This is an archive presentation from our Online Photography workshop of 19/07/19, kindly donated by guest tutor Roger for all members to enjoy.

Check everything that's in your frame before you take the picture - the photo on the left features my wife's foot and WAY too much tabletop! The one on the right is just focused on the main subject with no background distractions.

The picture on the right is too busy, with too much going on in the background: the subject is not the sole focus. In the one on the left the background is attractive but not intrusive: the baubles are highlighted rather than crowded out.

Try taking your photo from a different angle rather than just head-on. The angle on the left just makes the vase look flat and dull, while on the right the shape shows up better in the vastly-improved light - despite the vase itself never having been moved!

Try taking the photo from lower down (or higher up) to alter the perspective. Most people use their phone camera from a standing position and with their arms straight out in front of them, as in the photo on the right. Don't be afraid to crouch down on the floor, or to climb up on a chair if you need to.

Natural lighting is the best form of lighting to use, as in the picture on the left. But if you can't use natural light experiment with the light you have: try using lamps or spotlights to highlight your subject.

Fabric for backgrounds (or paper, board etc) and bulldog clips to keep them where you want them! Clip-on lights (torches, lanterns, even candles) so you can have extra light at odd angles. Boxes to fashion plinths and platforms for different height options.