Lightroom Training Videos

Don’t try editing your photos with LIGHTOOM until you have watched our Tutorials

Fantastic Location Ideas

Stop going to boring locations!

Our location guides have fantastic ideas for you next shoot

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

How to turn flat, dull photos into masterpieces.

If you can’t do it in LIGHTROOM, then Photoshop is for you

Photography for Business

Poor photography may be dangerous to your business’ bottom line

Read about how great photography can win you more business

General Musings on all things Photography

Read our thoughts on anything photographic…



Social Media, Marketing and Business Show – Sheffield 2016

Learning from the experts I went down to see support and learn loads from Andy Firth, Gary King and Rachel Hatfield, who each did a talk on their specialist subjects:- Andy – making money online – Gary – business planning and strategy for growth – Rachel – social media, specifically Twitter – Ok – I took the camera too 😉 I’ll not go into what each said, you’ll just have to go see them when they next talk – all…

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Why Chefs are on TV and Photographers Aren’t

I can’t taste or smell the food I see on telly, yet I still watch cooking shows… I’ve never really got why food is such a compelling viewing pleasure, despite the 2 main senses food excites (taste and smell) are not yet available. We can’t feel the texture either… so that’s a third sense we’re deprived of. The number formats I watch diminishes over time… here are 3 main ones. Master Chef Just can’t bare the fake tension, over the…

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The Pixelstick – The Verdict

Was the Pixel Stick Worth it? Having watched this cool light painting tool evolve for a while it was only a matter of time before I got one. That came on Black Friday 2015 when the offer price was right. It arrived from the states a few days later, and I was raring to go – were it not for the rain! How does it work… ? Watch this! Why did I get it? I shoot cars professionally – I…

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Northumberland – Great Even When Grim

Raining in Northumberland I guess living in Leeds, the sea is always going to be a novelty – it’s not exactly close – a good hour which ever way you go, and more like 2 to get to a pretty place. So why not do Northumberland; It’s got everything except huge mountains. Take Advantage of the Low Light On this recent trip we were treated to rain and grim skies mainly, but not to be deterred, we took advantage of…

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York Photography – A Beautiful City at Night

The McFade York Photography Workshop 2016 With its walls, river, minister and castle as highlights – and hundreds of other things to discover, I’ve always loved running Photography workshops in York. It was drizzling, then fine, then raining… and that only adds to the scene. The watery pavements reflecting colourful light into the camera adds to the magic. York Photography Ideas The gallery before contains a few highlights from the workshop – these include:- Minster and walls Northern Europe’s biggest cathedral,…

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The Great Photo Watermark Debate

Why do people get so angry about photo watermarks? You’d be amazed how polarised opinion is on photo watermarking is. Many think it pointless, and will fight to the death to convince everyone so. Others think it idiotic to post anything without the protection of a watermark What is a photo watermark? It’s a logo, text or some other “mark” you apply to a photo – in this example, the McFade watermark in the bottom right is a watermark. In  this…

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Lumilow Lighting

Enlightened LED Lighting Specialists Lumilow are lighting consultants – MD Andy Chell was up front, the product itself was not going to be an exciting thing to photography! I guess lights are a bit like petrol – fuel is not that interesting in itself, but put some in a Ferrari and it gets interesting. Lighting is like that – it’s how it makes “stuff” look, and cost efficiencies, which, they are selling. The Shoot We needed something completely different to any other…

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The Amazing Milky Way at Brimham Rocks

Shooting the Milky Way – If at first you don’t succeed…   Pack up your bags and go back another night! That’s what happened with our legendary Brimham Rocks workshop this year – the first run was a wash-out no sign of a star, never mind the milky way. Horizontal rain, cold, and no shelter anywhere saw us calling a halt on proceedings before cameras broke and people got hypothermia! A few weeks later we returned, and wow – the results…

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9 Ways Photography Can Transform Your 2016

Why does every marketing team love stunning, unique images? It makes their job easy – photos are powerful – they make your business:- stand out from the crowd easy to understand have INSTANT impact communicate who you are show how you do it Well here are just 9 of the many ways photos help boost your business 1 More clicks on Facebook Ads Facebook ads are a great source of leads if you get it right – and the “hook” which…

