another Color Stop, click directly
under the checkered line and repeat
the process, altering the colour to yellow. Hit
OK. Go to the Layers palette on the right and
press the Create a New Layer button at the
top of the palette, adding a transparent layer.
With the yellow added into the blend,
click on your photo window. Drag your
cursor from the bottom-left corner up to the
centre. Now go to the Layers palette and
select Screen from the Mode drop-down
menu, nishing off the effect.
Open the History palette
To open the History palette, go to
Window and select History. A
thumbnail of your original image will appear at
the top of the palette and then any edits you
make will be listed underneath in the order
they were applied.
Check the before and after
Clicking on the original thumbnail lets
you compare the before and after of
your photo, while selecting one of your edits
lets you temporarily remove any of the
subsequent adjustments you have made, to
check that you are happy with the changes.
Remove an adjustment
If you select an earlier adjustment and
then apply another edit to your shot,
this will override your following edits. You can
also remove any adjustments by opening the
History palette menu and clicking Delete,
which will also remove edits that came after.
History palette
68 Photography for Beginners
Editing your photos to turn them into stunning works of art can take time,
so the last thing you want to do is start all over again every time you make
an editing mistake. This is where the History palette comes in very useful.
This handy function can be found in most editing programs, and will list all
of the adjustments you make in chronological
order. Then, if you decide that you want
to go back to a certain stage of
the editing process, you can.
In Photoshop Elements,
choose the number
of edits it records
in Preferences.
Keep track of your edits and undo bad adjustments
The History Palette
Editing software
Elements 11
Photoshop CS
How to use the
History palette to
undo edits
Rewrite the past Learn how to use the History palette in Photoshop Elements
from all good
newsagents and
Learn to inspire
Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
> Astrophotography > Filters for landscapes > Portrait retouching
Available on the following platforms
We put three of the best sites to the test to see
what each of them has to offer
Syncing occurs when les saved on
each synced device are the same. So
editing a photo and saving it to the
cloud means the most recent version
will be accessible from whatever device
youre using.
Get started
Set up your own
account on a cloud
storage service and
you can then access
your images on any
device with internet
Losing your photos
doesnt bear thinking
about; cloud storage
offers a way to keep
them safe, should the
worst happen
Want to show off your
new arrival or recent
holiday shots? Ping a
share link to selected
recipients and they
can do the rest
Many cloud storage
sites offer a free
service for limited
space saves you
having to purchase an
external hard drive
Choosing a cloud
storage service
Email address
Internet connection
Google Drive
Transferring: moving
les from your
smartphone to the cloud
Sharing: sending photos
to family and friends
Organising: renaming
les and folders
70 Photography for Beginners
Other settings
Use Cellular Data lets you
control uploads during
times when youre out of Wi-Fi
areas. Meanwhile, Background
Uploading continues le transfers
when youre not in the app.
Share shots
Share photos via text,
email or social networks.
Select your image, click on the
arrow and youll be presented
with a number of options. Print,
copy or save from this screen too.
Download Dropbox
Download the Dropbox
app to your smart device.
Register for an account if you
dont have one already. If you do,
log in to access the les already
stored and shared on the cloud.
Start storing
One of the rst screens
youll see gives you the
option to save your photos
directly to Dropbox. Click on
Enable Camera Upload to start
the process.
Favourite images
Favourites are a way to
save the latest version of
a photo for ofine use. Simply
click on your image, press the
star icon and itll appear in the
Favourites page.
Up your storage
Increase your storage by
inviting friends and family
to sign up to the site. Each one
generates 500MB of extra space
(up to 16GB). In Settings, select
Tell Friends About Dropbox.
Mobile Dropbox All you need is a Wi-Fi connection to get started
Discover what this free storage service can do for
you and how you can use it on the go Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the most
well-known storage sites out
there, letting you keep all your
photos, videos and documents
safe. Its updated Photos view
enables you to browse through all
your photos and share them via
email, Facebook or Twitter. You
can also invite friends to look at
specic les or folders via a link.
While your initial 2GB of storage is
free, you can pay to upgrade to a Pro account prices
for which start at approx 6/$10 per month.
Dropbox is super-simple and easy
to use, as well as kind on your
pockets. The free Apple and Android apps enable le
sharing and syncing from any device anywhere in the
world. We're not keen on the referral scheme, though.
Theres the opportunity
to boost your initial storage
allocation through referrals
Has free iPhone, iPad
and Android apps for truly
mobile data transfer
When you rst install the
app, theres no option to
select shots to back up
The referrals can seem a
bit spammy to your friends
and family
Quick sync
Sharing enables you to
see exactly which folders
you have access to. This
syncs to your computer
Photo browser
Click on the Photos
tab to browse through
your snaps and select
les to share
Backing up and sharing
shots has never been easier
Cloud storage
Photography for Beginners 71 Share your shots at:
Add your images
Download the app and in
Files>Photos, tap on the
three dots. Hit Add Items>Create
a Folder, enter a name and tap
Create. Tap the three dots again
and press Choose Existing.
Send out invites
Tap on Share to invite
contacts, type a message,
decide if you want your recipients
to view or edit shots and then
tick if they need a Microsoft
account to access them.
Get a link
SkyDrive also lets you
generate a link that can
be copied and pasted into an
email, blog or web page. Tweak
the settings to allow or prevent
editing and tap Create Link.
Send your shots Say goodbye to bulky emails with SkyDrives app
We take a closer look at Microsofts cloud storage
service and the features it offers SkyDrive
SkyDrive is a cloud storage option
from Microsoft. It offers 7GB of
free space to its users, with an
extra 20GB available if you
subscribe to its Ofce 247
package. You can also upgrade for
an annual fee (an extra 50GB is
16 per year). Much like Dropbox,
SkyDrives interface is easy to use
and can be accessed wherever
you are on a variety of devices
using its SkyDrive app, which has plenty of helpful
features to really make it stand out from the rest.
SkyDrive offers a decent amount of
storage and its apps enable you to
customise folders and edit documents on the go. We
particularly liked that recipients of shared images didnt
necessarily need a Microsoft account to access les.
Users get 7GB of free
storage when you sign up,
which is great for amateurs
You can download the
SkyDrive app for Apple and
Android devices
You need to have a
Microsoft account to
access it
There isnt an option for
background uploading, so it
takes up a lot of your time
SkyDrive displays
key information
about your
photographs in its
preview mode
Easy sharing
Sharing functions and
tagging is built into
the interface, making
it easy to connect your
favourite photos with
your favourite people
SkyDrive extra features Its not just storage on offer here
Tag someone
SkyDrive gives you the
option to tag people within
your photos. You can also add a
caption here too.
Change folders
Even when everythings
led away, you have the
chance to switch folder types to
reorganise. Handy, eh?
Make it app-y
SkyDrive works alongside
smart device apps. Cool
Iris lets you display your photos
creatively to share with friends.
Cloud storage offers back-up
and sharing solutions in one
72 Photography for Beginners
Cloud storage
Upload les
Select the + symbol
again, but this time press
Choose from Library if you would
like to transfer les stored on
your phone. Select the shots you
want to add and tap Upload.
Pop-up options
Once youve created the
folder, swipe to the left
and choose whether to share,
rename or delete the folder. You
can also enable ofine access to
edit or view these les on the go.
Register an account
