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Professional photographer, Neil Andrews, gives advice on how to take great photos on your smartphone - using the Barbican Estate as the backdrop for his masterclass.

Before Neil Andrews was a professional photographer he was selling greeting cards to shops in London.

A young member of staff told him about Instagram – a photo sharing network which had recently launched. Not wanting to be left behind by the digital age, he opened his @Mumhad1ofthose account and started snapping in time for the London Olympics.

These days, he takes his camera around the world, making photography both his passion and profession.

It’s had a hugely positive impact on him: “When I started photography, I was suffering from depression, so it gave me a creative outlet and that really helped.

“To be able to go and photograph every day and see new things is very cathartic.”

Neil recently teamed up with mobile network operator O2 to produce an O2 Sessions masterclass; a photography tutorial aimed at teaching people how to get the most out of their smartphone cameras.

For his tutorial, titled Angles and Perspective, Neil decided to explore the iconic Barbican Centre.

“I love the City and all the interesting lines that the buildings create. What’s great about the Barbican is the curve. All the leading lines that we see draw the viewer into the picture.

“I like Modernism and Brutalism because there are so many great strong lines that will draw you into a shot.”

Opened in 1982, the Grade II-listed Barbican has become an instantly recognisable part of the London landscape, with its strong lines, greenery and reflections – an ideal setting for urban exploration and perspective pictures.

Neil encourages others to follow in his footsteps: “The Barbican is such a fantastic space. I’m always looking for a new perspective, looking to see if there’s something unusual in a place.

“Even if I’m out without my camera, it doesn’t matter. The best camera you have is the one you’ve got with you. And that can be your phone.”

Here are Neil’s top tips for taking angled and perspective shots:

news londonTake multiple shots

The beauty of today’s devices is that they can store loads of images that can easily be deleted, so take lots of shots until you catch something special.

Change camera position

Stand in the centre, stand to the side, get symmetry, get asymmetry. Shoot from lots of different angles. Hold the camera higher, hold the camera lower. Try all kinds of angles. If you turn the phone upside down, the camera can be nearer the floor and you can get a much lower angle.

Use the environment

Look around you and use your environment to get really interesting pictures. Get low, get close to a wall, look at what’s in the foreground and what leads up to the subject you’re trying to capture.

 To catch Neil Andrews’ O2 Sessions Angles and Perspectives masterclass, follow this link.

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