Short films are today’s medium of choice for inventive storytellers. Stephen Graves shows us how to direct a taut, honed masterpiece….


Know what to do and when to do it. A film is born in these stages:

Pre-production: scripting, raising funds and planning.

Production: shooting the film.

Post-production: editing, grading and visual effects.

Be resourceful. Dead Mon’s Shoes director Shane Meadows made a short film with his phone. Dedicated cams are expensive to hire, so ask friends if you can borrow their DSLRs and use cheap but capable editing software such as Lightworks (

Take time over

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Want to try 5×4 but put off by the high cost of film? Tim Daly shows you how to use home-made paper negatives in a hybrid analogue/digital workflow.

Forget lens de focusing gadgets and software blurring trickery, the only way to really mess about with planes of sharpness is to use a 5×4 camera.

The field camera is the simplest kind of 5×4, designed for use on location rather than the more delicate studio monorail type, and can be frequently found on internet auctions sites for less than you’d pay for a Lensbaby.

Folding out of a clever box housing,


Shoot movement in the landscape

Don’t let a blustery day put you off from heading into the great outdoors with your DSLR. Grab your tripod and master capturing movement in your landscape shots

Ross Hoddinott

When photographing landscapes, motion can prove a powerful aesthetic tool -giving your shots added interest, life and depth. By intentionally blurring subject motion, your images will appear less static and more atmospheric. Naturally, to work the technique relies on there being some degree of movement within your scene — for example, running water. By employing a relatively long exposure, any subject motion within the time the shutter is open will

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Shoot from dawn till dusk

Dedicate an entire day to taking photographs. Challenge yourself to take as many different photos as you can and really explore a location.

IF YOU haven’t got the patience to set yourself a year-long project, scale it back and make a day of it instead. Start taking photographs at dawn and don’t stop until dusk. There’s nothing quite like waking up at 4am, driving on deserted roads to a new location and finding the perfect spot to catch the rising sun. Once that is done, you can always have a nap in the car before taking a stroll around the

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Shoot by moonlight

If you restrict your photography to the hours between dawn and dusk, it’s fair to say you are missing out on a heavenly and unforgettable experience

WITH digital technology recently taking such incredible steps in dynamic range and ISO performance, there has never been a better a time to try out the fabulous photographic experience of night-time shoots. All modern DSLRs, from cropped-sensor consumer to full-frame professional models, are capable of capturing the moonlight to an enviable standard. It is all down to dynamic range, which has increased significantly as sensor technology has developed. It’s all very well for a

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Shoot and edit vivid landscape photos

Use this handy guide to help you capture bright and colourful vistas to be proud of

With landscape photography, it’s possible to convey a whole range of styles and emotions, all with just a few in-camera and editing considerations. Perhaps you want a retro feel with fading colours and soft focus, or a dramatic and moody look with dark, cloudy skies and bare trees. Alternatively, a really eye-catching option is to shoot a vivid landscape with bright and bold colours. Spring and summer are the perfect time to capture this style of landscape, with foliage at its most vibrant and

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Shoot a stunning subterranean scene!

Capture eerie and striking images of caves using light-painting techniques and long exposures

For this month’s Masterclass we’re leaving the sunlight behind, and heading deep underground to show you how to capture photos of caves illuminated using light-painting techniques. You’ll need a tripod and a couple of torches — a head torch will come in handy as well when you’re adjusting your camera settings. You’ll also need a remote release to open and close the shutter, as you’ll be using Bulb mode. Shooting in the dark can be tricky, so it’s a good idea bring someone along to help you.

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Shoot a city

Head into the city just after sunset to capture colourful and atmospheric shots of illuminated buildings and landmarks



What you’ll need


ND filter

Remote release

Photoshop Elements

How long it’ll take

Half a day

The skills you’ll learn

For great cityscapes you can’t beat shooting at twilight: after the sun has set, but before the darkness falls, there’s still enough natural light to bring out detail, while the city lights will be coming on to create extra colour and interest. Twilight doesn’t last long though, so you’ll need to be in position and set up before

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Shelter your profits from the storm.

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and countless other destructive weather events cost billions of dollars in damage in North America every year. Specifically, storm damage accounted for more than $110 billion in 2012 alone. These storms leave devastating foot-prints that take communities years to recover.

In the aftermath of a damaging storm, you might be one of the first responders providing homeowners’ services such as tarping roofs and boarding windows and doors in order to prevent further damage to a home. Why? Maybe this is part of your business plan, then again, maybe it’s not. Perhaps, it’s because you have a connection

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Share creative photo messages with friends

Use Wacom’s Bamboo Loop app to draw on your photos and share them with others

When you’re taking photos on your smartphone, it’s easier than ever to share them with friends and family.

There’s always the opportunity to post them to social networks directly from your device, but sometimes your favourite photos are the ones you might only want to share with one or two people. Fortunately, photo sharing apps like Wacom’s Bamboo Loop are designed to solve this exact problem, allowing you to take any photos you’ve shot, draw on designs and annotate them, and then send them to

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