Sign up for an account on Next, go to the
App Store, or the Android
equivalent, and search for Box.
Download, install and sign into
your Box account on your device.
Create a folder
Click on the + symbol.
Choose a le name thatll
help you remember whats stored
inside. We chose Holiday Snaps,
but if you travel a lot it's a good
idea to put the location and year.
Rename photos
When youve got a lot of
shots, automatically
generated lenames such as
IMG_5006.JPG just dont cut the
mustard. Tap the page icon and
select Rename this le to alter it.
Further tweaks
The folder icon lets you
do further housekeeping
on the cloud, like organisisng les
by name, size or date. You can
also copy, move or rename this
folder within this menu too.
Organise your folders Use Boxs smartphone app to keep your les in order
You get oodles of features and bags of storage with this high-spec
storage site and app Box
At rst glance, the Box interface
might seem a bit daunting and
technical. However, get past its
rather corporate-looking
homepage and theres a wealth of
options on offer here. Its simple
to use too. Whats more, its
smartphone app is superb its
quick to get to grips with and
welcomes customisation and
organisation, including the option
to sort by name, date or size, or even to completely
rename les and folders.
We were really impressed with
Box. It goes beyond the usual cloud
storage fare to really offer you the chance to edit and
organise your data. You also get 10GB of free space at
the sign-up stage.
The 10GB of free
storage on offer will be
ample for most people
It has a great app that is
well designed and very easy
to use
The websites interface
looks a bit daunting at rst,
but you soon get used to it
Although fantastic for le
sharing, there are not as
many back-up tools on offer
Easy upload
Uploading les is simple
and easy to do. Simply
click on the Upload
button to get started
Want people to add to
this folder? No problem.
Press this button to send
an invite to friends, family
and colleagues
If your phone or tablet is
stolen, Box will ease the pain
Photography for Beginners 73
Cloud storage
Share your shots at:
Find out how you can assign images to locations and view
all snaps from one place easily Available on: Mac/PC Price: 78/$100
Sort by location with
Elements Organizer
Photoshop Elements makes it easy to view and sort
your photos using its handy Organizer program. The
ability to sort photos by location is not new, but with
more and more cameras having GPS built in, it is
becoming a more popular way to view your snaps.
In Elements 12, you can now view your images from
every location that you have images assigned to in a
handy stack view. This collects together all of your
photos from one location and 'stacks' them on top of
each other to keep them together. The advantage is that
you can browse all of your locations in one go, without
wading through lots of images, before deciding which
location you want to view in more detail.
It's easy to assign a location to a photo. If your camera
captures GPS data, then you will nd that your photos
can be viewed on a map in the Places view instantly. If
the data is wrong, it's easy to change the location by
dragging the pin to a new place. If your camera doesn't
have location data, then we'll be showing you how to
manually add a location in this tutorial. We'll then give
you a quick tour of what you can do once you have
multiple places stacked together.
Photoshop Elements
Photos from a range of
Photoshop Elements
12 Organizer
Earlier versions of
Elements (with Places,
but not the stack view)
How to assign and edit
locations to photos
How to view all images
from one location
How to see your photos
in Places stack view
Sort by place
The Places tab
enables you to add
images to a
location or edit
where shots have
been assigned
Location pins
A location that has
photos assigned
to it will have a red
pin with the
number of images
in that stack
Swap views
Use this toggle to
view either the
Media (ie all of
your photos) or
Places, the latter
of which gives you
the Stack view
74 Photography for Beginners
Elements Organizer
Places Stack view View your photos by location
Browse by location
Now you can view your images by
location. At the top of the main
window, choose the Places tab. You will see
the currently selected images displayed on
the left, and a map of locations on the right.
See your stacks
In order to use the stack view, you will
need to change the little slider above
the window with your images in from Media to
Places. You will now see stacks for every
assigned location.
Add Places
If your camera has GPS data, then your
images will already have a place
assigned to them. If not, select a folder of
images from one location and then hit the Add
Places button at the bottom of the window.
Choose a location
In the new dialog that opens, use the
Search bar to type in the name of the
location that you want to assign to your
images. They will all be added and you will
need to tick to conrm.
Change a location
If you want to change the location, you
can simply pick up the pin and move it
to a new place. You can also assign a location
by dragging and dropping the photos to a
precise location.
View selected images
If you want to only view images taken
in one particular place, then you can
click on the pin in the map. An option to Show
Media will pop up. Click on this and you will
only see the photos from that location.
Edit options
If you Ctrl/right-click on any of the
stacks, you can choose to edit the
location of the images, remove the assigned
location, or view a quick slideshow of all
images in that stack.
Quick edit
While you are in Slideshow view, the pop-out
boxes on the left enable you to quickly edit your
photos, or add keywords, while in full screen.
Ctrl/right-click on any stack to view a slideshow.
You can alter the theme and the settings to get a
bespoke display great for showing friends.
Change your map
You can view your map in a number of different
views including Hybrid (shown here), Light and
Dark. Plus you can turn Terrain on and off.
Photography for Beginners 75
Elements Organizer
Share your shots at:
5 tips for printing your
Thanks to digital photography and the
internet, we can now share our photos with
the whole world in a matter of seconds.
However, its still nice to create actual prints
every once in a while, as they make
fantastic presents for loved ones and look
great on your living room wall. Here are our
top tips for creating high-quality prints
Set the resolution
When printing, your images should ideally
have a resolution of around 300dpi (dots
per inch). The resolution will depend on the
megapixel count of your sensor, but choose
the highest quality setting on your camera.
Preview the print
Make sure that you preview your prints
before actually printing them to check that
important parts of your shot wont be
cropped off. If they are then you will need to
resize the image again.
Crop and resize
Work out the size of the print you want and
then resize your shot. Crop your image in
editing software if you want to change its
shape, but constrain the proportions if you
want to keep the original aspect ratio.
Pick the paper
Printing on high-quality paper will help you
create high-quality prints, so get the best
paper that you can afford. Choose between
a range of nishes including glossy or
matte, depending on the effect you prefer.
Create a book
A great way to display your prints is in a
photobook. You could cut and stick them
yourself to create your own scrapbook, or
order a ready-made photobook online full of
your digital images.
DIY or order online
If you have a printer at home, you can
create your own prints as and when you
please. However, there are lots of websites
that will do all the hard work for you, and
you can get discounts for ordering in bulk.
Create copies to share and enjoy
76 Photography for Beginners
Quick tips
Websites for photographers
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Minimal technical expertise is required. Just go to and sign up for a free 14 day trial.
Download our Easy Start User Guide and follow the simple
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Clikpic is an award-winning service for any photographer who
wants a great website without the cost and hassle of setting one
up. With minimal expertise required, you can use our online admin
system, a variety of beautifully designed templates and a vast array
of additional functionality, to create your own website quickly,
easily and very cost-effectively.
I recommend Clikpic to any
Photographer thinking of
building a website.
- Amateur Photographer magazine

