IDEAS OF HOW TO BE MORE CREATIVE IN PHOTOGRAPHY

woman holding black flag
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Have you ever been on social media, or magazine, and noticed the amazing creative photos that are on display? And then thought that you would like to explore doing that kind of photography? Or is that all done on photoshop and you don’t want to really change the photo that much, want to keep it more “pure”?

Let’s go over some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. There is a lot of different ideas presented here, but, you can definitely pick which ones you would like to try to make your photography more fun and exciting.

TRY SOME NEW TECHNIQUES:

  • TRY PAINTING WITH LIGHT! This is not something I have discussed or done a blog on this, but, is a real fun thing to try. It involves you using a flash off your camera and lighting the subject from a distance from your camera.
Taking fire and capturing it in slow motion, is a fun way to do light painting.
One of the more recent and popular post of light painting, but doing a night-time photo of The famous arch at Arches National park, and stand underneath the arch and using your flash, you do several shots of flash all over the inside of the arch. That person underneath is actually the person doing the flashing.

INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF PHOTOGRAPHY:

  • If you started to learn more about photography from many sources, (although this one is loaded with ideas) you will undoubtedly learn more, and find some creative things you haven’t tried yet.

USE NEW EQUIPMENT:

  • One of the fun things about photography is getting new equipment. Once you get some new equipment you can try different things with your photography. I remember the time I bought a new 100-300mm lens. I was anxious to try out this lens for some new photography I couldn’t do before. Here is one as an example:
Bird photography is not only new for me, but, now I can do it because I have this big lens.

EXPLORE A NEW LOCATION

If you take the same old pictures around your town, take some time, plan a place that you might think will be interesting. I am not a boat person, and I decided to take a trip to the beautiful “Bear Lake” for some photo opportunities, and found this photo:

Winter time was approaching and all the boats were pulled out of the harbor, and put up in the close parking lot for safety from the waves and ice in the water from winter storms.

REVISIT PLACES:

  • Some places you have been to take pictures before, think of a different time to go back, and try some new pictures there. Maybe even try a different time of day, or go when it might be cloudy or stormy.
One of my usual trips on the way to Logan, Utah. With this trip, you have to go over a mountain range, and I haven’t really done much autumn photography before. I found this area to photograph, because in the winter, there is no cattle because a lake forms every winter. So, this photo is quite different, because there is cattle roaming, and I captured the fall colors in the background as well.

JOIN A PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB OR PHOTO GROUP ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

  • Joining a photography club can be fun, because you mingle with photographers who are all learning to take amazing pictures as well, and you kind of force yourself to enter in the monthly competitions.
  • Joining a Facebook Group, you can share your photos with other photographers, and see the work of other great photographers. Funny, I have started a photo group on Facebook. Here are the details:

GET FEEDBACK ON THE PHOTOS YOU TAKE:

  • There are a few ways to get feedback on your photos. If you post your photos on social media, you may get some feedback from people who don’t really know all about photography, they just like it.
  • But if you post it on a Photography group page, which has photographers on it, you may get better feedback.
  • OR, if you want like a tutor to go over your pictures, I have an email address you can send your photos to. Send your photos to: photos.smartphonesmartphotographer.com
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PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED:

Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland with this winning image, Red-billed Oxpecker (Image credit: Alan Jones)
Red-Billed Oxpecker on buffalo wins annual birding photography contest

The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP) has announced the winners of the SINWP Bird Photographer of the Year 2021, which, now in its fourth year, is run in aid of the charity RSPB.

This year saw over 1,700 photographs entered from around the globe, and the images covered all wonders of the bird world from kingfishers, bald eagles, puffins and peacocks.

It was Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland who won the competition, with his shot of a Red-billed Oxpecker sat on a buffalo’s face.

The bird is a Red-billed Oxpecker, which is sitting on a buffalo’s face. Oxpeckers feed exclusively on the bodies of large mammals. It seems the jury is still out on whether they do the animal more harm than good. The buffalo appears to tolerate oxpeckers while other species will not.”

Alan shot the image was taken with a Canon EOS 70D and Canon 100-400mm IS II USM lens at 100mm, using a manual exposure mode, 1/125sec at f/5.6, at ISO 1600.

2nd Place – Kevin Nash. Shot with Nikon D6 with  Nikon 500mm f/4 lens (Image credit: Kevin Nash)
3rd Place – Colin Bradshaw. Shot in Wiltshire, UK, with Nikon D850 and Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR AF-S. (Image credit: Colin Bradshaw)

View all the winning images and find out more on the SINWP website.

REASONS WHY PHOTOGRAPHY IS IMPORTANT:

landscape nature man beach
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

There are several reasons why photography is so important. And I intend to go over those reasons here. But one thing I want people who are NOT photographers to know: even if you don’t take hardly any pictures, please read through this so even you can understand why photography is so important, and should be in everyone’s lives.

1- PHOTOS THAT YOU TAKE, WILL SHOW WHAT IS TRULY IMPORTANT TO YOU:

pexels-photo-225017.jpeg
Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

If the only thing you take pictures of is your family, then you are creating memories of what is most important in your life. The family is what is the anchor to most of our lives. The children, even the teenagers are so important, but, if you have a spouse that you adore, then take pictures, and lots of them.

excited woman tasting food cooked by ethnic husband in kitchen
Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com
wife touching husband nose while sitting on bed
Photo by Dmitriy Ganin on Pexels.com

Those important times in your life, should be put on memory in your head, for sure, but, in something you can look back forever. Just do it. You will not regret it.

