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Take a Winning Photo


You don't have to be a professional photographer to take beautiful pictures. With these expert tips from 20-year National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson, you could take the ultimate photo - one that you'll love and that could win you a dream prize:

Work the Reflections - Reflections always add visual drama to pictures and can make an otherwise ordinary scene interesting. But reflections require calm waters, so get out early in the morning before the winds kick up. Also, get lower and closer to the surface of the water to get more reflections. Even a small puddle of water can produce large reflections if you are right down to the surface.

Collect the Details - Detail pictures do wonders for a set of travel pictures. Not only do they offer a welcome variety in the scale of the images (pictures get dull quickly when they are all shot from the same distance and viewpoint.) They can also reveal telling aspects of a place and its story.

Keep it Simple - Clutter kills too many pictures. Simplicity is powerful. Usually that means cleaning up the background, leaving out extraneous, unnecessary detail. So watch your framing carefully, and especially watch the edges of the frame.

Keep an Eye out for Shadows - It doesn't happen every day, but occasionally a great shadow will make a great picture. Often you'll need to get up higher to see the shadows well, and you'll need to tune your eye to see how dark they can be and what sorts of interesting shapes they may form.

Move Around to the Back - Trying different viewpoints is always a good idea, but too often we don't go far enough. Going clear around to the backside of the action can make images that offer a fresh perspective. Too often we follow old habits and shoot everything from the front.

Energizer is teaming up with the National Geographic Society for the fourth annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest, giving photographers the dream opportunity to see their photo appear in an ad in National Geographic magazine and winning their choice of three inspiring trips at different locations across the globe. The program is part of the new Energizer campaign called "now that's positivenergy."

Enter your best shots at www.nationalgeographic.com/lithium by June 30, 2011. Contest judge Jim Richardson will review all of the entries and select two finalists in each of 6 categories. From August 15 through September 15, the public will be asked to go online and vote for their favorites. Once the Category Winners are determined, Richardson will help choose a Grand Prize Winner, to be announced on or about November 8, 2011.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Energizer


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