Simple Yet Unique Ways to Add Creativity into Your Photos:

Have you ever just wanted to try some different things to your photography, something to kind of “be creative” but not sure just what to do, or how to do it?

Well with a little help from my friends, let’s take a look at some great ideas, and maybe we can give you some help here:

A lot of us get into a creative rut when it comes to winter time or gets into a winter slump! For some, the start of a new year means new goals and new resolutions which also means trying out everything that they possibly can.  If you are like me, and always love looking for new and creative ways to push yourself further or merely interested in just trying out a new technique, here are some tips. Without breaking the bank of course!

#1 Experiment with double exposures or even triple exposures

Karthika Gupta of Memorable Jaunts

Three exposures to indicate multiple personalities of people for an editorial photoshoot.

I own a Canon Mark III and doing double exposures is relatively easy.

You can find the drop-down menu from the main menu screen. Select multiple exposures and then select the number of exposures you want. Get creative with 2, 3, or 4 exposures.

Try shooting the next few frames in live view to see how your images overlap. You can get that cool multiple exposure effect.

#2 Creative images with slow shutter with intention

The use of a slow shutter speed in landscapes is common. However, try bringing that in with portraits or even your everyday lifestyle photos. There are many unique ways you experiment with slow shutter speeds:

  1. Have a subject stand still while everything else is moving in the frame. You can do this with self-portraits, outdoor scenes or even with clients. Keep your shutter speed at 1/50th or even 1/80th. If it drops below that, you might get motion blur even if you are as still as possible.
  2. Use a flowing dress or a scarf to indicate movement by using a slow shutter.
  3. Slow shutter speed shows the movement in the frame. If you use it intentionally to tell a story within your frame, it’ll be your best friend! Shutter speed is powerful. When we are so used to using it always set high to freeze movement, especially with kids running around, the opposite can have a different effect when used intentionally.

If you are super-brave, try combining double exposures with slow shutter speed.

You have just opened up a whole new way to get out of a creative rut and spend hours ‘playing’ with your gear. Yes, we all know some of us really don’t need that! We can spend hours with our gear anyway!

Remember there is no right or wrong here, and experimentation is always for fun. If you get it right, you know what to do next time, and if you think it didn’t turn out the way you like, well you know what not to do next time!

Slowing down the shutter to capture a ghostly effect on the waves and the fog that rolled in.

A slightly unintentional slow shutter speed moment but I love this image of the young monk running.

#3 Try using objects to shoot through

This is one of my favorite techniques when I want to try something new. I don’t know about you, but I crave the creative freedom to experiment – even if they end up being a fail sometimes.

I always find I learn something new when I experiment with techniques, tools and even photography subjects. One of my favorite ways to experiment is by shooting through various objects.

Here are a few options:

  • A fabric cloth
  • Shooting through glass or a window
  • Glass cube or prism
  • Bubble wrap
  • Twinkle lights
  • Leaves
  • Plastic colorful flowers

Your creativity is only limited to your imagination.

This was using fake flowers and I love the light leak effect here, almost similar to old film cameras.

This was more intentional where I was behind a bush and decided to shoot through the leaves

#4 Creative photography projects

Dedicated photography projects are a great way to force yourself to photograph consistently. Sometimes it is committing to photographing every day for a year.

Alternatively, it could be something like a weekly theme.

Both are great ways to channel your creative energy.

Doing something every day is one of the easiest ways to get good at it. Shooting every day is something every photographer can do to get better and better at their craft.

It doesn’t have to be stressful or take laborious effort. You don’t have to worry about models and outfits. Instead, focus on the techniques – shoot at different times of the day, shoot in different lighting conditions, use still objects or moving subjects likes kids and pets, or practice motion blur. The possibilities are endless.

Think outside the box and do something different every day. Maybe even start an exercise like a 365 project (one photograph every day for a year). Soon enough you will find that you are not only better at the technical parts of photography but the creative aspects as well.

