Over 50 professional photographers offer expert advice for better pictures. Digital Camera magazine has interviewed some of the world's best photographers in its time. Martin Parr, Rankin, David Doubilet, Jill Furmanovsky, Bryan Adams (yes, that Bryan Adams)... it's an impressive roster of talented lensmen and lenswomen. Here, we gather together some insightful words of advice from more than 50 recent interviews. Pros from a wide range of photographic disciplines offer their top tips for better photographs. Be inspired to shoot better portraits, landscapes, travel and wildlife shots, and more...
Born in Surrey in 1952, Martin Parr is one of the UK’s best-known documentary photographers. He studied (and taught) photography at Manchester Poly in the 1970s. Career highlights include an Arts Council Award in 1975, full membership of Magnum Photos and a retrospective at the Barbican in 2002. See Martin Parr's photos 1. Make sure people aren’t smiling. Otherwise you end up with a snapshot. 2. Move in closer when you’re taking people shots. 3. Find the right environment – by which I mean the right environment for that person. 4. Then make sure people aren’t smiling again. This is the biggest error in portraits taken by amateurs. 5. For candid shots, just keep persevering. Your luck will come in the end.
John Rankin Waddell, aka Rankin, was born in Glasgow in 1966. He originally studied accountancy at Brighton Polytechnic, but changed to a photo course at the London College of Printing. Rankin co-founded seminal style magazine, Dazed & Confused, in 1991 and he’s a contributor to Arena, Vogue and other style magazines. See Rankin's photos
6. You should never think that the camera is the most important thing. You need to simply find a camera that you enjoy using and stick to that. You should just use the camera as a tool. 7. You need to experiment and take risks. This is what we did in the early days of Dazed & Confused. Take risks. Look at good work being done by other people, but never copy. 8. You need to think about light all the time. Photography is about light, and it can come from any source – the sun, a candle, a computer. 9. Try to engage with the subject. You have to like people to do my job. You need to look outside of the lens, get the relationship going, and only then take the photograph. Vincent Munier is one of France’s best-known wildlife photographers. Munier hails from the isolated Vosges Mountains in South West France, and was inspired to take up photography by his naturalist father, Michel. His work has appeared in National Geographic, BBC Wildlife magazine and more, and he’s won several high-profile international prizes, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006 (bird category). See Vincent Munier's photos 10. You can’t rush nature photography and you really have to watch your subject for a long time in order to understand its behaviour. 11. You need to know when it’s the perfect time to take the shot. I try to use only natural light and avoid heavy digital enhancement. 12. Spend time studying the species and habitat you’re shooting. Try to visualise how you’re going to take the shot before you do so. 13. Never disturb the animal or its habitat to get the shot.
Nick Danziger was born in 1958. He published the best-selling Danziger’s Travels in 1982 and went on to write other award-winning books and direct documentary films. He’s won first prize in the World Press Photo awards (portrait division) and his ‘Blair at War’ collection was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery. See Nick Danziger's photos 14. Be engaged with your subject, but at the same time be considerate – you are the guest.
15. Think about combining the composition of the shot with the context of where you’re taking it. The two shouldn’t be separated. 16. For my kind of work, I try to use natural light wherever possible. It’s more natural! 17. Ask permission to get in close. It’s much better than trying to shoot people farther away. 18. I only use Photoshop very sparingly as I believe I shouldn’t add or remove anything from the kind of portraits I take. I just use software for dodging and burning in black and white for example. Bob Martin is one of the most successful freelance sports photographers in the UK. His work has taken him all over the world, and his photographs have been published in numerous publications including Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Life Magazine, Stern, Paris Match, Bunte, L'Equipe, The Sunday Times and The New York Times. Martin has received more than 50 awards including the 'Sports Picture of the Year' in the World Press Photo Awards, 2005. See Bob Martin's photos 19. Pre-empt the action. Even the fastest SLRs will have a delay. 20. Never forget about composition. The background is crucial. 21. Make sure the subject is big enough in the frame and think about what the subject will do next. 22. When shooting sports, you must have the right lens on a camera at the right time – there’s no time to change lenses. 23. Learn how to shoot in RAW. You won’t get the most from your photography if you only shoot JPEGs. Bryan Adams was born in Canada in 1959 and quit school for music at the age of 15. He became one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the ’80s and ’90s, with a string of hit albums, singles and soundtracks. Since 2000, Adams has risen in prominence as a photographer, specialising in fashion shoots and portraits. See Bryan Adams's photos 24. I remember one of the assistants at Herb Ritts’ studio said to me, always shoot another roll, even if you think you have it. 25. Always make people feel like it’s their photo, not yours. There’s nothing worse than a pushy photographer. 26. If you can see something odd in camera, then adjust it at the time you’re taking the shot. In my view it’s better than relying on using Photoshop later.