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how to hold your camera properly

3 Easy Steps to Photography Mastery

3 Easy Steps to Photography Mastery You want to make friends say “wow” when they see your photography? You want to know how to do it…. well read on! Unfortunately there is no guaranteed path to mastering photography, but there are 3 steps you can take to help get you from boring “point and shoot” shots, to “wow” shots. 1 – Find something interesting to shoot This is so blatantly obvious that I’m surprised I’ve mentioned it, but so many…

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Pendleton, Lancashire – High(ish) Water

Pendleton High Waters Pendleton, on the edge of Pendle Hill near Clitheroe, has didn’t quite flood like the rest of the valley, but the water was pretty high – after lunch on Boxing day we went out for a look around the place – see what damage had happened! Luckily it didn’t break the banks but the fields were flooded and there was a fair old river pouring down the Lidget, a little lane that goes to Wiswell. Water from…

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Whalley in Deep Water – Flood Photos in Full Force

Lancashire Flood – Whalley Gets Its Full Force You can’t have missed the flood news over Xmas… first Cumbria, then Lancashire and now it’s in Yorkshire too. So as Lancashire got a real beating by the rain on Xmas and Boxing day 2015. I decided to have a little drive out and see what happened in Whalley. The roads in to the town were largely closed, so thought the best place would be the A59 bridge over the Calder –…

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2015 Photography Review 11 – November

November 2015 In November we :- Helped Bid Quo Pro with their away day Ran workshops at Kirkstall abbey Photographed Knaresborough Shot the new shopping centre in Bradford… on a dull day Helped Smarter Retail with some new photos of the products, for use online Rebrand Photography for WGN Accountants in leeds Helped Calibre Recruitment get into the press to celebrate their office move Ran a workshop in Kingdale, the western dales See the rest of 2015… Read about January…

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2015 Photography Review 9 – September

September 2015 In september we :- Ran our first night workshop in Leeds Did some headshots for a CEO Helped Xpand Marketing with their new location and rebrand photography Ran a workshop in Ribblesdale, ending at Ribblehead Viaduct at sunset Photographed Salford Quays at night Shoot down at Yorkshire Sculpture Park Create product photos for My English Summer Even did a quick baby photo session… See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about…

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2015 Photography Review 12 – December

December 2015 And most recently in 2015, we’ve…. Photographed an LED lighting company – making their staff literally “fly”…. Helped Croft Myl with their business centre renovation photography – very vibrant Shot Morley, a challenge if ever there was one! Photos of 11 Plus School helping local children pass their exams and get to grammar school Returned to Austin Hayes to photograph new teams, some more workshop images and a good news story Got a new “pixel stick” and learned…

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2015 Photography Review 10 – October

October 2015 October is our Austrian Adventure month – this year we took 2 groups over to see the mountains, gorges and cathedrals of this amazing country. Other stuff included:- Winning a Highly Commended at the BIY Awards helping Wild, Harrogate with it’s opening and new images did a light painting workshop at Roundhay Park, Leeds did a Landscape workshop on the Yorkshire Coast Photographed our friends at Carlisle Business Centre, Bradford Did more work for Northwood Investors, helping fill…

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2015 Photography Review 7 – July

July 2015 In July 2015 we did lots of new projects, including:- Shoot of Roland’s Leeds – the best bar in the city, 4 distinct looks to help with their website Bristol with the Chicago Blues Brothers, and a chance to capture the abbey in the city too Bid photography of Sheffield to help huge company win a huge deal to build a shopping centre Inverness city shoot Stock shots around Leeds See the rest of 2015… Read about January…

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2015 Photography Review 8 – August

August 2015 In August we :- Did a summery shoot with Anthony Caton up on Otley Chevin Long exposures at the M62 and M1 junction Did a Porsche and TVR workshop Went to RIGA with the Chicago Blues Brothers Created landscapes at Hardcastle Crag And lots of other things! See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about April Read about May Read about June Read about July Read about August Read about…

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2015 Photography Review 6 – June

June 2015 In June we had a great month, we:- returned to Manchester University to photograph the new Exec at the student union new team and individual shots of ABL Business Ran a portrait workshop with Alina Janeson and The Chicago Blues Bothers captured Bradford for a brochure went to Bramham Horse trials for a day! ran TVR Car photography workshop did a full branding photoshoot with Mike Munt, to help with his rebrand and creation of “APOGII” created a…

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2015 Photography Review 5 – May

May 2015 In May we :- started our summer workshops in Wharfdale captured images for Tendo’s new website Shot Roomzzz in Nottingham and Leeds created hundreds of stock shots of Nottingham went to Llamberis for some landscape photos took a group up to Ovenden Wind farm for a landscape experience See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about April Read about May Read about June Read about July Read about August Read…

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2015 Photography Review 4 – April

April 2015 In April we had an incredible schedule with the Chicago Blues Brothers, doing thousands of miles around the UK, playing to tens of thousands of fans! In between we also did shoots for:- a leading car polish client several ROOMZZZ hotel locations around the north landscape shoots in Northumberland and Teesdale city shoots in Newcastle and Manchester captured High Force in super-high flow See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read…

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2015 Photography Review 3 – March

March 2015 March saw us :- playing lots of gigs with the Chicago Blues Brothers workshopping on the moors doing more “industrial” stuff a bit or street photography around Leeds capturing lots of staff and team shots. See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about April Read about May Read about June Read about July Read about August Read about September Read about October Read about November Read about December

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2015 Photography Review 2 – February

February 2015 Amongst other things, in February we:- got all industrial at Austin Hayes in Yeadon, painted an old car wash red and green, created a portfolio for Alina Janeson, ran workshops in the dales in the snow captured 3 restaurant interiors went to Warrington to get some artwork for a client captured a business park in cheshire See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about April Read about May Read about…

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2015 Photography Review 1 – January

2015 – January’s Photography We kicked off the year with workshops in Leeds and the Dales, shot lots of fitness and training for clients, interiors of event spaces, huge office spaces and a couple of gigs with the Chicago Blues Brothers Here are just a few memories of January See the rest of 2015… Read about January Read about February Read about March Read about April Read about May Read about June Read about July Read about August Read about September…

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Salford Quays

Salford Quays Workshop

Salford Quays Workshop Media City is right on the canal network  –  so where better to teach night photography skills, a location where you get amazing architecture as well as stunning reflections in each shot. The workshop started at sunset and went on well past the 10PM finish time… when you’re in the zone, may as well keep going! The Technical Bit The main skills we showed people were the basics of night shooting – which on my workshops, uses…

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Commercial Photography - Out Takes!

Commercial Photography Should Be Fun

God, I hate having my photo taken…. That’s the most common thing photographs hear, pretty much everyone, on every job, says it – you’d think it was root canal treatment we were administering. Photography should be fun – especially commercial work That’s definitely the case with our friends over at ABL Business, we’ve updated their photo stock a few times and each time, it’s always a fun session with Alex, Andy and the team – getting them to pretend to work, whilst making them laugh.…

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See How Easily Focus Stacking You Gives Ultimate Sharpness In Your Landscape Photos

Focus Stacking in Landscape Photos If you like to get everything pin sharp in your landscapes, Focus Stacking is for you. If you shoot low with foregrounds which are very close to the lens, then it can be hard to get the background AND the foreground pin sharp. Focussing 1/3 of the way into a scene if often recommended, or using a “hyperfocal” calculator app on your phone can give you the best focus distance for a given aperture and focal…

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7 Top Tips for Low Light Photography

Low Light Photography for Beginners 2015’s summer looks to be ebbing away – certainly in the evenings as it’s dark by 8PM now! So last night we started our summer-winter transition and showed a group how to shoot at night. What we did… Kicking off at Clarence Dock, or New Dock Leeds, as the re-brand calls it, we created:- dusk shots of the old docks. night shots of the docks – 30 second exposures, to smooth the water a bit…

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Car Photography Workshop 3

Grand Finale Car Photography Workshop for 2015 We’ve done 3 great Car Photography workshops this summer, the final one was at Temple Newsham in Leeds – where we have a huge car park full of puddles and a gritty feel. Something to contrast to the other workshops. The cars were TVR T350 TVR Wedge – 2 of these TVR Tuscan Porsche 911 – 2 of these A great mix of colour, style and shape – all organised by Richard Lee,…

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Retouching in Photoshop

Retouching in Photoshop – Skin and Eyes Lightroom has so many great tools that Photoshop is fast becoming redundant for most tasks. Retouching is one area where Lightroom still needs development. There are tools for skin softening and bumping eyes, but they don’t really have the same accuracy or fine results. For most commercial work I do, Lightroom is fine – the shots are usually small and on websites, a little negative clarity does the trick. But if you’re competing…

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How to take better travel photos on your smartphone

How to take better travel photos on your smartphone

Sunrise and sunset provide the best light for photography: Lauren Bath AS THE saying goes, the best camera to have is the camera you have with you. And for must of us, that’s a smartphone. Mobiles with built-in high-resolution cameras have changed the way we shoot holiday snaps. For […] Click here to view original web page at Here are the tips in summary….. 1. Light it up 2. Pick and choose 3. The professional touch 4. The phone…

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Photos from the Old Town in Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia – The Old Town

Capital of Latvia, Riga – The Old Town From the Riga, Latvia WIKIPEDIA entry :- Hot Summer Visit to Riga, Latvia In Newcastle, “Baltic” means “very cold”. Nothing could have been further from the truth when we visited in August 2015. It was in the high 20’s, cloudless skies and a light, refreshing breeze made it perfect for walking around with the camera. Our hotel was on the edge of the Old Town, the small 800 year old centre of…

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how to hold your camera properly

How do you hold your camera?

So Many Different Ways to Hold a Camera… How do you hold your camera…. whilst walking in Riga, I saw so many photographers holding their cameras in a weird variety of styles, I thought I’d get a few shots of them. The majority seem to use the little screen on the back of the camera, so hold the camera about 6-12 inches in front of their face. Many cameras have no other option – my phone certainly doesn’t. But lots…

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Why Photography is a Game of 2 Halves

Can we have all the RAW files, we don’t need anything editing… I’ve been asked this from time to time, most recently on a job to capture the “essence of Sheffield’s shopping experience”. It had to be on a certain day and time due to some portraits we had to take – so I couldn’t really choose a bright sunny day, so as you can expect – a lot of the images were pretty overcast and dull. Which is “to…

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Travel Photography – Literally!

Ever travel long distances as a passenger? I do – as a member of a touring band, we sometimes cover hundreds of miles – and a few weeks ago, that involved going from Leeds to Inverness… and back! Naturally I took the camera – for photos of the lovely Scottish city, but also to capture the band in action… Then it occurred to me that the highlands were beautiful from the main roads, no need to actually go on country…

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15 Essential Stone Circle Photography Tips

15 Essential Stone Circle Photography Tips

Photo by David Clapp 1. Lens Choice Use a wider angle lens 16-20mm (about 24-30mm in 35mm terms) 2. Focus On Parts Of The Circle Try isolating two or three of the stones and shoot from a low angle. 3. Get Up High Find a vantage point at a […] Click here to view original web page at

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Photos of Bristol

Bristol Photos… from day 3 of a Rock N Roll weekend…. This weekend, The Chicago Blues Brothers, for whom I play keyboards, gigged in Crawley, Wimbledon and finally hit the biggest theatre of the weekend in Bristol. The Hippodrome. Blues Brothers Website Review of the show we did We arrived pretty early, got set up and had an hour to kill before sound check, so decided to head out for look at the city. There was a festival going on – a…

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An Hour in Inverness

Its not often we get time to walk around the towns and cities we visit with the Blues Brothers band, but I got an hour in Inverness this Saturday. It’s a lovely city, large fast flowing river, castle looming over the banks, highland architecture everywhere and a friendly vibe to the whole place. I took just the camera, 16-35mm lens and a 2 stop ND grad filter with me – and wandered around looking for a spot of food. Here…

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Why I Bought the Canon 16-35 F4L

[message type=”info”]….this thing isn’t just a “settle for lens” for those who can’t afford the 2.8, but a real contender.[/message] Just invested in the new canon 16-35 F4 – part of the new range of canon F4 L lenses, as opposed to the F2.8 L range, with new generation Image Stabilisation. These are smaller, lighter and cheaper than their f2.8 cousins – so why did I end up with this over the f2.8? Here’s the through process behind it… 1 – I needed…

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HDR Photography is DEAD!

Is HDR Photography Dead? In many situations, new cameras do indeed render HDR Photography redundant. We use HDR to increase the “dymanic range” of our work – capturing extra detail in the highlights and shadows. Older cameras had a limited range, was was proved by lightening an under exposed shot. The “noise” would be intolerable, making a mosaic like pattern in the dark areas. However, newer cameras allow you to brighten darks areas, and to an extent, recover burned highlights…

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Creating Vintage Photos Made Easy in LIGHTROOM

How to Create That Vintage Look in LIGHTROOM In this short tutorial video, we look at editing a beach shot at Alnwick, Northumberland. It was a bright day with strong clouds, so lots of mid tones and some crisp shadows to play with. There are many ways to process such a shot, in this session we’ll take you through the whole process of using Split Toning to add that lovely vintage feel, a process that is surprisingly easy in Lightroom. The Vintage look…

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9 Affordable Gadgets To Transform Your Photography

Photography Kit Which Doesn’t Cost The Earth 1 – Angle Finder – £20 – £200 If you shoot low down, maybe for landscapes or createive atchitecture shots, so see through your camera, you’ll either have to lie fly on the floor or guess your compoisition. This is where your “angle finder” comes into play. It allows you to look “down” through your camera – so you don’t have to get quite so low. It saves your back, knees and I find…

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13 Snowy Yorkshire Dales Photos

Snowy Settle and Malham – in the Yorkshire Dales It’s not been the snowiest of winters, but on a trip out with Richard Spurdens, we were treated to some great snowy scenes. Add to that fast moving clouds and ever changing light, you get infinite variety without having to move far at all. The trip started near settle where we got the bush and tree shots – lots of walls creating strong shadows on the white snow. Views across to Pen…

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St Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

Landscapes in Bright Sunshine You can’t shoot landscapes in the afternoon, you have to wait for sunset  –  right? Well it’s certainly easier to get great shots when the favourable low, warm sunset light is making the sky glow orange, but you can still create something usable when the sun is out. These images were all taken at about 2PM, using the following kit:- Canon 5D 3 Canon 17-40 F4L Hiada 10 stop filter Cokin Z-Pro 2 stop ND Grad…

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England’s Biggest Waterfall

High Force – Teesdale It may only be 70 feet tall, minute compared to the giants in Yosemite or South America, but High Force, high up in Teesdale, is very impressive in flood – as it was on this day! With it being winter, you can see the falls from the road through the leafless trees. Its too obscured to create a decent shot, but adds to the build up. I tried 2 techniques on the day – using the 70-200mm…

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Photos of Newcastle

Back to Newcastle…. Before moving to Leeds, I lived in Newcastle – great city, bit nippy though! I was shooting some hotels for a client who needed some evening and day shots of their property, so had a while to kill before it went dark. Here’s what I got up to – a walk along the quayside, then around the city centre. See how many of these places you can name

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5 Essential Questions for Aspiring Pro Photographers

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Pro I’m sure many pro photographers get asked “How do I become a professional photographer?“. I have and it’s never a straight forward answer – in fact, the answer would be unique for each person. Every photographer is different (personality, experience, confidence, business savvy,  camera skills etc.),  so there’s no “on size fits all” formula for success, or even getting out of the starting blocks. But I do often ask a few questions, so…

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A Souvenir of Sunderland

So we set off early for a gig at Sunderland Empire – with the intention of enjoying the beach, maybe popping to the Angel of the North or Penshaw Monument. The weather had different ideas – it was grim, cold and grey. So we did a pub lunch instead – then went to Roker Beach in Sunderland to see if there was anything worth looking at. Here is what we found…   Some lovely colours in litter – goes well…

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Ten Top Macro Photography Tips

Here are some tips from EPHOTOZINE on how to take better Macro photos… 1. Make Sure Your Subject Is Perfect 2. Get Up Early 3. Try Backlighting 4. Switch To Manual Focus 5. Try Pre-Focusing 6. Pack A Polarising Filter 7. Avoid Shake 8. Windy Days Are Your Enemy 9. Get In Close Then Add Some Space 10. Light Your Shot Well […] Click here to view original web page at

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