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Six Awesome Photography Tricks I Learnt on a Photo Walk With Jessops

Two people taking photographs

I've owned my precious little Olympus Pen E-L7 for almost two years now. I did the ultimate blogger cliche of purchasing a 45mm lens last year, and as an early birthday treat for 2017, I've nabbed myself a 25mm lens too. I read up on photography tips online, quiz professionals (two of my best mates happen to be married to photographers), and just test and learn as I go, and I feel like my pictures really are improving.

Travel blogger taking a photo

On a recent photo walk with Jessops*, I was that person who asked allllllll the questions. My upcoming trips to Japan and Iceland have me planning images I want to capture, from amazing facades and crowd shots for the former, and stunning nature and stargazing photos for the latter. I picked up some really practical advice that has got me SUPER excited to use my camera on my upcoming trips.

1) Don't be afraid of blank space

National Theatre, London

As we walked around the National Theatre, I wanted to capture how detailed the brutalist architecture is, but the people supping coffee in front of it just weren't doing it justice. Dom from Jessops Academy told me to simply tilt the camera up, so the building would dominate the photo amongst sky, rather than the people below catching your eye.

2) Look at your photo and improve it

Golden Jubilee bridges and the London Eye

This is SO simple, but I'm guilty of taking a photo and then running off and screening it later. I was advised to take the photo, look at it, and then just make simple changes to its composition if I felt something was missing. It could be changing where I'm stood or how I'm framing the image, but ultimately, I should just pay more attention!

3) Say 'ha ha ha'

Smiling woman with camera

If you hate posing for photos as much as I do, this tip will solve all your awkward 'I hate doing this' anxieties. Just ask your subjects (or get your photographer to ask you) to say 'ha ha ha'. Just saying it will make you smile, or at the very least will get the person behind the camera to smile which should rub off on you (unless you're a psychopath...).

4) Create an awesome effect with a slow shutter speed

Slow shutter speed, twisted image

The amount of times I've lowered my shutter speed and ended up with blurry, out of focus shots. I assumed that the only way I'd get something good would be to use a tripod, however there is a nifty little trick you can do that has no purpose apart from looking cool (or so I reckon so far). Lower your shutter speed, tilt your camera, and when you press the shutter button, quickly turn the camera the right way. Fun, right?!

5) Use the Live Composite feature to capture light in movement

Wahaca Southbank Experiment

You know those images: the ones where people spell their names with sparklers or whatever. Well it turns out that only Olympus cameras have a mode that pushes that into even more impressive territory. The Live Composite mode essentially takes multiple photos and creates one image from the best ones. It will set a base level for itself, then it will only take images when the light changes. It means you could get an amazing image of a house remaining static, with the light trails from stars overhead. This article explains it better than I can, but I am super excited to try it out when I go to Iceland in November!

6) ISO for dark images

Golden jubilee bridges

I finally got around to querying ISO: the one part of my basic camera set-up that I just don't get. It was explained to me that the higher your ISO, the more light it lets in, so it's better for dimly lit photographs. However, as the ISO goes up, the image becomes more grainy, so you'll have to tweak your other settings a little too.

Watch this space because my photography is about to get....experimental!

What I wore on the photo walk

Travel blogger in London
Coat - Zara / Initial charm necklace - Not on the High Street / Jumper - Primark / Bag - Missguided via* / Leather look jeans - New Look / Trainers - Superga
Where I went on the photo walk


Six Awesome Photography Tricks I Learnt on a Photo Walk With Jessops

*I was invited on the photo walk by Jessops but all opinions and words are my own.


  1. HA HA HA BE A DOLPHIN is my favourite form of anti nervy dimple laughter. Just ask Charley.

  2. Sound like such an awesome walk and your pictures are amazing. I really need to practice with my camera

  3. That made me smile just reading it, so definitely trying that!

  4. Highly recommend picking the brains of the Jessops Academy experts, they really know their stuff!

  5. Charlie, your photos already look amazing, can't wait to see where your new experiments take you. I loved tip #1, will use it next time I go photographing around the city. I also just wrapped my head around manually setting ISO and white balance. Lots of fun though! xoxo, nano

  6. I've really got an ambition to learn how to take better photos so this sort of thing would be brilliant! Alice xxx

  7. Thank you, lovely!

  8. Me too, I'm trying to shoot more on manual now but it takes so much patience and I just want to take the photo and move on to take the next one!

  9. Thanks, Nano! I'm trying to take less photos and focus on composition and manual settings but sometimes I just point, click and move on!


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As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review