Yahoo groups, blogger and Flickr provide the tools by which the group will share photographs and discuss photography. Meet-ups are encouraged e.g. an evening in a local pub to discuss photography over a pint and a bite or a photography trip to London or elsewhere. Group activities include setting members photographic challenges and assignments.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Top tips: Photographing your area

From the Guardian 

Photographer Alicia Canter gives her top tips on how to take pictures of your local area

Plan your trip before you go out, is there somewhere in particular that would make good photos? Think about what your area is about and what kind of things could represent that visually. Make a list and prepare!
Time of day
Think about the time of day that you want to shoot your area in, would it be more atmospheric at night with Christmas lights and reflections in the shop windows? Or is it more alive in the day or at the weekend? You can always include a mixture. Think about it as though you're shooting for a glossy magazine or a feature about the place where you live.
If shooting at night remember to take a tripod – and a flash if you're going to do close-ups. Think about the kind of lens you will need too, I used a 100 for close-ups and a 16-35mm wide angle for the general shots.
Talk to people
People are a valuable insight for the viewer – it's important to include some human presence in the pictures. If you live near a market and want to photograph the stallholders, or want to take pictures of people drinking coffee outside cafes, ask them first – people will usually say yes.
Focus in
You could focus on just one part of your area if it's diverse enough to create a six-picture story.
Capturing movement 
This conveys the feeling of a busy environment. Remember to take a tripod, use a slow shutter speed and be patient when you've set up your shot – it won't happen instantly.
Think about how to make your pictures interesting. Try different angles, use the environment (railings, cobbled streets, etc) to help lead the viewer's eye into the picture.
Go back
If you don't think your set is finished after your first outing, don't be afraid to go back again. This is good practice and allows you time to reflect on your pictures and improve them – you have a whole month to get the assignment right, don't be afraid to use it.
Adding glamour
If you want your pictures to show the best possible (and slightly more glamorous!) view of your area, post production is important. You can adjust your levels and curves to bring the contrast up, and oversaturate the images slightly. Burning in the edges of your pictures to help the draw the viewer in to it. All of these are things that could've been done in the darkroom.
Try to make your pictures timeless, good stock or travel photographyshould be useful all year round and have a long shelf-life.

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