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Membership Guide


Welcome to SA Photographers. Be prepared to be inspired, to be amazed, to feel happiness or sadness, to feel fear, to be angry or to dream. Welcome to the passionate world of photography.

We are dedicated to giving all photographers the opportunity to share their passion with the rest of the world. From mobile phone photographers to the top professionals, we are devoted to helping you take your photography to the next level.

We at UK Photographers strive to build the best community of photographers in the UK and beyond. We help our passionate members find ways to help them gain more exposure, and showcase their work to the world.

In our Membership Guide you will find many helpful tips and tricks to help you do what you love even better.

Taking better photos:

What is it that makes a good photograph? And why do some photos succeed while others fail so easily? We all wonder, what is the secret to taking that perfect shot?

Many photographers will tell you there are no secrets to taking the perfect shot – each person sees the world differently and therefore each photographer has a unique ability to take photos that inspire themselves and others.

To help our members to become even more passionate, we want to share with you these 5 tips for taking better photos. Photography is a lifetime passion for those who really see the world differently.

Tip number 1: Practice a lot.

Just like any new skill you are trying to learn, the more you practice the better you will get. Shoot as much as you can and then shoot some more. It really doesn’t matter what you shoot but by practicing you will get better with every photo you take. We encourage our members to spend many hours behind the camera – even if it’s only your phone’s camera, it is still a camera. Apart from learning your camera, your style and skills will improve dramatically. Make a point of taking photos every day. How many times have you looked at a scene and though about how you would have loved to take a picture. Don’t leave or let that desire to take a photo pass you by.

Tip number 2: Pay close attention to light.

Before you take any photo, you need to be aware of how light can influence your photo. Light can be your best friend or in many cases your worse enemy. The only way to make light your friend is to spend many hours with it. Practice and explore how to use light to your advantage. Experiment with different light sources from natural light, flash light or even using a torch with transparent paper in front of it. Remember, light can easily be manipulated, so don’t be fooled into thinking that you are stuck with only the given light for your scene. You can use many light sources or reflectors with different colours for one photo, even during the day.

Tip number 3: Learn Shutter, Aperture and ISO.

Make a real effort to understand how shutter, aperture and ISO can influence your photo. For many new photographers this can be very difficult to understand but once mastered you will have many options to influence any photo you take. Experiment first by only changing one of the three and then start combining all three options. It is important that you understand the why and how for each of the three and are not just looking at the effect it has on a photo. Read books, ask questions and search on the net for answers.

Tip number 4: Tell your story.

Try to always have a story to tell with your photos. After you have learned the basics and are starting to feel more comfortable behind the camera you may want to look at the scene in front of you more in detail before you take the next shot. What do you want other people to see or more importantly, what do you want them to feel when they look at your photos? Feelings can be curious, amazed, shocked, anger, sadness, happiness, dreaming. Just as any photo needs light, it also need emotion. You can find many useful guidelines for making your photo more appealing to viewers, but try to always have an emotional story to tell.

Tip number 5: Never stop learning.

They say knowledge is the key and that is so true with photography. Take your time to explore the world of photography. You have the world of knowledge at your disposal, so we encourage you to use it. Take photography courses, read books, watch videos, join photography clubs, explore the internet, follow other photographers and get inspired – the photography world is yours to explore and to learn from. Try to look at the world through a lens even when you don’t have a lens to look through. Imagine how you would change the scene in front of you and how you can make it better. Then go out and do it.

Top-Rated Photos:

It is in our nature to want to be recognised, to be noticed, to be seen, to be the best, to be or to have what other people admire. We want what others have, we want to be better, we want to improve, we want to grow. This is also true for photographers and that is why we want each photographer to be inspired, to be better, to improve, to grow, to aim for the top. Our Top-Rated photos will inspire you to take better photos, to take your photography to the next level. We also feel that no photo can truly be judged by only professionals, because every person experiences the world differently, every person is unique. Our Top-Rated photos get chosen by every day photographers who have a passion for photographers, photographers who gets inspired by other photographers. Our Top-Rated photos get chosen by photographers for photographers.