I love photographing horses at the barn we visit and often times challenge myself to get action shots with just my iPhone – this was with the burst mode

This is another personal project of capturing sunrise and sunsets just with my iPhone. I love the two runners who happened to come in the middle. Rather than waiting for them to pass, I used them as a creative subject here.

#5 Try a new genre

Trying a new genre helps you reconnect with the basics of photography without the pressures of trying to be perfect at it. Sometimes we get in a creative rut because we are doing the same thing over and over again. If this is you, perhaps try another genre of photography.

I recently took a class on food photography. I am a terrible cook and always thought that food photographers have to be fantastic cooks to not only cook the food but also photograph it.

However, my instructor was super nice and let us in on a secret – store-bought cheesecake is just as good as homemade, and no-one knows the difference. The basics and rules of photography apply to across genres. So go ahead and give yourself permission to experience and experiment with something new to you.

I hope these tips help you add a little bit of fun, creatively and freshness to your photography. Remember, always keep learning and trying something new to keep the fun element front and center of everything that you do.

The post Simple Yet Unique Ways to Add Creativity into Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Karthika Gupta.

This is blog #936



Photos of the Week: 3/7/2019: Amazing winning photos from the Smithsonian that just make you smile:

This one image comes from winner of the amazing internet portfolio titled: “HELP” . Photo by: Tibor Kercz/ Comedy Wildlife Photo awards

The laughing doormouse worked it’s way into the category: “On the Land”. Photo by: Andrea Zampatti / Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

This photo won in the category: “In the Air” Photo by: John Threlfall / Comedy Wildlife Photo awards

This photo won in the category: “Under the Sea” Photo by: Troy Mayne / Comedy Wildlife photo awards

“Highly commended” award titled: Ready for church. Photo by: Carl Henry

A wildebeest gets a leg up on the crowd. Photo by: Jean Jacques Alcalay

Photo by Katy Laveck. These monkeys are having fun in Indonesia.

Armed with their cameras and a passion for animals, wildlife photographers strive to capture the beauty and majesty of the natural world. And while beauty and majesty are great, sometimes you just want to see a fox pooping in the hole of a golf course. Now, as Rebecca Hersher reports for NPR, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is here to fill that desire. They’ve announced the winners of its 2017 competition, capturing the animal kingdom in all its goofiness.

The project’s mission is simple: to stage a competition that is “light hearted, upbeat, possibly unpretentious and mainly about wildlife doing funny things.” Contest organizers also hope that the winning images of hilarious and adorable animals will inspire people to “talk about the dire need for us all to be conservationists in our own little way.”

This sea otter seems to be cheering for joy. Photo by Penny Palmer.

“WTF” Photo by George Cathcart.

Photographer: Daisy Gilardini captures this photo of a baby bear hitching a ride .

“Caught in the Act” catching the fox at the right time. Photo by: Douglas Croft

All photos were also compliments of the Comedy Wildlife Awards.

These type of photos are difficult to do, as you would have to have all the elements in place: good composition, good lighting, and timing. Congratulations to all the winners above.

This is the 935th blog.


We are taught as photographers to learn to see light. See light in all it’s forms. Even in scenery shots, where is the light coming from? Can the light be used to be more dramatic if it was coming from the back, as backlight. How about portraiture? So many wonderful portraits have been taken using backlight. It is a beautiful and dreamy effect in photography that has become quite popular.

Most people don’t notice light. But visual artists do. Light is one of the essential ingredients in your photographs.

Light can be tricky to deal with until you understand camera settings. But once you’re familiar with your camera, light is wonderful to play with in your photos.

Personally, I love backlight. It adds a sense of drama and beauty to your photography.

I’ll show you examples of backlight with food, landscape, and portrait photography (studio and outdoors).

In order to achieve backlight in your photo, have the main light source behind your subject coming toward your camera. In this photo, you can actually see the warm setting sun as the source of backlight.

What is backlight good for?

I love backlight because it adds depth and drama to an otherwise flat, two-dimensional photo.

