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Gina Held: "Photography has taught me to see"

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Whether I'm hiking with friends through the countryside or driving over fantastic mountain passes, I've always got my camera with me – because I love photography. Discover my five top tips for taking great pictures in this blog.

Many aspects of my life revolve around photography. Small adventures, like watching the sun rise over the top of a mountain or spending a cold night in the car; this is how I imagine my perfect moments to be. In the past two years I have spent countless weekends in the mountains. I have come to know our beautiful Switzerland in a completely new way.

For me, as a passionate hobby photographer, it is always fascinating to capture these special moments. I love to hike in all sorts of different places. But I also enjoy just sitting on a rock in the countryside recharging my batteries and filling the moment with good conversation.

But how did I learn to photograph and what is photography all about? I would like to pass on my five top tips that will help make you a better photographer. The type of camera you have is unimportant, at least for the start. What matters most is your eye and what you know about photography.

I taught myself photography, without training or going to school. Books and tutorials on YouTube helped me a lot. But my most important tip is: Keep experimenting! A great way to train your eye is to look at pictures and to pay attention to what makes up an image. Photography has literally taught me "to see." Even when I leave my camera at home, I pay attention to entirely different things.


 My photography tips for you:

  1. Note the rule of thirds
    In the rule of thirds, you divide your image mentally into 9 equal parts. "Place" the motif on one of the four intersection points or horizontally along one of the lines.

  2. Work with leading lines
    Our eye automatically follows the lines in the image; use this effect.

  3.  Take pictures in RAW format
    A RAW image contains much more photographic information than a JPEG. With RAW, all options remain open to you and you can make changes afterwards and "save" photos.

  4. The background is equally important. This rule applies for landscape images,
    but vice versa: An exciting foreground lends the picture that certain something.

  5. Take photos during the «golden hour». The hour after sunrise and the hour before
    sunset often provide the best light conditions for photographers.

Where you photograph is of course also crucial. In Switzerland, my favorite places include the Pizol with the steel-blue Wildsee and the Sardona area with the wonderful Tectonic Arena. Two places where you can only marvel.

Many of these areas can be reached using public transport, but every now and again you need a car. That's why I've set myself a new goal: - to drive a car. It will allow me to pursue my passion even more intensively. A driver license opens up new perspectives and possibilities. The start of my project went quite well – I passed the theoretical examination with just one error. Before I took my first driving lesson, I was able to practice starting a car on a site with my parents. During my lesson, I grew more and more nervous as I drove on the public road for the first time. But in the end I survived that too and subsequently felt fully motivated and confident. On my Instagram account, you can see how I progress on my car driving project and gain more insight into my passion for photography.

And I'm now really excited about the photographic adventures that will become possible when I can drive. And thanks to AXA, I can start my adventures with no worries in the knowledge that my photo equipment is always well insured.

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