Matt was born in Harrow, north-west London, and had a keen interest in skateboarding as a teenager. He assisted the photographer Marcus Lyon for three years before starting out on his own. He combines his obsession with street photography with commercial work for clients including Sony, Fuji and Sainsbury’s. See Matt Stuart's photos 27. Have a camera with you at all times. You never know when something is going to happen. 28. Wear suitable shoes. If you’re walking around for a long time, you need something comfortable. 29. Keep your elbows in. If you put your elbows out like a chicken when you lift the camera to your face, it makes people very aware of you. 30. Be patient and optimistic. Give things as much time as you can and never lose hope that a great picture is just around the corner. 31. Don’t forget to smile at people when you’re photographing them. It makes you less threatening. Born in 1971, Dan Chung is one of the most respected photographers in Fleet Street, and winner of Photographer of the Year at the 2004 Picture Editors’ Awards. Chung began as a trainee on the Derby Evening Telegraph before landing staff jobs at the Reuters news agency and more recently, The Guardian. A keen exponent of digital photography, Chung went digital back in 1997. He is now focusing on the video potential of the latest HD DSLRs. See Dan Chung's photos 32. Respect your subject and try to be sensitive to their wishes. 33. Know the law where you’re shooting, and how it will affect you taking photos. 34. Take note: it’s very hard to make a good living out of serious news photography. Be persistent and be prepared to be quite broke too! Born in New York City in 1947, Doubilet is one of National Geographic’s best-loved photographers. After graduating from Boston University in 1970, he began working for National Geographic in the following year. Doubilet has authored and photographed over 65 books, including Fish Face (2003) and Water Light Time (1999). His numerous awards include The Sara Prize and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography. See David Doubilet's photos
35. Underwater photographers need to get comfortable with water before they try to photograph it intimately. 36. Learn about light – study great images and see how they were made. 37. Go to a museum and learn about pictures – who made them, and which ones you like and why. 38. Lay on the bottom of a pool and watch the light. Learn how to use strobes to manipulate light, too. 39. Try everything – we’re no longer constrained by 36 exposures.
Rhodesian-born Jill Furmanovsky emigrated to London with her family in the swinging sixties. She became house photographer at the Rainbow Theatre when she was 18. She made her name during the punk era, and became a contributor to Sounds, NME, Melody Maker and Sniffin’ Glue. Furmanovsky became the official Oasis photographer in the mid-90s, and produced the Was There Then collection and exhibition. See Jill Furmanovsky's photos 40. Be prepared. I saw The Who and missed Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend hugging as my lens had slipped from Auto to Manual focus. 41. Don’t forget other settings too. Is your card formatted? Have you got the right image size? I once shot Oasis at Glastonbury in the smallest JPEG format! 42. Always check your position – it’s not directly under the singer. Try stage left or stage right. It’s the same when shooting in the studio. Stand on a chair, lie on the floor – don’t get anchored to the spot.
Born in Norwich, Fraser studied fine art and then worked as a photography assistant in London for four years. Keen for a change, he relocated to LA in 1997 and made his name by shooting interesting characters on Venice Beach. Now a sought-after portrait photographer, Fraser works for a roster of top-flight magazines and advertising clients. See Patrick Fraser's photos 43. Help your subject by finding out a little about them and having some conversation starters. Or bring along a prop – they might grab it and make a great shot! 44. Be prepared and know your gear. Also, time permitting, don’t be afraid to try a new lighting setup during the shoot. 45. Keep the set-up simple and start with one light. If that looks good, shoot it. 46. Don’t be afraid to go in tight with a wide-angle lens. 47. Try shooting with a tripod – it’s easier to talk to your subject when you’re not holding a camera. Joe and Mary Ann McDonald’s work has been published in a host of leading magazines, including Audubon, National Wildlife and Natural History and Smithsonian. Joe is the principal photographer in the team and author of seven books, including The Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography and Photographing on Safari. Mary Ann has written numerous children’s books on natural history subjects. The McDonalds run seminars and workshops across the US. See Joe & Mary Ann McDonald's photos
48. Make time to develop your skills – try to get a job that still gives you time for your photography and doesn’t stress you out! With faith and self-belief you can achieve your goals. 49. While it helps to have the cash to travel to great locations, you must be dedicated and work hard. 50. Know the craft of photography like a professional. 51. Find your niche, whether it’s a specific location, specific species or certain style. 52. Know your subjects well. The best wildlife photographers are also the best naturalists. 53. Be business-like – marketing is the other half of the story. Or hire someone to do the hustling! Steven Tee is a world-renowned motorsports photography and director of the LAT (London Art Technical) photo agency. His father was also an F1 photographer; his grandfather pioneered motorsports publishing in the UK. Tee and his LAT agency cover WRC, F3000, BTCC, IRL, Champ Car and NASCAR events. Tee is a die-hard Canon fan and LAT agency went 100% digital after the release of the EOS 1Ds Mk2. See Steven Tee's photos 54. Know your kit – you don’t want to be sitting there trying to figure out how your camera works just as the drivers roar past. 55. Know your capabilities. 56. Choose subjects you’re passionate about. I decided I wanted to shoot motorsports when I was a teenager. 57. Don’t be afraid to experiment in order to stand out from the crowd. Your work has to stand out. 58. Try to look at each shoot from a lateral perspective.
