Photography competition: Can you take the snap of the summer?

You could win a Panasonic Lumix GX800 Mirrorless camera in our Summer Pix 18 competition in association with Harvey Norman

Catching a perfect moment in time. photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Catching a perfect moment in time. photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Summer sunlight brings beautiful colours, atmospheric skies and beautiful landscapes, but it also brings challenges: harsh shadows under the eyes, squinting, endless, samey sunsets. Generally the most beautiful summer light is to be found early morning and late evening, during the hour after sunrise and before sunset. At other times of the day, the best light is to be found in the shadows, especially if the sun is beating down on a nearby wall, reflecting a soft glow into the nearby shadows. Shooting into the light is generally the most interesting but beware lens flare.

I am slow to pick up a camera outside work hours, but my wife and children do a mighty job with an iPhone and family compact camera. I advise them to take loads of photos and try to improve on each shot.

Move into the best location to get the best composition; this could be up high or down low.

The importance of background cannot be overstated: a high-vis jacket has ruined many a good photograph.

Photography should be fun, so I tend to work swiftly with people, especially kids.

Many people do not like getting their photo taken, so the odd quip or bit of banter goes a long way. Always be positive with the people you are photographing – everybody loves a compliment – and this will be reflected back into your lens.

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