Update or change your site whenever

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Full ecommerce facilities.

Dozens of options to present images

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Questions & answers,
tips & photo-xes
Ask the team questions at
Post questions to the PFBMag
group at
Tweet any quick questions or tips you
may have to @PFBMag
Upload your problem pics to our Flickr
pool at
Add some colour
Go to Filter>Adjustments>
Photo Filter, select a cooling lter
and increase the Density slider until
the sky turns bright blue, or use a
warming lter to create a golden sky.
Photo needs rescuing?
Email it to our experts
Unfortunately you cant do much
about the weather, and so
sometimes you just have to
work with what youre given. You
could convert your image to
black and white to make a
cloudy sky look more dramatic,
or use a lter to adjust the
exposure. However, there are
also some simple ways to
improve dull weather shots
using editing software. Let us
show you how to turn a grey sky
bright blue.
I recently took this photo of
my favourite statue in my
local town, but the grey sky
makes it look a little dull and
gloomy. Is there any way that I
can enhance the sky to make
it look a little brighter?
Jane Hawks, via Email
Improve the sky
Next, go to Select>Inverse to
select the sky, then go back to
Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/
Contrast and increase the Contrast
to bring out more detail in the clouds.
Brighten it up
Now go to Enhance>Adjust
Lighting>Brightness/Contrast and
increase the Brightness to bring out
detail in your subject. You can also
boost the Contrast to add texture.
Select your subject
Use the Quick Selection tool
to select your main subject so that
you can edit it independently from
the sky. The Add and Subtract tools
can be used to neaten it up.
Enhance dull skies Alter the look of bad weather skies in Photoshop Elements
How can I x a grey sky?
Hayley Paterek
PFBs deputy editor
Hayley is here to help
out with our readers
shooting concerns
James Sheppard
Photographer and
Photoshop whizz James
is on hand to solve any
editing issues
Jo Stass
PFBs staff writer Jo
is at the ready to
answer your camera
tech questions
78 Photography for Beginners
Dark details
The statue looks a little dark
against the sky in this photo,
and so a lot of its details are
lost in shadow
Dull sky
The grey sky looks very dull
and drab, reducing the impact
of an otherwise well-
composed shot
Flat image
There is also a lack of detail in
the clouds, making the image
look relatively uninteresting
and at
Ask the team questions at
Decide on depth of eld
To blur the background of your photo,
use a large aperture to create a
shallow depth of eld. To keep
everything in focus from back to
front, use a small aperture.
Tricks for
perfect skies
Shoot in the golden hours
To capture really colourful skies, shoot during the
golden hours, which are just after sunrise and
just before sunset. At these times of day, the sun
is low in the sky and creates a lovely, golden light
in your photos.
Use a lter
A neutral density graduated lter will allow you to
block some of the light from the sky to prevent it
from becoming overexposed. A polarising lter is
better for increasing contrast and boosting
colours in your photo.
Meter correctly
If you switch to Spot Metering mode, your
camera will measure the light for wherever you
set your focus point. Therefore, if you focus on
the sky, it will pick the right settings to make
sure that it appears well exposed.
Change your angle
Avoid pointing your camera in the direction of the
sun as this will create washed-out photos with
glare. You will also capture richer colours and
better contrast in your shots if the clouds are lit
from an angle.
I have had my camera for a while but
have been too scared to use any of the
manual modes, so all of my photos have
been taken in Auto. I think its time to
start progressing my skills though, and
Ive heard that Aperture Priority is a good
place to start. Do you have any advice for
a complete novice taking their rst steps
into manual shooting, and how to go about
choosing the right settings?
Bill Norman, via Facebook
Aperture Priority mode is a great rst step into
manual shooting. It lets you choose the aperture
for your shot but takes care of the shutter speed
for you, so you dont have to worry too much
about exposure. Aperture controls the size of
the opening in your lens, with a small f-number
creating a large hole and a large f-number creating
a smaller hole. Therefore a small f-number will
capture lots of light, while a large f-number will
capture less. Aperture also controls depth of eld,
determining how much of your shot is in focus.
How do I master Aperture Priority?
Set the f-number
Aperture is measured in f-stops. For
a large aperture, choose a small
f-number between f1.8 and f5.6. For a
small aperture, pick a larger f-number
between f8 and f22.
How to use Aperture Priority Take the next step with this semi-automatic mode
Photography for Beginners 79
Pick an ISO
If youre shooting in well-lit
conditions, keep your ISO low, but if
your shots appear too dark, try
increasing it to around 400. Watch
out for noise appearing, though.
Aperture Priority
is a great mode
for beginners
looking to get
out of Auto
80 Photography for Beginners
Im going to a friends party soon and I
want to take some photos to preserve my
memories of the night and give to my friends
as gifts. Have you got any advice for taking
great shots? Its going to be taking place in a
dark room.
Rachel Carr, via Facebook
Taking photos at an indoor event when there isnt
much available light is always tricky. Its very easy
to come away with blurry and unattering shots of
your friends that youll want to delete straight
away. However, there are a few simple ways to
take fantastic shots, and its usually about knowing
the best camera settings to use. If your camera
does not have manual controls, then you could try
using a low light or indoor scene mode so that it
can pick the right settings for you. It also helps if
your camera has a good zoom, as you can capture
great, candid shots of partygoers from a distance.
How do I photograph an indoor event?
This month we
Post your photo to
our Facebook page
and well share it
with the world
Search for PFBMag
Take great party shots Get attering shots in low-light conditions
Ruth Holt
Lighting subjects from behind can reveal
hidden textures and patterns.
Michael Davey
The lovely, golden light projected across
this scene gives it extra warmth and depth.
Lee Wintrip
A slow shutter speed lets you blur car
headlights to create light trails.
Jason Day
Water is a fascinating photography subject,
particularly for taking great action shots.
Knowing the
right settings
to use will help
you capture
perfect party
Set your aperture
Use a large aperture (small f-number)
to make sure plenty of light reaches
your sensor. It will also blur the
background of your shots to remove
any distractions.
Raise your ISO
Increasing your ISO will make your
sensor more sensitive to the light and
therefore brighten up your shot. It
can make your photos grainy if you
raise it too high though.
Control your ash
Bouncing your ash off of a piece of
white paper will create a more
attering effect, while Slow Sync
mode will let you use a slow shutter
speed to capture background detail.
Photography for Beginners 81
The best photos
tweeted to us
Shooting from a plane window gives
you a unique perspective @CG6919
y w
eather is ideal for taking
atic photos @
Bright owers add a dash of colour
to your shots @NathBrayshaw
Display your photos on canvas as a stunning work of art
Canvas printing services
I have recently taken some lovely landscape shots of my local
coastline at sunset, using my new photography skills learnt
from Photography For Beginners. I think my shots would look
fantastic displayed on my living room wall, so I would like to get
them printed on canvas. Can you recommend any websites
where I can order canvas prints of my photos? I want to
display my images in great quality, but I am also on a budget,
so Id like some affordable options please.
Lily Jones, via Email
Getting your photos printed on canvas is a great way to display them
in your home as your very own work of art, or give your shots to
friends and family as gifts. It has become increasingly more
affordable to get your shots printed on canvas too, with lots of
companies offering very reasonable prices. All you have to do is
upload your shots online, place your order, and then your canvas
print will be delivered straight to your door. Once it arrives, all thats
left to do is decide which wall to hang it on. Here are a few
recommendations for printing services to use
Texture and contrast make for great
monochrome shots @dafyddsnelling
Whats good about it

Choose from rectangular, square and panoramic
canvases in a range of different sizes

You can choose to have your photo wrapped right
around the edges of the canvas
What could be better

A wall hanging kit is available, but you have to
pay extra for it

The prices are very reasonable, but keep in mind
that standard postage costs 7.50
Options range from the cheaper Canvas Lite,
where your photo is printed on polyester
canvas and machine-stretched, to Premium
Canvas, where your photo is printed on 100
per cent cotton canvas and hand-stretched.
From 25/approx $41
Whats good about it

One Vision specialises in high-quality printing,
so you know youll get a great product

An extensive range of canvas sizes is available to
suit any photo and hanging space
What could be better

Your canvas will take seven working days to
produce, but the quality will be worth it

Prices rise quite rapidly for premium canvases,
but theres a big improvement in quality too
One Visions InkJet Canvas Wrap is their
budget option, created using a Large
Format InkJet Printer, but you can get their
higher quality two-inch and three-inch
canvas wraps if you pay a bit more.
One Vision
From 27/approx $45
Whats good about it

Albelli has a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
policy, so you can get a refund if unhappy

All canvases come ready to hang, so you just
need to nd a space on the wall
What could be better

They only offer portrait, landscape and square
canvases. There is no panoramic option

The number of canvas sizes is also a little limited,

but they should suit most needs
With Albelli you can only order one standard
type of canvas print, but it is available in a
range of different shapes and sizes. Prices
are very reasonable though, and ordering
can be done in three simple steps.
From 24/approx $40
Get to know your
camera in 5 minutes
If youre using a compact camera, then most of your controls
will be on the back. A DSLR or Compact System Camera will
usually have a mode dial on top. Either way, the icons for
setting the camera to shoot in different conditions and for
basic operation such as deleting images are usually universal.
Affects the amount of your
image that is in focus the
depth of eld
Compact system camera
Digital single lens reex
Drive mode
Continuous or Burst mode,
single shot and self-timer
Dynamic range
The term used to refer to the
amount of detail in the
highlights and shadows
A balanced exposure has
detail in light and shadow
areas alike
Adjusts the tonal range of
your photo, lighter or darker
Focal lengths
Wide-angle a wider angle of
view than normal, eg 28mm
Telephoto a magnied view
of subjects in the distance,
eg 200mm
Autofocus means your
camera focuses for you;
Manual puts you in control
Refers to how sensitive your
cameras sensor is to light
and affects the visible grain
or noise in a photo
The display screen on the
rear of the camera used to
compose images
Live view
An electronic view of the
scene in front of the lens
Refers to the way the camera
reads the light in the scene
Number of pixels on the
sensor, in millions
Refers to the visible digital
grain in a photo
Shutter speed
Fast speeds freeze action
while longer ones blur
any motion
Optical shows you the view
through the camera lens and
is good for accurate framing
Electronic shows the view
on an LCD in the viewnder
White balance
Affected by the ambient
light, the white balance can
be altered to ensure a
natural colour result
Optical the magnication
provided by the camera lens
Digital a camera crop factor
Choose the correct setting with this guide
Boosts the saturation in
blues and greens for
really vivid outdoor
If all else fails,
let your camera
do the hard work
for you by using
automatic mode
Uses a fast shutter speed
to capture movement
without blur
For super-attering shots of
your friends and family
with blurry backgrounds
Take control in this mode
and pick your own shutter
speed and aperture
Easily customise things like
ISO and white balance in
Program mode
Select the
shutter speed and
the camera will
change the aperture
The light enters the
camera here. Lenses
can be changed on
some camera models
Mode dial
Change the settings
on the camera using
the mode dial
The hotshoe allows you
to attach external
accessories, such as a
more powerful ash, to
the camera
If your camera has an
on-board ash, press
this button to use it
Lens release
Press this button to
remove the lens from
your camera

Delete found
on all cameras
Playback use
to review photos
Flash choose
to switch on/off
Flash off the
ash wont re
Zoom in on
your photos
Zoom out of
your photos

