Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:04 GMT, Friday, 29 January 2010
Getting the most from your camera
Dakota DC3 at Carlisle Airport
Don't put the horizon in the middle of the picture

Not everyone has a natural talent for photography, but we are here to help.

Just follow our simple tips and you'll be shooting better pictures than ever before.

We can't guarantee to make you an award winner, but you will be equipped to make the most of your camera.

Just remember, that with digital cameras there is no film, so take as many pictures as you want then delete the bad ones!

Rule of thirds

1. Don't chop off heads or feet in the photographs. It makes for painful pictures and it's not nice.

2. Put people in the scene. Adding people to your landscape shots brings a sense of scale to the picture.

Putting a train on a model railway
People add scale to a picture

3. Fill the frame. When you think it looks too big, it's probably the right size!

4. Outside, don't put the sun directly behind your subject. And don't have them squinting into it. Get the sun to one side. It'll give a flattering effect your subject will love you for.

5. Don't put everything in the centre. Use what artists call "the rule of thirds" . Put the interesting bits where the lines cross.

Red eye

6. When photographing people, focus on the eyes. It's what you look at first when you meet someone and photos are no different.

7. For landscapes, don't put the horizon in the middle of the picture - about 2/3 of the way up or down the picture is about right.

8. When photographing people with flash, make the room as bright as possible to try and stop "red-eye" from on-camera flash. If you've tried this and still get red-eye, they probably need more sleep.

Class 66 hauled train at Hellgill on the Settle to Carlisle line.
The first photograph was made in 1827 by Joseph Niépce
George Eastman introduced the box camera to the world in 1888
Instant print film was developed in 1927 and colour slides in 1935
The first digital photo was taken in 1975 by Steven Sasson, an engineer for Kodak
The first consumer digital cameras were sold in 1995 and cost £1000
In 2007, the photograph 99 Cent II Diptychon by Andreas Gursky sold for £1.7million

9. Add depth to your pictures with strong diagonal lines.

10. Keep it level. Nothing looks worse than a sloping sea, leaning lake or falling-over building. No excuses - unless you're drunk.

Ignore the rules

11. If the flash is built into the camera it's probably not worth using it for anything further away than 5m.

12. It may seem obvious but don't shake the camera! Keep the camera steady when taking the picture and hold it with both hands.

13. Don't try and get everything in the picture. Often close-up details tell more than a wide view.

14. Share your pictures. There is a wealth of web sites dedicated to holding and showing your photos and it is always good to get feedback from other photographers.

15. Finally - ignore all of the above rules. Some of the world's best images break at least one or more of the above!

Cumbria viewed through a lens
11 May 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
Add your images to the galleries
29 Jan 10 |  People & Places
Tips for picking the right camera
29 Sep 09 |  Working Lunch
Tom Mackie: A life in photography
11 Sep 09 |  Arts & Culture



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific