One Perfect Shot competition – 5 more pro tips

Matt Bennett

Vanguard Pro Bella Kotak reveals her top 5 tips for better photos

Bella Kotak advises removing distractions from your images
Bella Kotak advises removing distractions from your images

In association with Vanguard, our One Perfect Shot competition gives you the chance to win some fantastic prizes, including Vanguard tripods and camera bags.

There’s still time to enter before the competition closes on 20th October, so to help you on your way we’ve asked Vanguard Pro Bella Kotak to provide her tips for better images:

1 – Composition

We all know about the rule of thirds but there are so many more ways to cleverly compose a shot so that the composition itself lends to the story that the picture is telling. If I can’t get the composition right in camera, this is something I always consider and correct later in post.

2 – The devil is in the details

Sometimes I feel it’s the level of thought put into a picture that can take that shot to the next level. While I work on my pictures both on location and later in post, I always ask myself “what’s distracting”. I want to be able to control the viewer’s eye as well as create a piece of work where every element is carefully considered.

3 – Get creative with light

Light is amazing, and when it comes to capturing and including it in pictures there’s no end to its magic. I always find that I can tell who shot certain pictures just by how they’ve captured the light. I personally favour golden hour soft light that slips into twilight. There are so many ways to get creative and playful with light, both natural and in studio. With the wealth of information online and in magazines, it’s possible now more than ever to learn how to get a good grasp of it.

4 – Find the angle 

Find the angle that makes you go “wow!” and then tighten up your picture from there. Sometimes I’ll set up a scene and when I go to capture it I can’t help but feel as though something is missing. This happens more often that you think. Rather than let disappointment have its way, I tell myself that a better picture is waiting for me and I need to find it. It’s good to shake things up if they don’t work and strive to find an angle that excites you. You know it’s a good picture if you get excited seeing it on the back of your camera!

5- Use colour

I usually like to think I have an idea what the colour toning will look like as I’m capturing a picture. More often than not however as I’m working away in Capture One and Photoshop, the picture itself will take the colour tones to somewhere I couldn’t have imagined and usually in a way where the colour choices really connect with the story within the photo. If done well, colour toning can be an art form in itself. A lot of my inspiration comes from cinematography where colour choices are carefully considered in every frame.

Note: To make my colours more accessible, Solstice Retouch (photoshop whizz extraordinaire) and I have teamed up to bring to life Fine Art Actions. We have just launched this platform and have released our very first set of actions! It’s incredibly exciting to see what fellow creatives are doing with our colours. You can check out the site here for more details – www.fineartactions.com

We also have a Facebook group and Instagram feature page let up. Links are in the website!

Click here for more details on the competition.

Kotak emphasises the importance of colour
Kotak emphasises the importance of colour
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