Diamond Jubilee 2012: Top photography tips for getting the best pictures

Adam Parris-Long

No matter where you are across the UK, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to get some great pictures during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Be it at a street party, a festival or even just a family gathering, capturing that diamond moment can give you a memory to keep forever. But how to take the best snaps over the weekend?

Veteran Royal photographer Arthur Edwards shares some pearls of wisdom to keep in mind before you click the shutter:

•    If you are picturing an event, get there early and make sure you’re in position.

•    If you don’t get your pictures, you don’t get your memories. Make sure your camera is fully charged and keep it in your hand ready to take a shot as soon as you spot something.

•    Make use of the whole long weekend. The great thing about the Jubilee is that we’re talking about four days of photo opportunities. Get ready to snap street parties, people dressed up, Union Jack flags popping up all over the place, and some typically British pomp and ceremony.

•    Don’t be frightened to ask people to move to the left or right so that you can get a clearer view of proceedings.

•    Also don’t be afraid to ask people to pose: if they’ve dressed up, chances are they’ll love the attention!

•    Try taking some video clips: music plays a large part in the Jubilee events, so try capturing the entire experience. To avoid a shaky video, you’ll need vibration reduction technology, which you can now get in compact cameras for as little as £100.

•    Don’t forget to take some crowd shots and pictures of all the venues, and get a picture of yourself there!

•    If it rains, don’t let it put you off. Rest assured that in London the Queen will wear a vivid colour to stand out from dreary weather, and she uses a clear umbrella so that spectators can still see her.
Going to a street party?

With close to 10,000 street party applications across the UK, it appears as if most intend to make the most of the summer weather by celebrating outside. Decorations, food and party guests should provide plenty of subjects to picture, your only problem will be fitting it all in!

“If you’re having a street party or another kind of celebration, make sure you try to capture the mood of the nation,” advises Arthur Edwards. “Get dressed up in your finery and make sure you take lots of pictures of the children.”

But what makes the perfect street party picture? Here are the key points on Edwards’ checklist:

Perfect positioning- If taking photos of children, get down to their eye level. This is what Harry, William and Kate do brilliantly when they’re speaking to children- it puts them at ease, and means a photographer is more likely to get a natural photo.

Get creative with your pictures- Parties are the perfect time to use some of the filter effects on your camera, like turning the background black and white and picking out only the colours of a flag.

Getting the particulars-
Capture all the little details that reflect the quintessential Britishness of events – from the bunting to the cakes and the picnic tables.
In the capital?

If you are planning to savour the atmosphere in London this weekend, there are a number are spots to consider. Undoubtedly the most iconic picture of the Royal Wedding was the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and this time round it will be a snap of the Queen on the Thames flotilla procession.

Nikon estimates that 332m Jubilee-related pictures will be taken on the day of the flotilla, 3 June, as millions flock to London to see the Queen. Clamouring for the perfect position will be the challenge, but here are a couple of places recommended by Arthur Edwards: 

Imperial Wharf-
This is where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will join the flotilla procession. They will board the Royal Yacht Britannia's Royal Barge, and the barge will take them to the Spirit of Chartwell. The Queen hasn’t been on the Royal Barge since Britannia was de-commissioned in 1997, so this in itself will make a poignant picture.

Cadogan Pier-
This will be where the young Royals will join the Spirit of Chartwell, so if it’s a picture of William, Kate and Harry you’re after, you might want to head here.

Butler’s Wharf/City Hall- Here you can capture the ships in the flotilla as they go through Tower Bridge. The bridge will be raised, and the most breath-taking shot of the day is likely to be when the two boats leading the flotilla, the Gloriana and the Spirit of Chartwell, pass through.

Between London Bridge and Tower Bridge- The flotilla will pass through a spectacular avenue of sails made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships there will be loads going on here, including a gun salute. This avenue of sail is probably where you’ll get closest to any of the bridges- the areas on and around the bridges are invite-only.

Battersea Park- The Viewing Area along the top end of Battersea Park is the perfect vantage point to get a panorama shot of the river pageant. The £5 entry fee to get into the park should mean that crowds will be slightly less than elsewhere along the water, and the ticket will be worth its weight in gold for getting you lots of photo opportunities. There will be lots of 1950s themed spectacles worth snapping- including a 1952 bandstand tea dance, a beautiful tea-garden featuring a record-breaking attempt for the tallest cake, and a Village Green.

Opposite the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament- If you want to get a really stand out picture, you need to think not only about the boats, but also about the background that you’ll get. If you place yourself on the opposite side of the river to the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament, your shot of the flotilla will be perfectly captured against an iconic London landmark.

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