Presenting a Standout Entry

We have put together some quick tips and tricks to assist you with presenting your best work yet.

Frame your Image
Most digital cameras have a display mode which will allow for a 3 x 3 grid to be displayed on the screen. Use this

display to frame your shot and to ensure that levels or uprights in the subject matter are maintained.
  Ensure that your images
are taken in Landscape orientation, especially your “hero shot” as this is the image that will be displayed on large screens
at the Awards Presentation if your entry makes it to finals.

Shutter Lag fix

Many ‘point-and-shoot’ digital cameras suffer from shutter lag. You can overcome this by pre-focussing the

photo by depressing the shutter button to the halfway point while framing the shot.

Magic Hour Focus

When taking photos the professional photographer will often refer to the ‘magic hours’ which are the early

morning or the early evening hours. These are times when natural outdoor light is soft and ‘harshness’ of the

midday sun can be avoided.

Over Exposure

Digital photos taken inside with the camera’s flash on can often produce flat, one-dimensional images. If

possible don’t use your flash but compensate with shutter speed or aperture setting.

Avoid Shakiness

A tripod will overcome the ‘shakiness’ that can be experienced when the shutter speed is slowed down otherwise

try bracing yourself against a wall or other solid object to achieve stability.

Show the Light

If light is low look at bringing in light, either natural light by opening workshop doors or blinds or artificial light to

highlight the focal point of your shot.

Colour Enhancement

Colour recalibration to adjust the effect of artificial light will likely be needed as fluorescent light will add a bluish

tinge to photos while a tungsten or incandescent bulb will add a yellowish tinge to the photo.

Outside Images

When taking photos outside look at adjusting the white balance in your camera. This can be done by setting the

camera to ‘cloudy’ even if the sun is out. This change will provide a ‘warmer’ image with more vibrancy to the

colours which will appear richer.

Flash for Outside

Consider using your flash for outdoor shots even when bright sunshine is evident. The flash can lighten harsh

shadows and reduce the effect of shadows.

Eliminate Distractions
Try to avoid distracting elements in the background of your composition. Busy patterns, moving objects or

people detract and draw attention away from the subject matter.

Nighttime shots

For those images that need to be taken at night, ie. Illuminated categories, a tripod is a ‘must’. The flash will have

no noticeable effect if the subject matter is out of the flash’s range. A slow shutter speed is also a must. Odd as

it may sound, setting your camera’s white balance to daylight will give you richer colours. If possible take your

nighttime shots in the first half-hour after sunset for the best-illuminated sign photos.

Crop Correctly

Learn how to correctly crop your image so the focal point is the main feature. Be aware that when you crop you

will reduce the pixel count on one or both boundaries of your image. So if you are planning to crop your image,

set the size to more than 5 megapixels. It is easier to reduce a 12-megapixel photo than retake the shot if it is

below the specification required.

Final word

The quality of photography affects the chances of a successful entry. Judges are always considering both the

composition, the orientation and the quality of the image. The image should express professionalism and quality. So don’t

overlook the value of those close-up shots that highlight the detail of the work that was involved.

Image Specifications

Quality images only.