David Noton was born in Bedfordshire in 1957, grew up in Canada, and travelled in the Merchant Navy. He turned pro in 1985 after studying photography as a mature student. Noton has won three BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards and is now a prolific writer and trainer. His latest book is Waiting for the Light (David and Charles). See David Noton's photos 59. Follow your passion. You’ll do best shooting what you love, and I see this with my students. 60. Learn from your mistakes. Apply what you have learned, go back to a place and get it right. 61. If an image still isn’t working, really think about why this is happening. Retaking the shot in different circumstances could work. 62. Never stop learning about the endless subtleties of light. Cameron Davidson was born in North Virginia, USA in 1952 and got into photography after finding a camera in a cupboard. He got his first assignment for National Geographic when he was 23, shooting herons from the air. In the 1980s he diversified and began working on annual reports and books, including works on Florida from the air. See Cameron Davidson's photos 63. Don’t follow trends or copy other people’s work. 64. Focus on the image and the emotion, and focus less on digital trickery. 65. Think about creating images that look fantastic straight out of the camera, without relying on
post-processing Photoshop enhancements. 66. Concentrate on your unique vision and learn to listen to yourself. 67. Finally, shoot what you love. Then keep shooting, keep shooting and keep shooting. Born in 1948, Tim Fitzharris is a leading US nature photographer and columnist for Popular Photography and Imaging magazine. He trained as a biologist and school teacher before turning professional in 1979. Fitzharris’ first book, The Adventure of Nature Photography was published in 1983 and he’s been widely published since. See Tim Fitzharris's photos 68. Always use a tripod – it will help you to be more deliberate and thoughtful. 69. By tightly framing the subject the intent of the image comes through strong and clear. 70. Always look for colour and how best to capture it. 71. Allow enough time for wildlife subjects to relax to your presence and react with their surroundings and/or other animals in a natural way. 72. Choose your times – photograph at first and last light.
Morgan Silk is a well-known British advertising photographer and post-production specialist. His images have won several AOP awards and his aerial work has been exhibited in international photography exhibitions. Advertising clients include Sony, Harley Davidson and 02.
See Morgan Silk's photos 73. Mistakes do not necessarily mean failures... they’re a key part of learning so don’t be discouraged when things don’t work first time. 74. Always test your gear before a shoot and have a backup for when something goes wrong. 75. Try to travel light. This will encourage you to always take a camera out and about with you.. 76. Take lots of breaks when retouching for long periods and invest in a good chair – this saved my life! 77. Listen to your inner voice... it’s usually right about everything. Born in 1958, Tim Flach is a sought-after advertising photographer specialising in animals. His most famous collection is Equus, commissioned by PQ Publishing. Flach began his career as an artist and discovered photography at St Martin’s College of Art in the early ’80s. His photographs have received numerous awards, including Photographer of the Year at the International Photography Awards in 2006. See Tim Flach's photos 78. If you want to make it as an advertising photographer, try to find a way of reflecting your passion for a subject that’s also relevant to a client. 79. There’s no quick formula to success in advertising and certainly no correlation between success and photographic quality! You need to embrace changing trends, so you stay relevant. 80. For photographing animals, ask yourself what you want to achieve. What’s your vision? Then you’ll find your craft. Brutus Östling wanted to be a photographer at the age of 15, but didn’t really get to use a camera for over 20 years. His first book, Life on the Wing, won the WWF Panda Prize 2006 for the best nature book in Sweden. In November 2007, Östling was named Nordisk Naturfotograf (Nature Photographer of the Nordic countries), in a competition held every two years. Up until 2000 he only shot underwater. See Brutus Östling's photos 81. Use a manually pre-set exposure to capture flying birds. Autoexposure systems can be fooled as birds pass across different backgrounds – from bright sky to dark forest, for instance. 82. Don’t overlook the small details – look for a change in a bird’s expression to lift a shot. 83. Don’t forget the non-photographic essentials. Sometimes I take binoculars, an easy-to-carry tent hide and an iPod loaded with sounds of specific birds, in order to attract them. 84. Do something different – most birds have been photographed many times before. Don’t feel that you have to chase ‘perfection’.
UK-based Nichols is one of the world’s most successful flower and garden photographers. He’s won many awards for his work and in 2005 was voted ‘Garden Photographer of the Year’ by the Garden Writers Guild. Nichols’ work has appeared in many publications around the world and he’s in demand as a lecturer. See Clive Nichols's photos 85. Try to find a really beautiful garden near to you that you can get to know really well. That way you can return when the weather and lighting conditions are at their best. 86. Learn to shoot against the light because this will give you the most atmospheric shots. 87. Look at the way that great photographers shoot flowers.Study the work of people such as Karl Blossfeldt, Ron Van Dongen, Jerry Harpur and Andrew Lawson, and try and gain some inspiration from their work. 88. Pay attention to the background, and get up early in order to get the best possible light.
