“SEEING A PHOTOGRAPH” PART 2

As stated in the previous presentation, the thing we are trying to accomplish here is “how to “see” a photograph. There are a lot of professional photographers that I have noticed as well, that are noticing that most people fail to “see” a photograph when it is right in front of them.

Please look at yesterday’s blog for valuable information about how to “see” a photo.

Today, I want to tell you another way to “see” a photograph, and it seems to come easy if you know all the rules of composition. Memorize them, and then as you look at a scene, you will try to determine if that will fit in with the rules of composition.

Let’s just go over these again. I am sure I have done a blog on this, but, we will repeat it with new pictures for better understanding.

Fill the frame in your picture:

If your subject is in danger of distraction because of a busy background, make sure you crop in close to the main subject and have the subject fill the frame. This works especially well with portraits outside. When you go outside, you are always in danger of something in the background that will distract from the main subject, so remember to get in close.

Don’t cut off limbs:

Don’t cut off the ears.

If you look at rule number one, it gives you the impression to get in close. But, don’t get too close that you cut off an appendage, whether it’s an animal or person.

Understand the rule of thirds:

Rule Of Thirds
Subjects should be placed in one of the intersecting quadrants.

The most basic of all photography rules, the rule of thirds, is all about dividing your shot into nine equal sections by a set of vertical and horizontal lines. With the imaginary frame in place, you should place the most important element(s) in your shot on one of the lines or where the lines meet. It’s a technique that works well for landscapes as you can position the horizon on one of the horizontal lines that sit in the lower and upper part of the photograph while you’re vertical subjects (trees etc.) can be placed on one of the two vertical lines.

Use Frames if possible:

Framing around your subject is a beautiful thing to do!

We are often surrounded with many opportunities to “frame” a subject naturally. If you have that opportunity, then do it. But, remember, in learning to “see” a photo opportunity, you need to be looking for it.

In scenery, look for something natural to frame with.

As you can see in the photo above, having something to “frame” a photo will make it even that much better.

Make the most of leading lines:

Finding leading lines in scenery photos will improve it drastically.
Another example of leading lines. It makes a powerful statement in composition.

Our eyes are unconsciously drawn along lines in images so by thinking about how, where and why you place lines in your images will change the way your audience view it. A road, for example, starting at one end of the shot and winding its way to the far end will pull the eye through the scene. You can position various focal points along your line or just have one main area focus at the end of your line that the eye will settle on. Shapes can be used in a similar way, for example, imagine a triangle and position three points of focus at the end of each point where the lines of the shape meet. By doing so you create balance in your shot as well as subtly guiding the eye.

Simplify your photo to “know” your focus point:

Make sure your subject is in focus, and the rest won’t conflict with

Make sure the subject in your photo is sharp, and make sure the surrounding area does not interfere with the main subject. Do not try to have more than 1 thing in focus. It will just be confusing to the viewer.

Watch the background:

The famous sign post growing out of the head, is a good one to watch for.
If you have a background that could easily distract from your subject, make sure you throw it out of focus with your depth of field.

Portraits, especially, make sure the background will not distract from the portrait. Know how to control your depth of field so you can accomplish this.

Conclusion:

The key to really “seeing” a photo is to know the rules of composition above. Once you have those memorized, then you will be looking for those photo opportunities more often. Practice, Practice, Practice. A wise photographer once said: “you won’t get good at photography until you have shot 10,000 photos,

train railway near trees
Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

WHY IS WINTER SO HARD TO GET GOOD PHOTOS?

If you are a regular scenic photographer, you obviously have tried your skills at all the different seasons. Many people find that summer and fall are probably the easiest, because everything is green, and flowers are blooming, there is just so much color in those two seasons.

I have recently discovered how beautiful winter is. I probably have learned to love the winter photography, because of it’s challenge. Here are just a few examples of what is so hard about winter photography:

Right after a snowfall. If you look for it, you can do some incredible black and white photos.

1- It’s cold and miserable (had to be first on the list). 2- It’s hard to shoot everything that is white, and get it perfect. The light meter just does not understand you are shooting white things. 3- I have to worry about my batteries going “dead” before I finish taking the photos. 4- I have a hard time finding things to take pictures of in the winter.

Winter is cold and miserable. Who wants to be miserable while taking pictures?

