Happy World Photography Day!
Have you entered our Capture Kings Heath Competition yet? – read on to find out Rachel Hamilton’s 5 top tips.
This year we’re running Capture Kings Heath in collaboration with Growing Up Green, a family arts festival celebrating nature and climate action.
On world photography day, Growing Up Green Kings Heath co-organiser Rachel Segal Hamilton, who is also a writer on photography for the Royal Photographic Society Journal, Aesthetica, British Journal of Photography and others, shares five tips to get you inspired…
1.Don’t stress over kit
Maybe you don’t have the latest model of camera – so what? These days, you can shoot interesting, decent-quality pictures on your smartphone. Of course, the better you understand the technical side of photography – things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focal length – the more control you’ll have over the images you produce and you’ll find a seemingly endless source of video tutorials on all of this on YouTube. But it’s also worth remembering that what you choose to photograph and how you frame it can be just as important, if not more.
2. Tell a story
Think about an image that sticks in your mind. Chances are, it’s memorable because there’s a narrative going on. In the case of this competition, you might make a portrait of an individual from an organisation or business in Kings Heath who you feel is a real role model for sustainability in the area. How will you show this in your picture? They could be watering plants, making deliveries by bike or taking in donations of secondhand clothes… Offer clues to the viewer that reveal something about what they’re looking at without the need for words.
3. Nail your composition
When you take a photograph, you’re not just recording what is right in front of you, you’re making a set of decisions. A photograph is like a map, directing the eye where you want it to go. And that is determined by the relationship between the different elements in that photograph – people, buildings, light, shadows, shapes, colours… Decide what you want the focal point to be and think about how you can point towards it. Research the basics of composition, for example leading lines or the rule of thirds, to see how these can help you.
4. Show us something new
Do you have access to something in Kings Heath that most people won’t haven’t seen before? Do you know someone who volunteers at a community project? Are you a member of a local litter pick group, allotment or a forest school club? Do you know someone who upcycles furniture and has a really interesting workshop? Or can you show us something we have seen before in a different way – a computer being repaired shot so close up that it looks almost abstract, or the library, a place we all know well, but photographed from an unusual perspective?
5. Be selective
Henri Cartier Bresson, the godfather of street photography, famously said: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” This was back in the age of analogue photography so shooting 10,000 pictures on rolls of film wasn’t exactly cheap but now we have digital cameras, there’s no reason not to take as many pictures as you like. If you set your camera to continuous shooting mode, you can capture a burst of images of the same moment in quick succession, then look through them afterwards to see which ones stand out. Sometimes an incredible shot you didn’t even know you’d taken will jump out! When we look at great photos, we don’t see the frames that didn’t make the cut. But the best photographers are often the best editors.
By using these 5 simple tips Kings Heath is your oyster! Lets celebrate the art of photography and get snapping. We can’t wait to see what you love about Kings Heath and how you portray that through photography.