Drive modes
including Burst
Zooms lens out
for wide angles
Zooms lens in
for close-ups
Video mode on
stills cameras
Self-timer for
self-portraits etc
Function button
for shortcuts
Diameter of lens
found on barrel
Macro or close-
up modes
low-light scenes
82 Photography for Beginners
Get to know your camera
82 Photography for Beginners Share your shots at:
Shutter release
This button is used to
take the picture. On
most cameras, pressing
it halfway in Auto will
focus the image
Select the aperture while
the camera picks the
shutter speed for you
Your quick start guide to help you master your kit now

from all good
newsagents and
www. p h o t o s h o p c r e a t i v e . c o . u k
Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
Striking imagery Step-by-step guides Essential tutorials
Available on the following platforms
With tons of features, this will tempt rst-time DSLR users
you are an on-the-
go enthusiast
looking for a first
Nikon D5300
730/$800 (body only) | 3.2, 1037k-dot vari-angle TFT | 24.2MP DX-format CMOS sensor | 5fps high-res RAW shooting
Optical low-pass or anti-aliasing (AA)
lters decrease high frequencies that
create distortion when photographing
patterns. The problem with the lter,
though, is it decreases the light travelling
through the lens, resulting in softening.
84 Photography for Beginners
Set to appeal to adventurous rst-time DSLR-users,
the Nikon D5300 neatly slips in above the Nikon
D5200 to become the brands most feature-heavy,
entry-level shooter. The camera is fully equipped to
suit improvers and also provides the full range of
automatic modes to appease those a little less
experienced. Topping the bill of features is a 24.2MP
DX-format CMOS sensor that has been stripped of
its optical low-pass lter for enhanced denition.
The unit, which is available in black, grey or red, also
provides a top sensitivity of ISO 25600, built-in Wi-Fi
and GPS, and a maximum burst rate of 5fps.
At 530g, the D5300 is signicantly lighter and
smaller than its predecessor and much of its
competition in the entry-level market, yet it retains
durability. The 3.2-inch screen is bigger than the
average camera and offers a higher resolution too.
Occasionally direct sunlight is a problem, but the
screen is viewable from most angles and is
vari-angle, delivering greater scope for composition.
Both newcomers and those with some DSLR or
CSC experience should nd the D5300 accessible
thanks to its wide range of shooting options. The
Offering great value for money, the D5300 brings
high-end specs to the entry-level market; delivering
streamlined handling and strong image quality.
only real feature lacking an outer-shell shortcut is
ISO, but a Function button is within reach to provide
a link to commonly used settings like sensitivity.
Shutter response and write times are snappy and
the 39-point autofocus system, when using the
viewnder, is well paced and accurate, but this is
noticeably slower when using LiveView, especially in
low light or when the subject is travelling.
The absence of the optical low-pass lter results
in sharper images, and colours are reproduced
realistically and bright with a wide tonal scale. The
cameras meter is on-point, generating balanced
exposures and a broad dynamic range even in
high-contrast frames. We begin to see telltale signs
of noise nibbling away at quality from ISO 1600-
3200, which is very favourable, and pictures are
arguably still usable right up to ISO 12800.
Below Without the optical low-pass lter diffusing light before it reaches the
sensor, images leave the camera superbly crisp and rich in detail
The 39-point
autofocus system
handles smoothly
and quickly
when using the
viewnder, but
the pace slows
down when using
LiveView mode
Vari-angle screen that is larger than
most and offers a higher resolution
Capable of fantastic image quality at
a very reasonable price
The lack of shortcut commands may
irk more advanced users
No optical low-pass lter means
some patterns might appear distorted
The D5300 offers RAW shooting, ideal if
users intend to tweak skin tone colours
No optical low-pass lter means richer
details perfect for landscapes
Sports enthusiasts can take advantage
of its high ISO and 5fps Burst mode
Low light
Handheld night shots are possible with
the RAW option and a high ISO setting
The camera sports a handy and
effective close-up mode
Megapixels 24.2MP
Capable of producing extremely large
prints, with A2 and larger pictures
presenting razor-sharp detail
Zoom Lens dependent
A selection of lenses are available
Shutter speed 30-1/4000sec
Will please both those seeking lengthy
exposures and lightning-quick speeds
ISO sensitivity 100-12800
This superb range means that you
could shoot in low light without a tripod
Exp. modes 16 scenes, plus Auto,
Program, Manual, AP and SP
Plenty of modes to support both
novices and step-up shooters
Aperture Lens dependent
Flash modes A, RE, SS, SS+RE, Fill,
RC+SS, RC, Fon, Foff
Weight 530g with battery
Dimensions 125 x 98 x 76mm
Batteries Rechargeable Lithium-ion
Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC
Screen 3.2 inches
Nikon D5300
Photography for Beginners 85 Share your shots at:
Can this cameras performance justify its high price tag?
Youre an eager
enthusiast with a
big budget
to match
Sony DSC-RX10
1079/$1300 | 20.2MP back-lit sensor | 24-200mm Carl Zeiss zoom lens | Tiltable 1,229k dot screen
The RX10 shares its familys one-inch,
back-illuminated sensor, which is four
times bigger than those found on average
bridge cameras. This means the 20.2MP
resolution isnt compromised by lack of
space, resulting in stronger detailing.
Sony DSC-RX10
86 Photography for Beginners
DSLRs and CSCs arent for everyone; they can be
tricky to handle and theres the additional expense
of lenses and accessories. Compacts are ideal for
beginners, but there arent many that are capable of
stunning detail because their sensors are so small.
The new Sony bridge camera, the DSC-RX10, is an
advanced compact with a hefty zoom that attempts
to offer enthusiasts the best of both worlds: ease of
handling in one all-encompassing unit and exquisite
detailing thanks to its one-inch 20.2MP sensor.
The build quality of the light and compact RX10 is
reassuringly rugged, plus it looks as impressive as
any contemporary CSC or entry-level DSLR. It
features a multi-interface shoe for accessories like
external ashes and stereo microphones, which is
rare for a bridge camera, and more unusual still is
the adoption of a richly detailed (1,440k dots) OLED
Tru-Finder offering 100 per cent coverage. For those
not wishing to use the Tru-Finder, there is a tiltable
1,229k dot LCD screen that moves downwards 45
degrees and up 84 degrees. While the screen can
be seen in direct sunlight and from a wider than
average range of angles, views can be blocked by
Proving its worth tenfold, the RX10 is a high-end yet
easy-to-use bridge camera that is ideal for effectively
capturing a wide range of photography genres.
the eyepiece when shooting from beneath eye-level.
Handling the camera is straightforward thanks to
the range of auto and semi-auto modes, but there
are also manual options including operating the lens
ring, which lets users ne-tune focus as well as
focal range. The autofocus is slick and effective
regardless of light or whether the subject is moving.
For a camera of this price, wed expect the image
quality to be of a very high standard, and the Sony
didnt disappoint. As expected, noise was held at
bay for the majority of the native ISO range, with the
rst signs of damage appearing at ISO 3200, but
the image quality achieved at its highest extendable
setting of ISO 25600 is still usable, making shooting
handheld in low light a realistic venture. Colours are
also accurate, metering is spot-on and the dynamic
range is incredibly high for a bridge camera.
Below Colours, metering and dynamic range reach a level far exceeding that of its
nearest bridge competitor, with quality more akin to that of an entry-level DSLR
The RX10 is
light yet strong
thanks to its
alloy body,
which is dust
and moisture
Large sensor resulting in low noise,
higher dynamic range and rich detailing
Lens with wide focal range and T*
coating to reduce ghosting and are
Priced at over 1000, it is one of the
most expensive bridge cameras ever
When shooting beneath eye-level,
the eyepiece can block part of the LCD
The autofocus is fast and accurate,
making it easy to capture subjects
The lens offers a exible 24-200mm
focal range ideal for landscapes
The fast shutter speed and ability to
add a ash will excite sports shooters
Low light
The cameras large sensor means noise
is controlled even at higher sensitivities
You can use the lens ring to ne-tune
focus a boon for macro photography
Megapixels 20.2MP
The camera lets users capture images
at a selection of sizes, from 3.7MP for
sharing online, to 20MP for large prints