It’s time to look into snow boots, gloves, hats, and coats that keep you warm. If you are going to actually go out in to the snow to take pictures, you must dress warm.

Being in the snow is a challenge. Learn to dress warm and you will enjoy it.

Two people in a conversation about the weather: one person says they hate winter because it’s always so cold. The other person says: “Winter is the best because you can just put on more clothes and fix the problem”. The first person says they love summer the best because it’s warm, everything is green. The second person says: “I hate summer. It’s too hot! You can take off all your clothes and you are still hot. You just can’t get away from it”.

Look, there are ways to solve all the above problems. Just learn how to fix it.

How can I make my snow look white, instead of blue or grey?

When you use your automatic mode on your camera, the white snow will come out either blue or grey.

How come you get blue or grey snow? Here is the real reason: The light meter in your camera is balanced to a spec called 18%grey. If you take all the colors in the world, and mix them up, you will get grey. And your light meter in your camera doesn’t know you are taking pictures of white. It thinks the white is supposed to be grey. So, what do you have to do? You have to “overexpose” just slightly so that it gives you a brighter picture. Overexpose? That’s not in my book. If you want white snow with your photo, then overexpose. If you are shooting in an automatic mode, then find the dial that goes: +.5, +1, +1.5, +2.0 and so forth. You have to experiment a little so you know how much that dial should be set at. It will vary depending on your light. A good rule of thumb is to set your camera dial at: +1.5. That should be the best choice, and then check out your results.

Another way to do it, and it depends on your camera, is the little pictures or icons on your camera. If you set the dial to “snow” or “sand”, it should work pretty good with that setting. Again, try it, and see how it looks.

How do I protect my batteries in the cold?

Every good winter photographer is aware of this problem. And every good winter photographer keeps a spare set of batteries in his pocket. It is just something you do if you want to be successful at winter photos.

What can I take pictures of in the winter? Everything looks so “dead”.

That’s because everything is dormant right now. But, there is beauty in this if you look for it. Look at the trees? Are they covered in snow? What angle would work?

Sometimes winter will provide you with a little fog to create a certain mood.

When you look at the photo above, yes, you can see a bunch of dead plants to the side of this road. But, notice how they are all frosted. Or they could have snow on them to make it even more interesting. Use your composition skills as well and look for leading lines.

Conclusion:

If you want to take good winter photos, it will take practice. And you will have to get into the habit of “looking for a photo”, to get something you want. It seems that every time I go out and take photos in the winter, I can come up with some real good photos every time, because I “look for a photo”. Apply these tips listed here and you too can enjoy winter.

Here are some more winter photos I love:

Aspen forest in the winter.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: PHOTOGRAPHY BY LANNY COTTRELL

Photos of the week can be of a particular subject, or It can be photos of the season, And it can be photos from a photographer. In this case, I, personally have had a request to display my photos. I have been involved in photography for many years, and taught photography classes, been a judge of winning photos at a County Fair, and recently have created this wonderful website you are reading now. Many people don’t know the name behind 123PhotoGo, but, it’s me: Lanny Cottrell. And after all these years, it’s time for me to put up my own photography. I hope you like them.

