Oxford is a city famous all over the world and tourists flock here with cameras big and small. One thing you tend to notice is the huge diversity of cameras which brings us to our first issue:
The right camera is important, but make sure you don’t fixate on this too much. Don’t be fooled by boasts of a high megapixel count, just research cameras that fit your budget and score well in buyer and shop reviews.
For holiday snaps/general photography use I can recommend many cameras, but to keep things short I’d recommend a Canon 750D DSLR every time. We actually shot a lot of photography for the magazine between 2012-2015 with an older version of this camera. It’s super versatile, light, relatively cheap and has a range of options for beginners and advanced users. If this option is a bit out of your budget, search eBay for a like-new condition Canon 600D (much cheaper and similar to the new 750D).
For those of you that would like something a little smaller, compact digital cameras have come a long way (although can still be a bit hit and miss in some cases). I’d recommend a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II, not the cheapest of cameras but still a fantastic piece of kit, especially if you want video capability from your camera. Again, if too expensive try the much cheaper Canon PowerShot SX610 or the Sony HX60.
Composing a shot
Franticly spamming the shutter button while swinging the camera around at every opportunity will leave you, most of the time, with poor shots. Good photography is best captured with thought, patience and composure. Taking the time to get one amazing photo is better than 10 half-decent ones. Having the foresight to see good photo opportunities on the horizon is key, as this will give you time to frame your subject and think about foreground and background.
One good way to practice photography is to shoot in a very uninspiring area. How can you capture a boring area creatively and produce interesting photos? Start by thinking about details, the nuances of your surroundings. How do the elements interact with objects in your space? Can you see any natural patterns or an interesting focus point?
Have you found yourself looking at a beautiful sunset, grabbed your camera and been disappointed with the results? It’s not often a beautiful sunset can translate into a photo. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve wished I could take photos with my eyes. To capture that sunset (or any moment in time), think not just about what you can see, but what you also feel. Translate the beauty of the sunset by showing its warmth, how other subjects interact with the sunset and how the quickly changing light alters your surroundings.
Photos are about sharing your experience with someone else and revisiting memories. So the more you shoot whilst focusing on what you feel, the better the photo will be.
Written by: Rob Scotcher