2- PHOTOGRAPHS ARE PART OF OUR LEGACY:

person walking on the road with a dog
Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Pexels.com

Do you like to hike? Do you like to play an instrument? Do you like to read? Do you like to play video games? What will people tell about you, and what proof do you have of what you like to do? If you are an outdoor person, it will be obvious what your legacy is by the photos you take.

man sitting on edge facing sunset
Photo by Abhiram Prakash on Pexels.com

If you love doing things with your hands, using tools, or building things, or creating a piece of art, you should get photos of that too.

woman sitting on brown stool
Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

3- PHOTOGRAPHS ALLOW US TO SHARE AND TO COMMUNICATE:

Images are much more than a simple record. Photography speaks to the best and most generous part of our human nature – the desire to share what we find beautiful and interesting with others.

You only have to look at the multitude of photo sharing sites to see this impulse at work, where millions of people share their personal, passionate, and sometimes quirky take on the world around them. One of the best places that I know of where people share their passions is Pinterest. Everyone there is just sharing things that they are passionate about.

4- PHOTOGRAPHY MAKES US ARTISTS:

snow covered trees
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

I have made the comment many times through this blog: “photography is art” and photographers are all part of this great artistic community.

Photography allows us to express ourselves through an art form. We notice a beautiful landscape or an old man’s lined face and we want to capture it.

Each of us will have a different specific reason to take a photo, but we all want to create something.

However humdrum our nine-to-five lives may be, the creation of an image makes us an artist. It feels good.

5- PHOTOGRAPHY IS A COMPLEX LANGUAGE:

Our images can express joy and sorrow, wonder and sympathy. Every human emotion can find a place in photography.

For many years, I never valued my photographs of overcast landscapes, because I believed there was no beauty in a land with muted colors and a leaden sky. I wanted the land to be alive with color and vibrancy.

However, the lack of color in a landscape makes you search for other things that often go unnoticed in bright sunlight. This could be the symmetry of hills or a tree standing out from a forest of thousands.

Photo by Cate Bligh on Unsplash

I know a photographer who suffered a lot in depression, and now his photography has helped him find ways to get out of his depression. We have a miserably poor vocabulary for mental illness, but photography has allowed him to develop a visual language for his most difficult emotions.

6- PHOTOGRAPHY HAS THE POWER TO MOVE US:

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

On a more subtle level, photography teaches us lessons about a whole range of emotions. Grief has the power to wash away the brightness and color of our lives. There is no magic way to restore these. We have to be patient. But while waiting, we can search for the shapes and patterns that are still present in the grayness. They will lead us back to color eventually. During moments of great sorrow in my life, I have used images to express that hope of returning color.

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THE RULE OF “ODDS” IN PHOTOGRAPHY:

To get great composition, there are several rules to follow. This rule of “ODDS” makes sense and your composition will be much better.

WHAT IS THE RULE OF “ODD’S”?

The rule of odds states that, whenever possible, a composition should have an odd number of objects, not an even number of objects. So an image should have three flowers rather than two, and five people rather than four.

The rule of odds states that, whenever possible, a composition should have an odd number of objects, not an even number of objects. So an image should have three flowers rather than two, and five people rather than four.

Why?

The rule of odds taps into the brain’s propensity to create order.

You see, when viewing a group of objects, we unconsciously want to group them in pairs.

But when we’re faced with three, five, or seven objects in a photograph…

…we have a group that can’t be easily organized.

With an odd number of objects, one may become dominant. At the very least, the viewer will look longer at the image, moving between the individual elements.

That is the power of the rule of odds in photography.

It creates a composition that makes the viewer’s brain work a little harder and look a little longer.

Three, five, or seven objects can work well.

Once you move beyond these single-digit numbers, we tend to treat all of the objects as a group – even if they’re odd.

Any odd number will work. Here are 5 daisies, and it just makes the photo work better.

Like the photo above, flowers can make great subjects for tapping into the rule of odds. If you are arranging the flowers in the scene yourself, think about using a group of three or five rather than an even number.

three flowers together
This was a matter of framing the shot to include just these three flowers.

THE RULE OF “ODDS” FOR OTHER SUBJECTS:

When you are out in the landscapes of the world, it is probably not the place to try to do the rule of Odds, as you are working on taking photos of the scenery, and there is not anything with odd numbers in a scenery photo. However, one thing you could do while out in the landscapes, is look for things that are in odd numbers, like we see below:

While out taking scenery photos, look for opportunities to use the rule of odds.

Now when you are out taking photos, and you are looking for opportunities to use the “Rule of odds”, there is going to be obvious times when you just can’t apply this rule.

If you’re taking a photo of Mount Rushmore. Who are you going to leave out to adhere to the rule of odds? You just can’t do it. If you are taking pictures of people, you can’t always do it if there’s an even number of people.

THE ODD “ONE”:

Now, we realize that one is an odd number too, but, in this case, it is best to use one as maybe the “odd one out”. This can be very powerful.

Simply seek out scenes and compositions where something in the image is odd, different, out of place, or doesn’t match.

They engage the mind of your viewer, drawing attention to the odd object and making your viewer look a little longer at your photo.

The rule of odds in photography - one dark tree in front of lighter rows of trees
In this photo, the single different tree makes this a powerful photo.
The rule of odds in photography - one pink flower surrounded by yellow flowers
Another great one using the rule: THE ODD ONE.

CONCLUSION:

The odd one is one powerful tool in creating well composed photos. Look for opportunities to use odd numbers, and even if there is only one, make it more of the “Odd one” amongst other subjects.

Some of the photos, and text are compliments of Rich Ohnsman – and was posted on Digital Photography School

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