Photography Basics

You will need:

Any camera, digital, smartphone, or old school film. The tips and ideas below can be used to improve your photography whatever you use to take your images with. Just explore, experiment and keep trying new things.


Leading lines

Use lines like fences, rivers, planks or the edges of objects to point to towards the main subject of your image. For example, the railing in this image leads the viewer’s eye towards the seagull.


Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is one way to make images more lively or striking – the main focal point (main subject) should be one third in from the edges. See the grid overlay on the image below of button on the uniform.



Change your perspective – get really low or really close and see how it makes the photo more interesting.




Press the shutter button half way down and hold it to set the focus on your main subject and then move the camera so that your main subject is off centre.


Depth of field

Use the Aperture control ‘A’ setting on the camera if available. Try out different settings to create backgrounds that are out of focus by reducing the depth of field, change the Aperture to a lower number.



Single light source

Use light to make your images more dramatic – use a single light source to highlight the most important part of your composition.


Circles of confusion

Using the aperture setting again to control the focus (if available), have a subject in the foreground (i.e. close to you) in focus and the light source in the background will appear as ‘circles of confusion’ (out of focus dots of light). This works really well with fairy lights, fairground lights or sunlight filtering through trees.


Shadows & reflections

Experiment with capturing and using shadows or reflections within your photos too.


Other online photography guides and inspiration


Download instructions

Download photography ideas to try leaflet (pdf)