Born in Italy in 1954, Olivo Barbieri is a celebrated photographer and artist who specialises in aerial shots of cities and natural features. Major projects include The Waterfall Project and Site Specific. His work is regularly exhibited at leading galleries all over the world, and has been featured at the Venice Biennale three times. Barbieri has also published several books, including Virtual Truths and Artificial Illuminations. See Olivo Barbieri's photos 89. You have to persevere and take lots of images. I take about 60,000 images and save about a dozen. 90. You have to be prepared to put the work in. There are no easy short cuts in pro photography. 91. You always need to be aware of how you can improve your work and what other people are doing. You also need a little luck to make it as a professional, too! Hans Strand was born in Marmaverken, Sweden, in 1955. After spending nine years as a mechanical engineer he decided to follow his passion for photography in the â€™80s. Strand has been published in a large number of magazines and international journals and was a winner in the Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2008 competition. See Hans Strand's photos 92. For me, itâ€™s all about thinking about the final landscape image. You have to carefully plan how
you're going to work with the light and consider the angle you’re going to approach the scene from. 93. You have to be prepared to climb around a scene to get the best possible composition, and this can be hard work. My back hurts, my feet hurt… 94. Getting an interesting foreground is crucial but you also need to stay free and creative – otherwise your shots will all look the same and your work will lack any kind of identity. And don’t focus so much on the foreground that you forget the landscape around you! From Bowie and the Sex Pistols to The Killers, Mick Rock has shot some of greatest names in music. Mick Rock (real name) cut his teeth photographing members of Pink Floyd while still a student at Cambridge in the late 60s. An assignment for Rolling Stone magazine led to a meeting with David Bowie in 1972. Through Bowie, Rock met Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, and ended up shooting some of the classic album sleeves of the 70s. Mick was also the first photographer to shoot the Sex Pistols, and he’s continued working in the music business to this day. See Mick Rock's photos 95. Follow your obsessions and take chances. I wasn’t inhibited by the thought of anyone else’s photography. 96. With digital pictures, do a lot of cropping until you have stuff you really like. This will sharpen your eye and eventually you’ll get it in the camera. People tend to look at the subject matter, grab that and forget about the dynamics of composition. 97. Pursue your muse, be it rock stars or lizards. 98. Practice over theory – I believe strongly that you should just grab a camera, get used to how it works, take lots of photographs and then go to the photography classes and read the books. 99. Be bold, especially with digital, as it doesn’t cost you anything to take lots of shots.
Tim was born in Japan in 1961 and trained as a biologist. A desire to record the vanishing world led him to swap scientific research for a camera. Laman is a stalwart of National Geographic and other leading publications, and has earned a solid reputation as a fearless, intrepid wildlife photographer. See Tim Laman's photos 100. Do your homework – the more you know about your subject, the better you’ll be able to photograph it. And I don’t just mean reading books. Watching animals and learning to read their behaviour and anticipating what they’ll do next can make a huge difference in getting the shot of a decisive moment. 101. Put in the time – get out there and put your time in the field. The only way to guarantee that you won’t get any pictures is to be sitting at home. 102. Practice – shooting birds in flight, for example, even with autofocus, is an acquired skill. Find something to practice on, like gulls at a pier, and hone your reflexes.
Andrea Jones contributes to Gardens Illustrated, House and Garden, Country Living, The Saturday Telegraph, The Independent Magazine, Guardian Weekend, Times Weekend and National Geographic. Andrea has also illustrated a
number of books, including Lost Gardens by Jennifer Potter (2000) and Virgin Gardener by Paul Thompson (2001). Her first solo book project was the critically acclaimed Plantworlds (2005). She runs the Garden Exposures Photo Library, which she established in 1995. See Andrea Jones's photos 103. Get up ridiculously early to catch the best light. 104. Whenever humanly possible use a tripod – not just for stability but also to aid composition. 105. When taking plant portraits – be sure to look carefully at the subject first from all angles. 106. At the end of the day when you’re tired and you think you’ve finished shooting and the last glimmer of light pops up, just grit your teeth, unpack and shoot. Often this is when the best pictures happen! Gordon Wiltsie has had a long and varied career – leading or photographing more than 100 expeditions to some of the wildest places on earth. His work has been featured prominently in major magazines such as National Geographic, American Photographer, and Geo. Wiltsie’s fine-art prints have also been exhibited in one-man shows in Europe, Canada and the US. See Gordon Wiltsie's photos 107. Thinking of becoming a professional photographer? At the beginning, find another career that gets you outdoors a lot. Unless you’re brilliant or very lucky, it’s hard to survive as a full-time pro from day one. 108. Look at thousands of pictures of your area of speciality, and get to know your camera inside out. 109. Try to develop a personal style to make your work stand out. Chip Simons went as far as using yellow flash and fish-eye lenses, but every great pro has a unique style. 110. Don’t sell yourself short – make sure you get paid the going rate for a good shot, and don’t waste time with stock libraries.
