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To celebrate the launch of the new website, Hollands Smith ran a Young Photographer competition. The prizes included donations to the winning entry’s PTA or school, a featured spot on the website as well as a Waterstones voucher!

Rob Smith, director of Hollands Smith explains: “We are so proud of our town and would love to share that with the world - so following in the footsteps of the lovely photography on our new website, we want to see what local children can do!

“We wanted to see photos that showcase the wonderful community and culture of our town, the landmarks, the hidden treasures - the more quirky or unusual the better! Those places that mean a lot to children and makes Bedford a wonderful place to live!”

The winners were 9 year old James Leask and 14 year old Bethany Rogers! Take a look at their winning entries here!

Here are some top tips from our resident office photographer:

  1. Capture Multiple Shots - One of the best things about digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you want and there is no need to print them off to see the results. This makes it much easier to learn and improve from your results. Burst photos are great to use when using a smartphone too!
  2. Learn What Your Camera Can Do - take some some time to find out exactly what your camera is capable of. Some cameras allow you to use more manual settings like white balance and shutter speed.
  3. Stick to Outdoors and use natural light where possible - it’s best to take photos outdoors in the proper lighting conditions to get the best results. Lighting determines not only brightness and darkness, but also mood, tone and the atmosphere of the photo.
  4. Use HDR - HDR mode stands for High Dynamic Range, and it is common on digital cameras and many smartphones. It adds detail from the dark and light areas to provide better balanced exposure.
  5. Use Editing Tools - on camera phones, you have easy access to editing tools, built in editor, or by using more advanced phone apps like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Using these apps you can crop and touch up your photos in seconds.
  6. Have fun - don’t over think it too much. Find some unusual shots or locations and get snapping!