1. Bokeh

Photo shot by Ivan Joshua Loh using an XF90mm lens

One of the most popular photographic terms of the year, bokeh refers to the aesthetic quality of a photograph’s out of focus areas, including the specular highlights that most easily reveal a lens’ aperture shape (often rendered as the bright circles that people so love).

Although bokeh is a feature of a photograph, certain lenses help render better bokeh characteristics (XF50-140mm, XF56mm, XF90mm). To achieve bokeh in your shots, use the largest aperture (smallest f-number) available on your lens

2. Magic Hour

Photo taken by Matt Searles using an X-E1

Otherwise known as the Golden Hour, photographers swear by this time of day for its exceptional lighting qualities. And if there's anything that will make or break a photographer it's lighting.

A rule of thumb is to aim for the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.

3. Long Exposure

Photo by Scott Grant on an X-T1

A well-executed dreamy long-exposure shot can be a highly impactful shot to add to any avid photographer's collection. The key to capturing a great long exposure shot will be your tripod and making sure your camera setting are appropriate for the scene and lighting. Click here for an 8 step guide on mastering this technique.

4. Contre-jour

Photo by Michael Neale taken on an X-T1 & 35mm F1.4R

Contre-jour is simply French for 'against daylight' or against the sun. While counter-intuitive (as most photographers aim to have the light source behind them and facing their subjects) there are special circumstances that call for the dramatic halos and silhouettes caused by contre-jour.

To master this technique ensure you angle your camera so that the light source isn't in the shot and position your subject directly between the light and camera. Investing in a lens hood is a great way to reduce flare as well.

5. Panning

Photo by Chris Harrison using X-T1 and 50-140mm. 140mm, f11, 1/60, ISO 100

Panning refers to the horizontal, vertical or rotational movement of an image still or video. It’s an age-old technique to show movement in an image and although not easy to accomplish it is a must for professional photographers. A great 'panning' photo will show the subject in sharp focus, but the background as streaky and blurred.

Whilst every subject and situation will call for its own camera setting requirements, a good place to start is to set your shutter speed to 1/20th of a second and focal length of 200mm.