Eric Meola is a celebrated travel and advertising photographer who’s appeared in Time, Esquire and other leading magazines. Born in 1946, he fell in love with photography when he was shown a darkroom by a patient of his doctor father. In 1975 he shot the artwork for Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run and went onto work for Canon, Nikon, Porsche and BMW. See Eric Meola's photos 111. When shooting travel, you can’t go back to the scene and expect it to be the same. Things will change, the light or whatever. So seize the moment, stop and make the effort to get the shot. In other words, don’t procrastinate! 112. You have to fully explore your subject – walk around it, literally and figuratively. To be a creative photographer you need to shoot at different times, in different light – experiment. 113. You have to get used to walking. I get up really early and just walk and walk. It’s amazing the shots you get if you make the effort and are inquisitive. 114. Photography is a craft and you have to work at it to get better. There are no shortcuts.
A native of South Africa, but resident in the UK since 1977, Steve is a highly prolific wildlife photographer whose
work is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. His books include Spirit Of The Wild and Living Africa. Along with his wife Kathy, Steve runs a major wildlife photo agency from their home in Kent. See Steve Bloom's photos 115. Always shoot from the heart – photography’s like painting or composing music. 116. Learn from others; find your own voice. There’s a lot in photography that’s yet to be discovered. 117. Respect the animal’s territory – unless you want to be attacked or just end up with lots of shots of the animal’s rear! 118. Do your research. There’s no point going to shoot a particular type of animal behaviour if it’s the wrong season for it. 119. Take plenty of memory cards. You don’t want to run out of storage in the middle of the action. Born in 1977, Jonas Bendiksen made his name with Satellites, a chronicle of the satellite states of the former USSR. He subsequently became the youngest member of the prestigious Magnum photo agency. His other major projects include The Places We Live, a mixed media project about the world’s slum dwellers. See Jonas Bendiksen's photos 120. Find photographic topics you feel truly passionate about. 121. Put in the time, even if there’s no assignment. Profound photographic work only comes with time. 122. Get out of bed early so you get the wonderful early light. 123. Move around a lot – don’t be afraid of trying new ways of seeing. 124. Talk to a lot of people, all of the time.
Born in 1952, James Balog is one of the most respected nature photographers in the US and a regular contributor to National Geographic and Smithsonian. The recipient of many prizes, Balog’s books include ‘Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife’ and ‘Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest’. His current major project is the Extreme Ice Survey, a multidisciplinary attempt to provide irrefutable photographic and scientific evidence of melting glaciers. See James Balog's photos 125. Don’t be afraid to experiment. On digital SLRs, the flash/autofocus features are so much better – Nikon SLRs are amazing and have never failed me in the field even at arctic temperatures, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying new things. 126. If you want to be a serious nature photographer, you have to stay fit and be able to cope with a range of environments, from the heat of the tropics to freezing mountains. You need to be mentally fit, too. 127. Be disciplined about workflow and post production, even though the latter can drive you out of your goddamn mind when you have to do it at night after shooting all day!
Loftus is well known for the photography in Jamie Oliver’s books and his food shots have been described as ‘still works of art’. He’s also an accomplished portrait and fashion photographer, and a regular contributor to international fashion and style magazines. His clients also include Sophie Conran, Ralph Lauren, M&S and Tefal. See David Loftus's photos 128. Don’t stress! Keep a sense of humour, and remember how lucky you are. Clients appreciate it, and word of arrogance and obnoxiousness soon gets around. 129. Show your portfolio to as many people as possible and persevere. 130. Make friends with your photo lab, Metro helped me immensely at the beginning, and always offered advice, and commiseration when things went wrong! 131. Always keep your copyright! 132. Take a back up camera and memory cards. And never rely on your hard drive...
Born in 1974, Simon Roberts studied human geography at Sheffield University, before studying photojournalism. His photographs have been exhibited widely, most recently in Chicago and Shanghai. Motherland, his first monograph, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim. His second monograph, We English, is on sale now.
See Simon Roberts's photos 133. Be an author of your own work, not merely an illustrator of other people’s ideas. 134. Do your research and become a mini-expert on your chosen subject. 135. Seek out mentors whose opinions you trust and have them regularly edit and critique your work. 136. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and don’t compromise your vision just for financial gain. 137. Be patient. Peter van Agtmael is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, Born in 1981, van Agtmael began his photographic career in China, photographing the effects of the Three Gorges Dam. In 2008, he helped organise the exhibition and book Battlespace, a retrospective of images from 22 photographers covering war in Iraq and Afghanistan. A monograph of his work, ‘2nd Tour Hope I Don’t Die’ is available now. See Peter van Agtmael's photos 138. Study photographers from a range of disciplines. There’s a lot to learn and labels are silly and limiting. 139. Shoot constantly. Make sure you really love it and are willing to make a lot of sacrifices. 140. Care about your subjects and treat them as you would want to be treated yourself. 141. Be modest and open-minded. 142. Don’t use the camera as a filter. Be mindful and sensitive of the situation you’re in.
