Canadian Lung Association Blog

Top 6 tips to taking a great photo

With smart phones and easy-to-use point and shoot cameras, everyone is a photographer these days. Try out some of these tips below to improve your craft, and maybe even have a shot at winning the #MyCanadianSummer photo contest hosted by the Lung Association and London Drugs.

Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winning Photo - Hailey Nelson

2009 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner – Hailey Nelson

1. Action! – While we’re not expecting you to photograph that split-second dirt bike jump, why not try to capture a summertime activity in action? The key is to pre-focus, increase your shutter speed, and plan ahead – make sure you’re in the ideal spot to capture that image before the action starts.

2010 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

2010 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

2. Play with lighting – Lighting can change the look of your photo dramatically. By using back-lighting, side-lighting, diffused lighting, or any other creative ways to light your subject, you can create drama and volume throughout your photo, highlighting specific points of interest.

2011 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

2011 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

3. Compose, compose, compose – From Rule of Thirds, symmetrical or asymmetrical lines, to strategically layering, there are endless ways to compose your photo. Think about what you want to capture, what message you want to convey, then be patient until all elements of your photo come together. Also, having a cute baby in it never hurts.

2012 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner - Cheryl Andrichuk

2012 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner – Cheryl Andrichuk

4. It’s all in the details –  Looking at an object in a different way is what photography is all about. By moving in closer or using a good zoom, you are able to better capture details and showcase a unique focal point. To create an impactful centre of interest, ensure leading lines direct the eye to the detail you want to highlight, and play with your focus to create distinct foreground and background.

2013 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

2013 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

5. Focus on Faces – While we all love breath-taking landscape shots or capturing that perfect sunset, it can be refreshing and visually compelling to see a close-up of a face. Try taking the photo from eye-level, keeping your background simple, and get in close to the subject.  Take advantage of those overcast conditions if you have them – cloudy weather offers soft, even lighting which is beneficial for portraits.

2014 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

2014 Fresh Air Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

6. Get Creative – Something that seems commonplace can become a fascinating photo if you manage to capture it in a creative way. By playing with perspective, adjusting zoom, shutter speed, and aperture, and taking risks with your photos, you can end up with some visually compelling, and perhaps even contest-winning photographs.


What other tips do you think we should add to our list? Comment below with your top photography tips and tricks.

For details and to enter the My Canadian Summer photo contest with London Drugs, click here.

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Carlynn Ferguson-King

Carlynn is on the BC Lung Association Communications Team.

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