We have developed a simple star rating and photo like system where you can rate a photo by giving it a star rating or like a photo or do both. Our Top-Rated photos are the ones with the most likes and the best star ratings. Nearly every day we see photos that we like, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s a top-rated photo and that’s why we decided to give our members the opportunity to do both. We can like any photo, but we need to pay more attention when star-rating a photo. Before you rate any photo, we encourage you to go through our star rating guidelines. You don’t have to be a professional to rate photos, just a human being.

Our star ratings:

Before you rate any photo, we want to give you some guidelines on what to look for in a photo but remember that the most important aspect in any photo is how that photo makes you feel. How does that specific photo move you and make you feel emotionally?

Consider the following when rating a photo:

One Star:

Even a one-star rating means you feel attracted to a photo, otherwise you will not even notice that photo. That is when you consider having a second look, that “Mmm, that looks interesting” feeling. One-star photos means that a photo deserves a second look and did not pass unnoticed. When a photo catches your attention, even just briefly but you then decide to move on, it is then when you can consider giving that photo a shining star, even if it’s just one star. All noticeable photos deserve a star.

Two Star:

Two-star photos are photos that catches your attention but makes you think a little further before moving on. To make it easier to distinguish between a one and two-star photo don’t just think of how that photo makes you feel but also consider how much effort went into the photos. Two-star photos catch your attention but, you also need to consider the determination that went into taking the photo. Did the photographer give the photo some thought before the photo was taken and how much effort was put into taking the photo? If you feel that the photographer made some effort to take a good photo but feel he could have done more then it deserves a two-star.

Three Star:

These are photos that really catches your attention and noticeable effort went into taking the photo. The “wow, this is a good photo” feeling starts from three-star photos. This is when you can consider giving that photo three stars. This is when photos start standing out from the rest but still not there yet. When you have a feeling that you would like to share this photo with someone else, it normally means it deserves three-stars. When you have an emotional feeling when looking at a photo and when you notice that the photographer really made a strong effort in taking the photo then you can consider giving it a well-deserved three-stars.

Four Star:

Don’t be tempted to give away four stars that easily. If you have any uncertainty between a three and four-star photo, give it a three. Just the fact that you hesitate means that the photo you are looking at does not deserve four stars. Very few photos make it to the level of four stars. These are the photos that really stand out from the rest. It is always difficult to rate a four-star photo as it stands between being a three-star, sort of average photo or, a five-star top rated photo. Consider how that photo makes you feel and how much effort went into taking that photo. Here you really need to spend time examining the photo. These are the type of photos that you can nearly never stop looking at. Four stars are reserved for only the very best and top-rated photos. Here you really need the “WOW, amazing” feeling before you can give any photo four stars. Four-star photos normally require proper and well organised planning. Like the five-star photos, it can take days or even weeks to plan for a four-star rated photo although very rarely you also can get a four-star photo by luck. Think long and hard before giving out the rare four-stars.

Five Star:

Looking back at the other star ratings, it is hard to imagine that any photo could ever be considered worthy of receiving a five-star rating. Before you give any photo a five-star rating rather consider giving it four-stars, as five-stars are only reserved for the very best of the very best. Just to make you feel “Wow, this is an amazing photo” is nearly not enough. Five-star ratings are very rare and must not simply be given to any good photo. Five-star photos need to deserve five-stars only. These are the photos that will be five-stars for ever, not just an average good photo. When in doubt rather give the photo four stars. Normally a Five-star photo takes days, weeks or even months to prepare for the perfect shot. These are photos where every single aspect in delivering a top photo was taken into consideration. Our top rated five-star photos are perfectly flawless and simply unforgettable.

Most Liked Photos:

Apart from rating photos we also have a most liked photo section. Before you rate any photo, we encourage you to read through the photo rating guidelines. Liking a photo does not necessarily mean that it’s a good photo or even that it deserves any star rating. Star rated photos are photos that deserves to be rated but liked photos are photos that deserve to be liked. Although this might sound confusing consider the photo where the cat sleeps next to the dog. It might not be a good photo, but everybody likes the photo.

You might like a photo but that does not necessarily mean that you want to rate the photo. On the other hand, you might even consider rating a photo, although you might not like the photo. Think of the many top rated and award-winning war photos. Just because you don’t like the photo does not mean that you cannot rate the photo.

You can like as many photos as you want, but pay close attention when rating photos.

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