A self-taught photographer, Jean-Marc Caracci turned pro aged 47. In 2007 he began Homo Urbanus Europeanus, a vast, ongoing project to shoot single figures walking through European cities. Caracci started the project in Bratislava; he hopes to travel to the farthest reaches of the former USSR. See Jean-Marc Caracci's photos 143. Use a prime or fixed lens that best meets your needs. Leave your zoom at home... your lens must be your own eye. 144. Let yourself be inspired by your favourite photographers. 145. Work in all directions at the beginning until you find your own style, your own way of shooting. 146. If somebody dismisses your work as being too simple, be proud of it. One of the hardest things in art is to stay simple. Born in India, Pabloâ€™s photographic career began in his teens. Since becoming a photojournalist in 1983, his work has appeared in major news publications, including Time, Newsweek, Paris Match and The Guardian. He won his first World Press Photo award at 19; nine years later he won the Picture of the Year award. Pablo trained as a stills photographer on movies, working alongside leading film directors, including Richard Attenborough. See Pablo Bartholomew's photos 147. Avoid backlight as cheaper digital cameras still donâ€™t handle this well.
148. Avoid patchy light as extremes are not handled well by the camera's sensor and you’ll end up with hotspots with no details. 149. Shoot when the sun’s at an angle and has colour – that is, rising or falling (from sunrise to about 10am and again from about 3pm to sundown). Shooting in the middle of the day gives your subjects deep shadows under their eyes and there’s little or no colour in the daylight. 150. Shoot in open shade as much as possible during high noon. 151. To be a freelance photographer requires staying power, both financially and in your vision. A lot of patience is required. Born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Joel Sartore got into photography while studying for a journalism degree. His first job was as a photographer and photo director on the Wichita Eagle newspaper. At the same time, he was submitting photos to National Geographic. In 1991 he began working permanently for National Geographic, specialising in natural history and wildlife. Sartore’s work has subsequently appeared in Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. See Joel Sartore's photos 152. Shoot in great light. Any photo will look better in it. 153. Know your equipment. There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing how to capture something that’s right in front of you because you’re fumbling with your gear. 154. Stay organised. In the digital age, you’ll lose images if your workflow isn’t iron-clad. Also, caption your work the moment you’re done shooting. 155. Back up, back up, back up. 156. Don’t shoot junk figuring you can delete it. This wastes time. Is the picture interesting? Is it composed cleanly? Would you nudge the person next to you to take a look? A good picture is a good picture, no matter the medium.
Natalie Dybisz made her name as a photographer and digital artist on the photo-sharing website, Flickr. She’s chiely famed for the cloned portraits of her alter ego, Miss Aniela, but also shoots other people. Dybisz has already exhibited in galleries and exhibitions all over the world. See Miss Aniela's photos 157. Always shoot RAW. Convert your RAW files into the largest files appropriate (TIFF, not JPEG), in order to ensure that you have the best foundations for post-production work. 158. Always save your original (RAW) files, especially of your best images that you’ve gone on to process. Get a couple of hard drives (or a library of blank DVDs) to back them up to at least two places. 159. When you’ve spent time processing an image, compare it to the original – a lot of your (imagedestructing) processing may have been unnecessary. 160. Get the balance right between confidence and modesty. Get different opinions, but don’t feel dismayed – you can’t please everyone anyway.
Roseanne Pennella first got into travel photography when on sabbatical in 1993 and travelling around Australia,
New Zealand and Indonesia. “I took 27 rolls of film with a point-and-shoot camera.” She got her first SLR (a Nikon N90s) in 1994; within a year, she’d decided to quit law and become a travel photographer. By 1998 she had her first exhibitions, and by 1999 went on her first assignment. Nikon featured her on the cover of Nikon World in spring 2002. See Roseanne Pennella's photos 161. Move forward – whatever distance you’re shooting from, halve it. 162. Pay attention to what falls on the four edges of the frame. Crop in camera. Make sure you’re not including (or excluding) anything you didn’t pay attention to before you click the shutter. 163. Try not to centre all your images. Consider other places in the frame to place your subject. 164. Pay attention to what’s behind your subject and make sure what’s there doesn’t detract from the image. 165. Shoot RAW rather than JPEG. When you have a RAW file you’ve got so much more information to work with and it will vastly improve your ability to make better prints of your photos. Elliott Landy was the official photographer at Woodstock. A native New Yorker, he began taking photographs in the mid-60s, originally of Hollywood stars and anti-Vietnam war demonstrations. Landy became known to the underground press, which gave him access to ’60s rock venues, such as Fillmore East. His work attracted the attention of Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman and he went on to shoot the sleeve of Dylan’s classic Nashville Skyline album. See Elliott Landy's photos 166. Don’t worry about the results – with digital you can afford to make mistakes. 167. Be open to the flow of things on a photo shoot and be open to what life can bring to you. If you get moved on and asked to shoot in a different place, try to turn it to your advantage. 168. Get comfortable with your equipment; you have to get to know your camera so it fits you like a shoe. But don’t get hung up on the technical specifications – it’s the person shooting that matters. 169. Be happy! Don’t imitate the news, show positive things. You don’t always have to show a harsh reality – photography’s a way of sharing joy.
