Look round that viewfinder – Nick Jenkins tells us how, with care, we can improve our pictures straight away.

Nick Jenkins is a photographer who is associated with both the Royal Photographic Society and the Welsh Photographic Federation. He specialises in taking pictures of British landscapes and he also works for Tatra Photography Workshops.

Here’s his tip:

“The week after Christmas found me in the Lake District enjoying some uncharacteristically superb winter weather; blue skies, frosty ground and deep, orange bracken. A shot I had taken some years ago, which needed updating, was of the view up the Great Langdale Valley from the road connecting Elterwater with Grasmere, so off I went.

Having walked up the fellside to be rid of the road and parked cars I set up the tripod and camera and composed my shot. Oh joy, the lighting was to die for and the view was absolutely sublime. So what did I do? Get completely carried away is what I did, and concentrated on the middle 60% of the frame, utterly neglecting one of my own golden rules – check all around the viewfinder for unwanted intrusions! Spot the car on the left, half way up, with people around it.

Luckily, my presence of mind returned and I carefully recomposed, this time swinging the camera slightly to the right. In so doing I lost that car and a sizeable chunk of the carpark.

One of these pictures was kept for illustrative purposes only, the other will be sent off to as many buyers as I can find.  Always check carefully round the viewfinder; preferably before you press the shutter, but failing that, before you leave your location.  
Yes, I could have cloned/cropped but why, when I could get it right there and then in camera?


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