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Photo guide: take great pictures of landmarks

Slow your shutter, and capture detail at distance

After our families, buildings are probably the next most common subject for photographs. Wherever our travels take us, there’s usually a building, statue or bridge that we feel compelled to capture on film. Some have become recognised for their architectural beauty; others will be forever associated with a major historical event.

But when you consider how famous some of these landmarks are, should you even bother taking the photo? How many times have you sat through a friend’s holiday snaps, wishing you could poke your own eyes out with a stick as the 20th shot of the same familiar landmark appears?

What people want to see is something different; something new; something interesting that would embellish your otherwise yawn-inducing tales. It may be a certain angle that makes a building beautiful, or detail unseen in historical photos.

There are various ways to take an interesting photo of a building. You can wait for dusk and the light will do all the hard work for you – but we’re not too keen on waiting around all day.

Look around, up and down. Is there something about the building you’ve never noticed before? Most cameras now have decent zoom lenses, so you can capture great detail from a relatively great distance.

Think creatively and use your surroundings to improve the building. Frame a shot through an arch or a gate. Step back to include surrounding detail, or zoom in to crop out anything that detracts from the image.

I find that overflowing bins in the foreground reduces the majesty of most buildings.

In other words, open your eyes, move about and try something new. But above all, have fun and, if all else fails, remember: when showing your masterpieces to friends, keep sharp objects at arm’s length.

PAGE 2: Slow your camera's shutter speed for superior results

PAGE 3: Capture detail at a distance

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