This Month's Theme:

From Nikon Ambassador Leon Neal

"Try to read a situation and imagine possible outcomes that would make great pictures"

Leon Neal shares his Top Tips for shooting unique moments with perfect timing:

  • If you think something may happen, keep looking through that viewfinder. Inevitably, the one-off image will happen as you lower your camera and relax!
  • Perfect timing can sometimes be luck but you still need to have your camera with you in the first place! Always try to carry one with you. The Coolpix S9900 is a great small camera that can fit into your pocket, but capture great results.
  • Always be aware of changing light conditions. If you're shooting on a manual setting or have your shutter/aperture set too incorrectly in program modes, you may totally under or over expose an unexpected moment.
  • Try to read a situation and imagine possible outcomes that would make great pictures. If you think there's a chance a person could poke their head through that particular gap, or look in your direction at the perfect moment, be ready for it.
  • Shoot through the moment. If you think you nailed "the shot", don't assume you have. Give the subject that extra second as, often, the moment can develop further than you expect.
  • Make sure your shutter speed is high enough to freeze the moment. There's nothing more frustrating than thinking that you got the shot but then realising that the aperture you set in aperture priority mode has resulted in an exposure of 30th/sec!
  • Like street photography, try to read your environment for backgrounds or features that would work to make a striking photograph, if that golden opportunity arises!
  • Practise! Get used to follow focus, taking the photo at the right moment and getting the right angle quickly. Try taking pictures of fast moving pets and children to hone your skills!

Leon Neal is an award-winning news photographer for AFP. He has covered major domestic stories including the Royal wedding of Kate and Will in 2011.

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