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Taking Photos for the Web - 6 expert tips

By Clint Randall of Pixel Photography based in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.

Everyone writes top ten tips, but with photography for the web there are just 6 that you need:

1. Fill the frame - just like when you were at school and the art teacher told you to fill the paper, but fill it with good stuff; we don’t want to see loads of junk in the background. Get in close or zoom in close.

2. Exposure - Get it right, the computer can help, but it’s always better to get it right first time. But if you are hoping to rescue a bad exposure on a computer, don’t over expose - rescuing an over exposed picture is harder on digital than it was on film.

3. Here’s an easy one. Set the resolution to the highest your camera will go. You can always delete the rubbish to save disc space but you can never improve a great shot that you want to enlarge to the size of a bus.

4. Think about the light, that’s what photography is all about. Help yourself to get great pictures by choosing the right time of day. I rarely have the choice of when to shoot, but if I do, I always avoid mid day. Overhead shadows are always unflattering on people and boring on everything else. You need a bit of sidelight on the subject, so I’m afraid it’s early mornings or late afternoon for the best light. When I’m on holiday I always get up before dawn, if I want really special pictures.

5. This is often overlooked - hold the camera steady. Camera shake is the cause of most out of focus pictures, especially if you’re taking pictures in low light. My top tip is to carry a bag of rice with you or a small bean bag, rest the camera on it or wedge it against a wall between camera and you and you’ve got a brilliant lightweight tripod.

6. If you’ve got a zoom lens, use it - stand back and zoom in, the perspective is much better and the background will go out of focus to make your subject stand out.

Clint Randall is a Gloucestershire based former Press Photographer who has given up the press after 23 years for life as a PR Photographer and Wedding Photographer.

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