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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tips for Entering Our Photography Competition by Drew Forsyth

Hello there, and welcome to the guide to entering the RSC’s photography competition. I’ll try to help you out by showing you how to enter, as well as some tips and tricks to helping your photography skills – and don’t worry if you don’t have an expensive camera. For this exercise, I’m going to be using my mobile phone – a Samsung Galaxy S, with a five megapixel camera.

If you don’t have an expensive phone, any phone will do, as long as it has a camera. Seriously.
Now, you need to chose your quote.  There’s five available, and so I’ve chosen ‘Did my heart love 'til now?’ from Romeo & Juliet.

So I’ve got my camera, and I’ve got my quote, what next?

Well, now you need to work out what you think best symbolizes the quote. I had a long think about what I wanted, and in the end I decided that I wanted to show someone alone, but with the implication that someone else had been there – something along those lines.
I find the best way to work out what I want, is to write down a list of ideas that you think might work, then settle on one or two in particular…

So, for me, the quote invoked this idea of love, but at the same time loneliness. So, I chose the ‘sitting alone’ idea. Now, the next thing I wanted to check out was what shot I wanted – what did that picture look like in my head?
Again, the best way to work this out for me, is to draw out what ideas I have in my head (it doesn’t matter if the pictures are rubbish – it’s just a rough guide for you!)

The next thing I had to do was work out where I wanted to take the pictures, and with whom. Now, I knew there was park bench near my house, so I thought I would start there. I called up a friend of mine (who had never done modeling before!) and together we walked down to the park and sat on the bench.

Now, the best time of day to take your photographs (if you’re shooting outside), is either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. We decided that we wanted lie-ins, and chose the later option.
The sun was just going down when we arrived, and so we only had around fifteen minutes to take the photos we wanted. I started by just taking a few pictures of the bench in its own, to see what it looked like…

I liked it, and so I asked my friend to sit down and I snapped a few shots

I was quite happy with the ones I had taken, and so I thanked my friend, and headed home.
When I got in, I had a look on my phone at the ones I had taken, and I was pretty pleased, but I wanted to make them stand out a bit more. Now, don’t worry if you have never edited a photo before – it’s very straightforward!

If you are lucky enough to have a smart phone, there are a whole host of free apps available to download on both Android and from the App Store on the iPhone. The best one I could find was Adobe Photoshop Express, which can be found here: The app has a very simple to understand interface, and makes editing your shots easy! With just a little bit of contrast and saturation, I got the results I wanted:

If you don’t have a smart phone, and don’t want to shell out for Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, there is no shortage of free photo editing software online. The best include and
Both are easy to use and easy to understand.

So, now I’m happy with my shot, what next?

Okay, so you’ve got your shot, now all you have to do is download an entry form here, fill it out, and you’re on your way to becoming a winner! Simple!

Top 5: A few tips and tricks…

1. Try something different!
Where you might have submitted a picture in colour, why not try black and white?

As you can see, the black and white adds real drama to the shot, and makes it a lot more interesting!

2. Move it from the middle.

Moving your subject off centre really can help your photo!

3. Try vertical!
From pictures of the Eiffell Tower to pictures of your mates, try shifting the camera to a vertical position – it can really change a photo!

4. When you’re taking pictures of people, try going for a plain background.
Try to choose a plain background so your subject is the centre of attention!

5. Don’t be afraid!
If you’re taking a picture of someone and they’re not smiling enough, tell them!


Good luck!

Drew, Marketing Interm at RSC and Photographer


  1. I would like to say thanks for photography tips. Anyway I enjoyed this wonderful article for such wonderful photos. Looking forward more! | Editorial Photography