A native of Cambridge, Brickles became interested in photography while working as an estate agent. After turning pro and moving to London, he made his name shooting hotels, before getting work on a glossy magazine. In 1999 he moved to Brazil with his wife, working for Elle magazine and other high-profile fashion projects. In 2004 he relocated to New York. His client list includes the Financial Times, BMW and numerous magazines. See Steve Brickles's photos 170. Know your own kit. Understanding the technical side of your camera gives you creative freedom. 171. Keep it simple: don’t ruin the flow by overcomplicating things. 172. Communicate with your models. Good communicators can get much more out of models and stylists. 173. Try to get it right in camera and not later on your computer. Photoshop’s great for experimentation but it’s no substitute for poor lighting or a lack of technical knowledge. 174. Shoot what you see and what you feel. And what you know – it doesn’t have to be models, but if you take shots of what you know and are passionate about, your work will stand out.
Emma Delves-Broughton is one of the UK’s most sought after photographers of fine-art nudes and erotica. Following art school and a spell working in exhibition graphics, she had her first solo photographic show in 1998. Books include Kinky Couture (Goliath, 2003) and numerous photo commissions from top magazines. See Emma Delves-Broughton's photos 175. Always work hard to make your model feel at ease, unless you want her to look awkward. 176. Preparation really is key – know where you are shooting and check out the venue first, as it will save time on the day. 177. Take clips, pegs, tape, safety pins, scissors for cutting off labels in see through lingerie. 178. If you’re shooting on location, take food and drink with you. Just because a model is slim doesn’t mean she doesn’t eat! 179. Keep a supply of shoes, gloves and accessories. You can’t have too much!
Magnum photographer Alex Majoli was born in Ravenna in 1971. He began taking pictures when he was 11. In 1986 he joined the f45 studio in Ravenna, working alongside Daniele Casadio. Majoli became a fulltime photojournalist in 1989, covering war-torn former Yugoslavia. In 1997 Majoli began working on a personal project,
focusing on the world’s diverse harbour cities. The following year, he experimented with cinematography. In 2001 Majoli joined Magnum. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Granta and National Geographic. See Alex Majoli's photos 180. Don’t act like a photographer. 181. Don’t think like a photographer. 182. Don’t believe what you are thinking before you are seeing. 183. Walk, walk and walk. 184. Do all of these tips fast! Mark started his professional photography career shooting the guests and audience on the Merv Griffith TV show. In 1986 he set off on a four-month trek across the Pacific and Asia. The images he took on that trip brought attention to his travel photography. He has won numerous awards including a CLIO Award and an Aurora Gold Award for his photographic work. Harris’ books include The Way of the Japanese Bath and Wanderlust (by RAM Publications). See Mark Edward Harris's photos 185. Think about your compositions as a painter would a canvas. Would I paint a picture this way? I call this ‘Big Picture Thinking’. 186. Remember that shooting with fill flash can create quite cold, harsh light. I often put a colour temperature gel over the flash to warm things up. 187. Travel photographers shouldn’t hide with a telephoto lens. Get close up and engage with your subject. 188. Shoot a lot in low light? Consider using fixed fast lenses rather than cheaper zoom lenses. 189. Remember depth of field. Use the LCD to help with this, or the Depth of Field preview. Think carefully about the best aperture setting for a shot.
Pal Hermansen was born in 1955 in Oslo, Norway, and worked as a dentist and a homeopath before deciding to follow his childhood passion, photography. Since 1971 he has worked as a freelance photographer and writer. His first photo-journalistic book was published in 1985 and his international publications include ‘Panorama Norway’, and ‘Svalbard Arctic Land’. See Pal Hermansen's photos 190. The most important question to ask yourself is: what is a good image? If you can’t come up with any other answer apart from because people have told you what is good, go back to the start and do your own research. 191. Don’t just copy what you see, try to find your own approach. This is a real challenge in today’s flood of images. 192. Get to know art and the history of photography, so you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. 193. Find a subject that interests you and go into it deep. Find what has been done before, and do something different. Some people expect to be a world-class photographer after just practising a year or two. This is impossible. You have to put in the time to find your own style.