Zoom 8.3x optical, 4x digital
The Carl Zeiss lens provides a very
versatile focal range of 24-200mm
Shutter speed 30-1/3200sec
With an incredibly fast shutter speed,
the RX10 will suit sports enthusiasts
ISO sensitivity 125-12800
The reach makes sharp, handheld
low-light images a real possibility
Exp. modes 9 scenes, plus Auto,
Program, Manual, AP and SP
All the necessary scene modes as well
as advanced shooting options
Aperture f2.8-f16
Flash modes A, Fill, SS, RS, Foff
Weight 813g with battery
Dimensions 129.0 x 88.1 x 102.2mm
Batteries Lithium-ion
Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC
Screen 3 inches
Sony DSC-RX10
Photography for Beginners 87 Share your shots at:
We nd out if the X-M1s budget brother can compete
The X-A1 can send shots to your phone or
tablet using Wi-Fi, as well to friends using
the Photo Receiver app. This was easy to
set up and use and you can also back up
images to your home PC, but you cant
control the camera from your phone.
you want a budget
CSC that doesnt
compromise on
Fujilm X-A1
529/$600 | 16MP APS-C sensor | Tilting LCD | Wi-Fi
Fujilm X-A1
88 Photography for Beginners
The X-A1 continues Fujilms retro trend with its
appealing rangender-esque looks, and enters the
market as one of the companys budget options. Its
affordable, but no less desirable, as it packs some
great features worth your contemplation.
Available in black, blue or red with a textured
faux-leather front that helps with grip, the X-A1 has
plastic buttons but the build is sturdy. It handles well
too, with settings being easy to access using twin
command dials. ISO is hidden in the menu, but you
can assign a setting to the Fn button and theres a
Quick Menu to access the most used settings.
Fujilms latest camera is similar to the X-M1
(reviewed in Issue 30) but with a slightly lower grade
sensor so images wont be as sharp. Its still APS-C
sized though, which is larger compared to its Micro
Four Thirds competitors.
As an affordable entry-level model, well forgive the
lack of viewnder, but this would have been nice for
composing on bright, sunny days. The bright and
clear 920k dot, three-inch tilting LCD screen is useful
for awkward angles, but its a shame it doesnt ip
out and its not a touch screen.
The X-A1 is missing one or two features, but at this
price it isnt enough to detract from what is an
easy-to-use camera with great image quality.
This model doesnt skimp on shooting options,
however, with an Advanced SR Auto mode that
detects 58 scenes as well as various manual
controls, fun lters, and lm simulation modes.
Theres even a double exposure mode that merges
two shots in-camera. Alongside RAW les, Wi-Fi,
5.6fps high-speed continuous shooting to capture
action and 1080p video mode, you have plenty of
options to get creative with.
One feature it excels at is low-light performance.
With a wide ISO range thats extendable to a
massive 25600, the X-A1 handles noise very well,
with only a very small amount appearing at ISO
1600. The shots were a little soft, but for such an
affordable camera, the general image quality and
features on offer here make this one of the best
budget CSCs on the market.
Below Colours were vibrant in the shots we took and the camera metered well.
Image quality is excellent, despite a small amount of softness
There is a small
thumbgrip on the
back and a grip
at the front. Its
nice and light too,
making it okay to
hold with just
one hand
Excellent low-light performance, with
a good handling of noise at higher ISOs
Easy handling with twin control dials
and a useful Quick Menu
It would be useful to have a touch
screen LCD that flipped out
You cant control it remotely from a
smartphone like some competitors
Skin tones are attering and
backgrounds nicely blurred in
Select Velvia lm simulation for bright
and vibrant vistas
Tracking focus doesnt always keep up
in Burst mode
Low light
Excellent ISO performance, and theres
30sec exposures
A dedicated macro lens is needed to get
in really close
Megapixels 16.3MP
A good size on a large sensor
Zoom By lens
Compatible with a range of XF and XC
lenses, from wide angle to zooms
Shutter speed 30-1/4000sec
Great for long exposures and freezing
action in its tracks
ISO sensitivity 200-6400
(extendable to 100-25600)
A large range and it handles noise well
Exp. modes 13 scenes, plus Auto,
Advanced SR Auto, Program, Manual,
AP, SP, Advanced Filter
Sport, Landscape and Portrait modes
are on the dial, with manual modes too
Aperture By lens
Flash modes Auto, Fon, Foff, SS, RS,
Commander, RE
Weight 330g with battery
Dimensions 116.9 x 66.5 x 39.0mm
Batteries Lithium-ion
Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC
Screen 3 inches
Fujilm X-A1
Photography for Beginners 89 Share your shots at:
you want DSLR
functionality in a
Wirelessly connecting the camera to your
smartphone is quick and simple. Just
download the free Olympus Image Share
app, tap the Wi-Fi option on the camera
screen and then scan the QR code that
appears on the display with your phone.
Olympus STYLUS 1
90 Photography for Beginners
Does this chunky compact from Olympus pack a punch?
550/$700 | 28-300mm f2.8 lens | Wi-Fi connectivity | Electronic viewnder & tilting touch screen
Olympus STYLUS 1
The STYLUS 1 from Olympus has lots of features
that you wouldnt normally nd on a compact
camera. Firstly, theres the electronic viewnder for
easily framing shots in bright, sunny conditions, as
well as the hotshoe for attaching a ashgun or other
accessory. Then theres the tiltable LCD screen that
can be used to compose your shots from high or
low angles, and the ability to shoot in RAW so you
have more control over the editing process. All of
these additions, combined with the full manual
control, make this a great camera for beginners
looking to advance their skills but who dont want to
carry around a bulky DSLR and additional lenses.
The lens of the STYLUS 1 is particularly versatile,
and is protected behind a clever screw-on lens cap
that automatically folds back when the camera is
switched on. The 28-300mm focal range is useful
for most shooting situations and it also has a
constant aperture of f2.8, so that you can capture
blurry backgrounds and plenty of light throughout
the zoom range.
Despite its advanced functionality, the camera is
actually very easy to use. The control ring around
You get a quality camera with plenty of useful
features for a reasonable price, and you can take it
everywhere thanks to its compact size.
the lens can be used to quickly change your
exposure settings or be assigned with your favourite
controls, and the touch screen enables you to focus
and take your shot with just a couple of taps of your
nger. For those taking their rst steps into
photography, Auto mode gives you simple control
over depth of eld and freezing or blurring motion,
as well as basic shooting tips for capturing various
different scenes.
The mostly metal camera body is stylish,
pocketable and sturdy, and although a little heavy, it
is comfortable to hold thanks to the front and back
grips. The image quality is high, producing photos
that are detailed and vibrant, if a little over-
saturated at times. Digital noise does creep in at
ISO 800 though, making the constant f2.8 aperture
particularly useful for shooting handheld at night.
Below Colours can appear a little over-saturated, but images are otherwise vibrant
and true-to-life. They also have plenty of detail, even in low light
The camera is comfortable
to hold and easy to use,
although the dials
are quite far
Advanced features are packed into a
camera that will t in a large pocket
It has a lot to offer both beginners
and more experienced shooters
The ISO performance is a little
disappointing for an advanced camera
It is quite heavy for a compact, but
does feel sturdy and robust
E-Portrait mode automatically retouches
your people shots for you
The built-in ND lter will let you shoot
long exposure landscapes in the day
7fps continuous shooting increases
your chances of taking great shots
Low light
The ISO performance is decent, but the
f2.8 helps for shooting handheld
Super Macro mode allows you to get
really close up to your subject
Megapixels 12MP
A decent number of megapixels for
producing high-resolution photos
Zoom 10.7x optical, 21.4x digital
The 28-300mm focal range is very
impressive for a compact camera
Shutter speed 60-1/2000sec
Great for shooting fast-paced action as
well as low-light scenes
ISO sensitivity 100-12800
An extensive range for taking sharp
shots while shooting handheld at night
Exp. modes 12 scenes plus Auto,
Program, Manual, AP and SP
A great range for both beginners taking
their rst steps into photography and
more advanced shooters
Aperture f2.8
Flash modes A, RE, Fon, Foff, SS, M
Weight 402g with battery
Dimensions 116.2 x 87.0 x 56.5mm
Batteries Lithium-ion
Screen 3 inches
Olympus STYLUS 1
Photography for Beginners 91 Share your shots at:

t to



Capture a full 360-degree panorama
image in a push of a button
Ricoh Theta
A great, fun little camera that is small enough to take
anywhere and get completely different pictures to
those that other cameras would produce. The
question is, is it enough?
Price 330/$400
External dimension
42 x 129 x 22.8mm
Shots per charge 200
Storage capacity Approx 1200
Weight 95g
Colours White
Allows a full 360-degrees in one
button press, making it easy to use
Can be controlled by a smartphone
to get you out of the picture
Image quality isnt brilliant in low
light but its good in outdoor conditions
Using the button, your hand and
body are in the picture
The Ricoh Theta is a camera thats different to anything you
have used before, but it feels well made and sturdy in the
hand, and comes with a nice, soft protective case for
throwing in your bag. This is the ideal camera if you want to
capture immersive 360-degree panorama photos of your
surroundings in an instant.
There is no space for a memory card, but you do get enough
memory built in for around 1200 photos before you need to
download them onto your computer to make room. Charging is
done with the supplied micro-USB cable and once charged,
you can take around 200 photos before needing to nd a
charging point more than enough for a weekend away.
Its super simple to use too; just turn it on and press the
button to capture the panorama, and a little beeping sound
tells you when its complete. If you have an iOS device, you
can also download an app and trigger the camera remotely,
which lets you move out of the picture if you dont want your
hand to be in the photograph. There is also a tripod mount on
the bottom of the camera to facilitate getting the best image
quality, which will also enable you to prevent your hand from
appearing in the photograph too.
Image quality is pretty good for such a small camera, and
outdoors it does very well. When shooting inside in low light,
noise is visible in the image but it still gives a good result. The
images produced are 3584 x 1792px in size (about 6.4MP) and
you can upload them to the Ricoh Theta website via the
included software for Mac and PC.
Ricoh Theta
92 Photography for Beginners
The latest smartphones for snapping shots on the go
2 iPhone 5S Price From 549/$649
The latest version of the iPhone (www. has a slightly larger sensor and
brighter lens than its predecessor,
producing impressively high-quality images
for such a small and slim phone. True Tone
LED ash is another new addition, adjusting
the colour and intensity of the light for a
slightly more attering effect, plus you can
shoot in a square format to save you
cropping in Instagram later. The Panorama
and HDR functions are still available, but
there is very little else in the way of manual
control. However, you can add lters in
real-time and choose from a wide range of
editing and sharing apps available on the
App Store.

1 Samsung Galaxy S4
Zoom Price From 399/$499
The S4 Zoom (
is the perfect example of
smartphone meets compact
camera, yet it doesnt do a great job
of being either. Its quite chunky and
heavy for a smartphone, and the
cameras image quality is a little
disappointing for a compact. It does
have a 10x optical zoom, however,
which sets it apart from your
standard digital zoom-only
smartphone. It also has a shutter
button, plus the dial around the
protruding lens lets you control the
zoom and gives you quick access to
your shooting modes. In the camera
app you can use Auto, Program and
Manual too.

94 Photography for Beginners
3 Nokia Lumia 1020 Price 520/$610
The 41MP sensor of this Nokia (www. smartphone provides a
solution to its lack of optical zoom, as
once youve taken an image, you can
simply zoom in or crop your shots
without losing much detail. The overall
image quality is impressive, and the
camera performs well in low light
thanks to its bright f2.2 lens. It can
even produce a 38MP and 5MP image
at the same time, so you can print one
and easily share the smaller one online.
The built-in Nokia Pro Camera app
includes a Manual mode to control your
shutter speed, ISO, white balance and
exposure compensation.

4 Sony Xperia Z1
Price 479/$600
Sonys (
smartphone is the largest on
test, but still manages to look
sleek and stylish. The image
quality is good, although lacks
detail in low light, and the
operation of the camera app is
quite slow and unresponsive,
which can be frustrating. As
well as Auto, you can control
some manual functions such
as exposure compensation,
ISO, metering and white
balance, but other exposure
settings cannot be adjusted.
There are handy scene modes
to choose from, and Timeshift
Burst mode takes a series of
shots in a split second so you
can choose the best one. Fun
creative options are also
available, and like the
Samsung, the Xperia Z1 is also
an Android phone with access
to thousands of apps.

