“Oh, look. A famous landmark.” Click. “Next…”
It’s easy to fall into the old snap-and-go rut. It’s almost as if we feel obliged to take shots of some things – they’re famous landmarks or whatever, so we probably should, right?
Stop. Look. That thing is amazing – it deserves more than to be consigned to a dusty Facebook album entitled “London Randomness” and then never looked at again.
Try a different angle – and different ways of framing the picture. You don’t have to get the most famous view for the picture to be interesting.
We got down low for this shot of St Paul's Cathedral in London, and used the trees for framing – but had to pick our moment carefully. Try to be aware of what’s going on around you; is someone about to walk through your shot? Is a plane about to fly into the frame?
You don’t even have to be explicit with the picture. Everyone knows this is St Paul’s – so use the surroundings to create a more interesting effect. We’ve used trees, but you could use people, phone boxes, even other buildings, to create a more atmospheric shot.
Consider not looking directly at the thing you’re taking a picture of; postcard shots are all very well and good, but they don’t always capture much flavour. We’ve used reflections here to show a dichotomy between old and new; Sir Christopher Wren’s 300-year-old masterpiece against the immaculate new buildings in Paternoster Square.
And sometimes, even breaking the rules can work. Accepted wisdom says never to shoot with the sun behind your subject, or you’ll end up with a silhouette. But here, that’s exactly what we wanted.
The Huawei P8 makes all this easy – its 13-megapixel sensor, image-stabilisation tech, and high-contrast performance makes shooting without a tripod, and in bright sunlight much easier than it can be with other smartphones. And the images are big enough to make cropping and re-framing easier after the shoot, too; remember, creativity can also happen in the digital darkroom…