In Focus: Paying heed to the art and wildlife that surrounds us

Telegraph In Focus Colour By Gareth Morgan - Fauna Dragonfly

Telegraph In Focus Colour By Gareth Morgan - Fauna Dragonfly

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Entries this week have shown off two sides to our theme of ‘colour’, from street art brightening some of Sheffield’s industrial walls to the simplicity of nature that shows off our green city.

Patient photographer Simon Dell uses the natural green backdrop as he waits for the robins to perform. He has blurred his background using a telephoto lens making sure his subject is in full precision focus. The robins are clear and sharp and he has used the best light to illuminate the robin on a spade which makes the bird stand out. The detail on his butterfly is also helped by its backlighting - this ensures the tiny black antennae are not lost against the background. You don’t always need extra lighting to enhance your subjects. Just make sure you are making best use of natural and available light.

Telegraph In Focus Colour Robin on a spade

Telegraph In Focus Colour Robin on a spade

Shooting towards the sun can often silhouette your subject and cause lens flare, but angling yourself 45 degrees from the light source should help. Be careful not to throw shadows with your body if the light is behind you. A cheap reflector is useful when photographing people as it can create nice catch-lights in the eyes. Or, with macro shots of nature, a ring flash can bring clarity.

Why photographers are going mirrorless

One in three interchangeable lens cameras sold today are mirrorless - a rapid take-up just 13 years since the variety was introduced.

The devices have fewer parts than a DSLR, and the name mirrorless refers to the absence of the mirror usually found in optical viewfinders.

Telegraph in Focus colour robin mum and baby

Telegraph in Focus colour robin mum and baby

Mirrorless models are lightweight and compact, but are still considered to offer a good picture quality.

One element the mirrorless range does share with DSLRs is the use of interchangeable lenses. Unlike compacts, which have a fixed lens, photographers can fit any number of lenses to the front of their mirrorless camera.

This means users can select a lens designed specifically to capture their subject of choice, from pancake lenses for soft-focus and sharp portraits, to standard zooms.

A model such as the Sony A7 would be suitable for a more experienced photographer looking for a second camera that’s lighter, but still powerful enough for taking professional photos ‘on the go’.

Telegraph In Focus Colour by Simon Dell Butterfly

Telegraph In Focus Colour by Simon Dell Butterfly

Bloggers and avid travellers should opt for a Fujifilm X-A3 as its Wi-Fi function enables easy sharing of photos with devices such as smartphones. Meanwhile the Panasonic LUMIX G7 with its 4K video recording ability is a model worth taking a second look at.

Neil Old, CEO of camera retailer Jessops, said the chain had recorded ‘a big swing’ to mirrorless cameras.