October 09, 2015

Well with the deadline for our 2105 competition coming close (31st October) we thought we would share a few top tips for taking the best picture possible of your sign once it is in pride of place. We have had some great entries so far but it isn't to late to send us your own fantastic photograph.

Don't forget we have the main category for the best 'in-situ' shot for your chance to win one of our beautiful Station Clocks, but we also have the 'Most Unique Name' category for your chance to win a set of beautiful hand crafted Christmas Decorations.

We have had some brilliant and unique names this year (Nickers and Nockers, to name but a few) so why not have a go and send us your image and take advantage of this beautiful Autumnal weather .... you have to be in it to win it.



FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT: CLEAN YOUR LENS. Every time you pull your phone out of your pocket for a photo. No exceptions!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIGHT: We take all of our photographs outside in natural light. The sign doesn't need to be in full sun, in fact its better if the sun is slightly filtered.

AVOID USING FLASH: unless you are going for a dramatic night time shot let your phone adjust light light automatically.

USE THE SCREEN TO FOCUS: Most smart phones have autofocus. Simply touch the screen on the part of the image you require the best possible focus.

NEVER USE AUTO ZOOM: it defeats the object of nice clear photographs and the images never look good. Instead get close to your subject and frame it within your view finder.

USE HDR MODE IF YOU HAVE IT: HDR is a great mode for taking photos of stationary objects, as long as you have steady hands. What HDR (high dynamic range) mode does, is ensure that the lighting and shadows in the photo are evenly exposed. This is particularly useful for photos with high contrast.

HDR mode takes two or more pictures of varying exposures almost simultaneously, then combines the best and brightest bits of both into one photo. You need to keep the camera super-steady, otherwise your photo will come out blurred.

USE THE RULE OF THIRDS: This is one of the simplest rules for photography, yet it's invaluable for making your photo compositions look great. The idea is that our eyes are naturally attracted to images that are divided into thirds, where the subject of the photo is slightly off-centre.

To help you achieve this, most smartphone cameras let you use a grid of two horizontal and two vertical lines when taking photos. The subject of your photo should be at one of the four intersections of these lines to theoretically get the most visually-pleasing photo. Give it a go and we look forward to seeing your amazing results!