Photography for Beginners 95

Share your shots at:
Budget landscape
Affordable accessories to help you shoot
stunning, pin-sharp vistas
Budget landscape kit
96 Photography for Beginners
Share your shots at:
Imagine Publishing Ltd
Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill,
Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ

+44 (0)1202 586200

Magazine team
Deputy Editor Hayley Paterek

01202 586276
Designer Moe Hezwani
Staff Writer Joanna Stass
Sub Editor Alicea Francis
Editor in Chief Dan Hutchinson
Photographer James Sheppard
Senior Art Editor Duncan Crook
Head of Publishing Aaron Asadi
Head of Design Ross Andrews
Shaun McGill, Thomas Calton, Dani Dixon, Julie Bassett,
Greg Thurtle, Sarah Gane
Digital or printed media packs are available on request.
Advertising Director Matthew Balch

01202 586437
Head of Sales Hang Deretz

01202 586442
Advertising Manager Alex Carnegie

01202 586430
Photography for Beginners is available for licensing.
Contact the International department to discuss
partnership opportunities.
Head of International Licensing Cathy Blackman

+44 (0)1202 586401
Head of Subscriptions Gill Lambert
For all subscription enquiries

(UK) 0844 245 6957

(Overseas) +44 (0)1795 592 815

13-issue subscription (UK) 52
13-issue subscription (Europe) 70
13-issue subscription (ROW) 80
Head of Circulation Darren Pearce

01202 586200
Production Director Jane Hawkins

01202 586200
Group Managing Director Damian Butt
Group Finance & Commercial Director Steven Boyd
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Printed by Wyndeham Heron, The Bentall Complex,
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The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material
lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of
Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced
in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All
copyrights are recognised and used specifcally for the purpose of
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may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affliated in
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Imagine Publishing Ltd 2014 ISSN 2046-9845
1 HOYA CIR-PL filter Price From 39/approx $65
A polarising lter will increase contrast and
boost the colours in your landscape shot,
which is particularly useful when shooting
cloudy blue skies. It will also help to remove
any reections if you are including water or
glass in your scene. This one from HOYA
( is very lightweight, yet it
is also a quality and effective product. You
simply screw it onto the end of your lens and
then twist the outer section of the lter
around until you achieve the desired effect. It
does also block out a bit of light though, so
you may need to increase your exposure
compensation value to prevent your shots
from becoming too dark. While they are
available in a range of sizes to suit different
lenses, be aware that the price does increase
with the size of the lter.
2 Phottix Wired Remote XS Price 16/approx $27
To avoid causing camera shake when you
press the shutter button, you can use the
Phottix ( remote shutter
release. Its incredibly tiny no bigger than
your nger so you can easily take it with you
in your bag or pocket wherever you go. All you
have to do is plug the wire into your camera
and press the button to trigger the shutter.
Half-pressing the button will also focus your
shot, and if you wish to take a long exposure
you can press and slide the button upwards to
lock it into the depressed position, which will
keep your shutter open. You cant shoot from
much of a distance (approximately 1 metre)
and you cant use it to control any of your
other camera settings, but for this price, you
cant really go wrong with this simple,
must-have accessory.
3 SLIK Compact II tripod Price 30/$40
This very reasonably priced tripod from SLIK
( will help you keep your camera
steady and free from camera shake, allowing
you to use slow shutters speeds in low light or
to capture creative motion blur. Carrying it to
your landscape location is easy as it is very
lightweight, weighing just 570g, and it folds
down to just 360mm long. It even comes with
a handy carrying bag. Although parts of it feel
cheap and imsy, the legs are still quite sturdy
and have a secure locking system to prevent
them collapsing. The maximum height is a
lower-than-average 990mm, so you may have
to crouch to frame your shots, but the pan and
tilt head will help you to get the right angle.
The attached bubble spirit level will ensure
your shots are straight, making wonky horizons
a thing of the past.
4 Lowepro Photo Traveler 150 bag Price 49/approx $81
Lowepros ( ultra-compact
Photo Traveler backpack has enough space to
store a DSLR, plus a couple of additional
lenses and extra accessories, so you can take
everything youll need on your shoot. It also
has a front pocket for storing a small tablet
device and a quick-access side pouch that can
hold a water bottle. The main compartment
has padded dividers that you can customise
to protect your kit, and the outer bag is made
from high-quality material that should
withstand any bad weather. The pockets are
secured with zips, allowing for quick access
should that unexpected photo opportunity
arise. The adjustable and padded straps make
this bag comfortable to carry for long periods
of time, and the loops on the side can be used
to attach further kit, such as a small tripod.
Practical advice for shooting
stunning architecture
There are lots of incredible man-made
structures to shoot in local towns and
cities; even rural locations feature
stunning architecture. Perspective is
the key to getting great shots of any
building, be it a modern skyscraper or
rural church. Experiment with the angle
you shoot from; low angles are great for
emphasising the size of a structure, but
if you want straight vertical lines, youll
need to shoot face on from a distance.
Although there are specialist lenses
for architectural photography, known as
tilt and shift lenses, which ensure
structures appear straight and accurate,
they are costly. Wide-angle lenses will
distort straight lines but they are
fantastic for fitting more in the frame,
so dont be afraid to explore your lenss
focal lengths for more original results.
You can use our cut-out-and-keep guide
below to help you get great shots, too.
Fresh perspective
Experiment with
composition on an
architectural shoot
and nd new angles
and perspectives for
stronger images
Aperture f11-22
Shutter speed 1/125sec or below
ISO 200
Focus mode Multi-point AF
Drive mode Single
Lens 12-50mm
Helpful kit Tripod, polarising lter
To light the shot Bright sunny days will
offer brilliant blue skies as a backdrop. Experiment
during sunset and sunrise too for a softer, warm light
Top Tip If youre shooting glass-fronted
structures, attach a polarising lter to the end of
your camera lens to reduce the appearance of
reections on the glass

98 Photography for Beginners
The new OM-D E-M10 interchangeable lens camera will transform your photography. The latest addition to the
award-winning OM-D series, the E-M10 is a super-slim lightweight camera loaded with features for capturing
the important moments in your life in brilliant quality. Its unique design complements the high-grade build to
provide an extraordinary shooting experience and amazing performance. Welcome to a New World.
Ask your local dealer or visit us online at