6 Creative Tips to Improve Your Photography

creative paintChanging up your photography and thinking of new ideas is probably the most difficult part of being a creative photographer. Creativity is the most important skill to develop and seperates the amateurs from the professional photographers. So here’s a few ways to improve your photography and get better results.

1. Play with Focus Points

It’s common with most photographers to focus on the main subject in your photo and ensuring the whole of this subject is sharp, and this isn’t a bad practice and works well. For more interesting results try setting your aperture to the widest setting and focus on something behind or in front of the main subject. Another idea is to change the focus to manual and throw the whole image out of focus.

2. Get on the Ground

Changing your viewpoint can really make your images more eye catching and interesting. Taking every photo at eye level will give you a photo that the viewer sees over and over in other photos, but getting down on the ground or higher to show angles people don’t regulary see from can give great results.

3. Long Exposures

Using slower shutter speeds is quite common but there’s lots of ways of doing this. To get a slower shutter speed without overexposing there’s a few options, such as using high f numbers (narrow apertures) or using neutral density filters. Some ways of using these slower shutter speeds is for shooting rivers for example, which gives the water a nice smooth surreal effect. Also on a windy day you could find a field with crops moving in the wind for a cool effect.

4. Panoramas

Panoramas are great for getting in a lot more of the scene in your photos, and this technique is most commonly used for landscape shots. If you’re using a camera phone or a modern compact system camera for example, these often come with an inbuilt panorama mode where you simply move the camera left or right across the scene and the camera will do the rest. But if you’re using a camera without this option then there’s another way to do this. Firstly you need to avoid as much vertical movement and camera shake as possible, and next you simply take a photo then move to the left or right of this point and take another so this photo overlaps the previous by a tiny amount. Once you’ve taken a few photos the next step is editing them using photo editing software, but we won’t go into detail of how to do this, but simply put you will stitch all the photos together and the software should do a good job at doing all this.

5. Panning

Panning is very common in sports photography to capture moving subjects and is a good way to emphasize movement and speed of the subject by adding blur to the background while keeping the subject mostly sharp. It’s pretty simple to do and involves simply moving the camera with your subject keeping it in the same position in the lens and then taking the shot. You might need to play around with the shutter speeds a bit to get the right amount of blur and sharpness of the subject.

6. Surreal Effects

Creating surreal, unreal effects can give some striking results that will definitely keep the viewers attention. So here’s a couple of examples you could try out:

-Try out some levitating effects by getting your subject to jump in the air and use a fast shutter speed to capture them in mid air. It’s important to keep the subject as sharp as possible to make it appear like they aren’t moving and not so obvious they are jumping.

-Light painting is an interesting technique for more arty types of photos. All you need for this are dark conditions and some kind of light source. You will need a long exposure for this and all you simply do is move the light source around creating patterns while the camera is exposing, and this will create some interesting light trails in whatever shapes you choose.

-Infrared photography is not that common and can create some very unreal looking photos which you can’t possibly see with the human eye. This type of photo will show trees as whites and the sky as black for example. Some cameras come with this option built in so you’ll need to check if your camera has this or not.

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