A US citizen, Vitale is an independent photojournalist based in New Delhi. She decided to go professional after working as a picture editor at Associated Press and being moved by shots of the Balkan War. Her awards are almost too numerous to mention and include the Magazine Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association and a humanitarian award from the Chinese government. See Ami Vitale's photos 194. Master the local light – really go out and figure out the best time to shoot, wherever you are. 195. Be patient – you’ve got to be prepared to keep going back to scout out a subject or location. 196. Get to know the subjects. 197. Have a viewpoint, and know why you are there. 198. Tread as lightly as possible and be respectful of your subject. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Mattias Klum was born in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968 and has been a full-time freelance since 1986, specialising in natural history and cultural subjects. Since 1988, Klum’s been on major expeditions to Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, Nigeria, Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Guyana, South Africa, Panama and Mongolia. Two of his eight books have been honoured with the WWF Panda Book of the Year award. He’s a member of the Board of Trustees of WWF, Sweden. See Mattias Klum's photos 199. Be sincere, in terms of photography and editing. Think about what you want to communicate, how you can do it justice. 200. Be playful – try to be like a child again. Try new ways of shooting and grow through your mistakes. 201. Learn to use your camera’s manual controls. Don’t rely on what the camera can do for you. 202. Don’t trust your camera’s flash, rather, be its master. Nikon has amazing flash systems, but it’s up to you to be creative with them. 203. Don’t push your subject or environment too far. Don’t mess a place up or upset anyone.
Born in rural Scotland in 1960, George Logan has won a host of awards for his advertising work including the award for Professional Photographer of the Year: Advertising at the International Photography Awards 2007. His ‘Translocation’ project, in which shots of exotic animal species are combined with Scottish landscapes will soon be available as a book. See George Logan's photos 204. If you want to make composite images, think how it will work beforehand. You have to previsualise the final image, rather than just taking lots of shots and hoping for the best. 205. You also have to create the environment for something to happen. So study the light, the best spots to get the shots and so on – you have to be spontaneous, but lay the groundwork for composites, too. 206. If you want to try your hand at advertising photography, try to get the look you want rather than what you think clients want to see. Be aware of trends and fashions, but don’t slavishly follow them as you’ll soon look dated.
Julian Love is one of the UK’s most exciting travel photographers and winner of 2006’s Travel Photographer of the
Year competition. He turned pro after discovering travel photography as a student, and his work has appeared in a wide range of travel publications and is sold through his stock library all over the world. Love is particularly fond of the Middle East, but intends to focus on India and Brazil for future projects. See Julian Love's photos 207. Spend a lots of time in a place. Immerse yourself in it – it might cost more to stay longer, but you’ll end up with the interesting shots. 208. Get up early and stay out late to get the best light. Mid-day shots are nearly always rubbish. 209. I take a lot of shots at 24mm and 35mm so, in order to fill the frame I have to get in there and engage with what I’m shooting. 210. Communicate with people, even if you can’t speak the language. Show them shots on the LCD, do anything to get them on your side. 211. Don’t just fire off some frames and walk off. You often get the best shots of people by hanging around – after about 5 minutes, they forget you’re there. Philip Plisson was born in France in 1947. He fell in love with the sea from an early age and started taking pictures in his teens. Following a successful career as a maritime photographer, he was appointed official artist to the French navy. His works include over 400,000 photographs and 40 books, including The Sea and Queen Mary, and the recently published Ocean. See Philip Plisson's photos 212. Be self-confident and don’t wait for permission from other people – I wish I’d realised this when I was 20. 213. Get to know a subject you’re passionate about before you try to photograph it. 214. Learn as much as you can about light. 215. Learn from the master nature photographers of the past. 216. I’m not a teacher, but remember that the success of each image depends on the emotional quotient of each person looking at it.
Aldo Pavan is an Italian journalist and travel photographer. He began his career in the ’70s with the magazine L’Europeo. After shooting events in the former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, Pavan concentrated on travel features that combined both words and pictures. In 1989, Pavan began working with Gamma, the French photojournalistic agency, and later, Italian publisher, Calderini. See Aldo Pavan's photos 217. Reject all those tired old strategies for visual communication – try to come up with something fresh. 218. Don’t be afraid of interpreting reality according to your personal style. 219. Don’t become a slave to your equipment – a good shot can be taken even with a cheap compact. 220. Understand that the photo isn’t an end to itself but a means to understand the world around us.
Now in his 70s, Pete Turner is one of the most celebrated photographers in the US. His work is in the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the George Eastman House (Rochester, New York) and at the MEP in Paris among others. As well as having a successful commercial career, Turner is a visionary force in colour photography, starting with a seven-month journey in Africa as his backdrop for his innovative colour work. See Pete Turner's photos 221. Looking back, the real plus for me was to have a great portfolio and great prints, so this is still really important if you want to get noticed. 222. Shoot what you really like, as your passion for the subject will shine through. 223. Look behind you when you’re out shooting, too. 224. Try to stick with one focal length – you get more interesting shots. 225. Study lighting and shooting angles until you’re an expert.
Published on Oct 9, 2011