Outdoor Photography-Top Five Tips

Paul Kingston is a Press Photographer for North News & Pictures, a Newcastle-based press and photography agency. Paul started work as a trainee photographer in 2002 covering all aspects of photography in and around the North of England. In the last 14 years, Paul has photographed many major news events for the national and international media from the US Presidential visit of George W. Bush to many devastating weather phenomena.

In 2014, Paul received International acclaim by being shortlisted as The Guardian newspaper's World Agency Photographer of the Year for capturing outstanding landscapes across Northern England. Over the last few years, there is not a week that goes by where one of Paul's shots has not been featured in the national press showing off the beauty of the northern landscape throughout the seasons leading him out to battle all kinds of weather.

Here Paul shares some of his photography tips.


For me, capturing the landscape as the first light of a new day arrives is the best part of the day. The angle of low, soft light advancing across the landscape helps accentuate colors and textures more than you would see during the middle of the day.


When composing your picture, imagine your image is divided into thirds, vertical and horizontally. With some images, they will look best with the focal point in the centre square, but placing the subject off-centre will often create a more composed photograph. 

When a photograph is composed using the rule of thirds the eyes will wander around the frame and is more interesting and pleasing to the eye.


When I photograph landscapes I try to create a sense of depth to make the viewer feel like they are actually there in the image. For large panoramic views, a wide angle lens set a small aperture - i.e f/16 or smaller - will keep the foreground and background sharp. Also by placing an object or person in the foreground helps give a sense of scale and will accentuate how far away the distance is. Remember to use the rule of thirds and place the person in an off-center position to create interest and a sense of depth.


Don't let a dull damp day put you off, going out with your camera, some of my favourite images I've captured have been taken in some awful weather conditions. Whether it's a howling gale at the coast or being hampered by torrential rain. You can capture some fantastic images in all types of weather.


The most important thing to bear in mind is to be patient, there are countless occasions where I've been to a location and I did not get the image I had hoped for due to several factors - i.e. the light has not been right or the weather wasn't what was forecast. So be prepared to try and try again and remember most of the landscape has been there for thousands of years and won't be going anywhere, so there's plenty of time to get that perfect picture.
For instance, this image I took of St. John's Church spire piercing through the mist in Keswick, Cumbria, took me several visits over a few years to get spot-on. So be prepared to be patient!


Paul Kingston

North News & Pictures

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© All images are copyright of North News and Pictures Ltd.