This one requires a camera, a tripod, an alarm clock and a healthy dose of will power. Choose a photogenic location within reach (the coast is often a good choice), check up the time of the next sunrise (the BBC website has this information) and set out early enough to enable you to get to your viewpoint half an hour before the sun rises. Once there, set up your camera on a tripod and wait. When the sun starts coming up take plenty of shots and bracket your exposures to increase your chances of success.
2. Buy a Polarising Filter
For the money (around £30-£80) a polariser can make a more dramatic difference to your landscape and nature images than virtually anything else you can buy. In the right light, the boost it gives to colour saturation has to be seen to be appreciated.
3. Add Tags and Ratings
If trying to find specific picture in your archive is like trying to find a needle in a haystack then you need a more organised approach. If, when you download each set of new pictures to your PC you spend a few minutes adding tags and ratings you’ll save yourself a lot of brain-scratching later on. Tagging involves adding keywords to your pictures, such as ‘kids’, ‘badgers’, ‘Cornwall’ etc. You can add as many as required. With ratings you give each shot a number of stars out of five. It’s a one-click operation and you don’t have to rate every shot‚ just say, your five, four and three-star shots. Then when you need to find your best pictures of Cornwall you simply type ‘Cornwall’ into your search field and sort the results by highest rated first. Most photo-editing software offers this functionality, so check with your manual for guidance if you’re not sure how to do it.
4. Photograph a stranger, (with their permission)
You’ve often admired that stunning girl in the sandwich bar and thought she’d make a great model. Or perhaps you’ve wondered how the craggy face of the old man at the newspaper stand would look through your macro lens. Well, don’t just think about it. Make a resolution to take a portrait of someone you don’t know. They might be flattered, and the worst that can happen is that they say no.
5. Create Scanner Art
You can create some great images using your scanner as a camera, simply by placing some carefully chosen objects on the platen and scanning them.