Backlight helps to bring out the texture of objects that you photograph (sidelight is good for this as well). Texture is created through a combination of highlights and shadows. Since photographs are two dimensional, texture adds depth to your photo.

A strong burst of backlight adds drama to your photo. Think about the bursts of light at a rock concert or other performances. The temperature of the backlight (warm or cool) adds to the drama of the photo.

The backlight source might be in your photo along with your subject (as with the sunset photo above). Or the light source can be outside of the frame (as long as it illuminates your subject).

Any source of backlight can be used creatively, but sunlight, windows, and strobes are among the most popular.

The principals of backlight are the same no matter what camera you’re using, even your phone.

This ice-covered tree is backlit by the sun. Without backlight shining through the branches, this tree would not have stood out so much


It’s great to begin practicing backlight with food. Backlight can be used to illuminate steam and bring out the texture of the food.

While any light source will work, many photographers love using window light to illuminate food.

The light source is not visible in this photo, but there is a window backlighting the food and making the steam visible.

This food was photographed while still in the oven. The warm backlight is coming from the oven light.

This is an example of soft backlight produced by a large window. I wanted to bring out the texture in the cookies. An iPhone 4s was used to capture the image and Lightroom was used to process it.

Your food photos will be less flat and have more pop to them when you use back (or side) light. Just look for a window or any other light source. Get creative and use the light from fridges, stoves, and lamps.

The great thing about practicing backlight with food is that if you can’t reposition the light source, you can easily reposition yourself and the food.

Landscape and Nature

Once you get the hang of backlight with food, use it to add drama to your landscape photos. In most cases, you won’t be able to reposition your backlight source since it will likely be the sun. However, you can always reposition yourself in relation to the sun and your subject.

I saw this scene as I looked in the rearview mirror. I couldn’t resist pulling over to take a photo. The setting sun is the light source for this scene. You can’t see it in the frame but it’s behind the trees to the left. Notice how the electricity wires are shining and standing out from the dark trees in the background.

The setting sun behind this crab apple tree caught my eye during a walk. I came back with my camera and found a perspective where the sun was visible filtering through the tree. An aperture of f/11 was used to create the starburst effect.

A combination of backlight and water droplets on the lens created this special effect. I don’t recommend letting your lens get wet, I was using a waterproof case. The case was still wet from using my camera underwater.


I love to incorporate backlight into portraits to accent the emotion. Beautiful or intense moments are brought out even more with the use of backlight.


The best part about backlight in a studio is that you can position your light source any way you like.

Two off camera flashes were used to produce this dramatic backlight.

Superheros are dramatic characters by nature. Using harsh backlight instead of soft front light is better for bringing out the nature of the subject.

Natural light

When using natural light, you’ll have to position yourself and your subject according to the light source.

This little guy is backlit by the setting sun, while the big open sky in front of him illuminates his face.


One of the biggest problems about backlight is that your photo may turn out as a silhouette when you don’t want it to.

You’re likely using a semi-automatic setting such as aperture or shutter priority. Your camera sees the bright backlight and meters itself accordingly. You can use exposure compensation to help you avoid unwanted silhouettes. Try setting your exposure compensation to +1 or +2. You’ll need to experiment according to the light conditions.

If you’re experienced then manual mode might be the best option for you.

The main light source is the sky in the background. The sun has not risen over the horizon yet.

Practice backlight with everything

Once you get the hang of it, you can introduce backlight into all sorts of situations. Use it to bring out texture and to heighten dramatic moments.

Concerts are a wonderful place to have fun with backlight. The rapidly changing lights will create a challenge for you. Take lots of photos and be happy with the few that work out.

I love how golden hour can add a nostalgic feel to photos.

Use a combination of low angles and backlight to make your photo more exciting.

I always wait until evening to visit the beach. That way the sun isn’t shining straight down onto the sand. Instead it shines down at a lower angle, creating texture through shadow and highlight.

I love my little guy’s hair. There is a window just above him as the source of backlight.

The post How to Make Dramatic Photos with Backlight appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Mat Coker.

Approaching our 1000th blog. This is #934.