Award-winning farmer-photographer Nick Oliver has shared his secrets to taking great photos, to coincide with the launch of Farmers Weekly’s 2011 photo competition.

Suffolk arable farmer Nick Oliver won an animal category in the 2003 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition with his shot of a winter barn owl (pictured) and has compiled a list of his top 10 tips to help Farmers Weekly readers capture their own winning shots:

1. Get out there in all seasons and weathers. You often get the most atmospheric shots in bad conditions

2. Be patient. Don’t despair if you don’t get the perfect shot first time. Enjoy the process of finding time and taking photographs

3. Dare to be different, Don’t just copy previous winning photographs

4. Get perspective. Try different viewpoints – climb a tree or lie on the ground!

5. Look for the light. Light is everything. Avoid the harsh contrast of the midday sun

6. Plough your own furrow. Don’t be afraid to learn by trial and error

7. Get snapping. The glory of digital photography is that you can take lots of pictures of the same thing while the subject and light is right. You can delete later or keep for reference

8. Be honest. Try to avoid excessive editing. Photoshop risks losing trust between the photographer and the viewer

9. Shop around for the highest quality camera at a reasonable price. Nowadays a “happy snappy” camera is good enough10. Keep it simple. A complicated camera can be confusing

Farmers Weekly’s photo competition is open for entries now, giving amateur photographers the chance to win a £700 Nikon camera and £700 of cash prizes.

As well as the prizes up for grabs, a selection of our favourite photos in each category will be showcased in a special Christmas edition of Farmers Weekly. You can find a list of categories and full details on how to enter here.