I am not one who likes winter, but, I love the beauty of a winter day. Especially like this one with the fog in the background.
I really appreciate a good seagull to come and pose for this photo. Taken on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake.
This is the beautiful cloud formations right after this valley seemed destroyed by East Canyon Winds. The wind roared through this valley at over 70 miles an hour. When things started to calm down, we got these beautiful cloud formations.
I always appreciate a good artist, whether they paint it themselves or take the photos. This wonderful Gentleman was painting a picture of Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone Park. It was a good likeness of the place.
I have been experimenting with night photography with my Samsung Note 20Plus. It seems as this camera takes a picture at night time, the camera automatically brings up the exposure of the dark areas. This photo was taken at night time, and the only light on this photo is from the street lights.
About 20 years ago, when film was at it’s best, I took this photo with Kodachrome film. Found this beautiful rose outside, sprayed a little water on it to give it some texture, and the reproduction to digital was amazing. Film was a good thing in it’s day.
This photo, to me, is one of my best photos of the twilight colors mixed with sunset colors were available at the same time. The Great Salt Lake was a bit full this year, covering even some trees along the shoreline.
Another amazing winter photo of a big tree on a hill. Even a little fog adds to this photo.
I feed the birds around my house. One of the most colorful and unique birds is the “Blue Scrub Jay”. I can put peanuts in a shell, and they can come and even hang upside down to get these peanuts. They do not eat these peanuts immediately. They go and bury these peanuts for availability later on. The magpie birds don’t like to hang upside down on this, so, they don’t bother it much. It’s a feeder meant just for these birds.
A very recent photo of the docked sail ships that make their home at Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho. I had never seen this line-up of boats like this before, and it certainly was the perfect day to capture this unique photo.
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“Old Ironsides”. One of the most famous of the steam trains still in existence. This close-up of this train, gives you a feeling of its massiveness.
One of my favorite photos! Why? Not only is it an amazing sunset photo, but, because one of my sons is in the picture.
Everyone has a fall photo that you love. I love this one. Captured in Parley’s Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City. I love it when the clouds add to the photo.
The beautiful Maddison River in Yellowstone National Park.
This sepia toned photo is perfect for this type of photo. An old Pioneer home, still standing, now used probably to store feed for cattle.
Night photography, with fog! The ultimate way to make it happen.
Winter is a tough season, but, it is a beautiful time of the year. The snowstorms can produce such beauty. It’s the only thing I look forward to in the winter.
Another winter scene, with a field in snow, leading into a foggy morning area.
At the top of Logan Canyon coming down onto Bear Lake, Utah. There is a big lake under those clouds, and we are above the clouds. This is when the water is warmer than the air. Temperature at this site was about 16 degrees F. Temperature under the fog: 36 degrees. Water temperature: 39 degrees. That is why the clouds like to hang out where it’s warm.
Waiting for a concert at the famous Tabernacle at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. All of a sudden, “golden Hour” made this beautiful building turn from it’s granite grey color to this golden yellow.
I don’t know if this is fair, but, who cares. These two beautiful bald eagles were posing for me at an zoo for injured animals. So, they couldn’t fly away, but, they sure posed good for me that day.
Everybody loves a good sunset. This photo taken right off my deck. But, the cloud formations was the key to take this photo.
Another photo in the Bear Lake area. The clouds on the mountains and the mix of blue sky was wonderful.
I have had a fascination with the “crooked” quakie aspen trees. I am no tree person, but, it would be interesting to know how it grew this way.
This was taken with slide film about 25 years ago. With the sky and the clouds the way they were, I just had to try a red filter to get this effect.
Now you can see Bear Lake out in the distance. The old range here in front of it, is highlighted by the dormant trees, leading lines take your eyes back to the lake.
Once in a while, during sunset, the clouds are lit up by the sun in a golden color, making the whole valley golden. You can see the mountains are golden, and of course, the clouds are just beautiful. A natural phenomenon here in this valley.
An old broken down shed in the foggy, snowy day.
It’s scary to get so close to a bee while it’s busy. But, in studying up the different macro lenses available, I found out that the telephoto macro lenses will produce the same magnification as the normal macro lens, only you don’t have to be so close to the subject.
Another photo taken at night, at the city park. I love what light and fog do together.

Thank you so much for viewing my photos. If you have any ideas, have any questions about my blog, or this website, feel free to comment below, or send your questions to me at: question.123photogo@gmail.com

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT WITH PHOTOGRAPHY :

When you see all the different photos on the internet, it is certainly refreshing to see “different” photos, yet now weird ones. So many times as I am going through the internet, I see the same old photos of the same places. Please! Be creative with your photos.

I found this great article from Digital Photography School that I felt was worth sharing. It is authored by: Rick Ohnsman and worth the reading:

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It’s estimated that over two billion photos are uploaded to the internet every day. We are deluged with images. So if you’re a photographer looking to stand out from the crowd, then going to the same iconic locations, framing up and shooting the same compositions, and looking to emulate the great images you might find from skilled photographers is not what you should do.

You need to dare to be different with your photography – by making the shot in a way people haven’t seen before. If the reaction you want is “Wow!” rather than “Meh,” you need to mix it up.

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone
Not a bad photo of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, but how different is my shot than the tens of thousands of other shots made from the same vantage point?

Where’d you shoot that?

I belong to a camera club, and we routinely show our images for review and critique. Something I hear too often when a great photo is displayed is, “Where’d you shoot that?”

I guess it’s a fair question. But I’m always concerned that the person asking it is thinking: If I go there, get the same light, perhaps use the same camera settings, and shoot from the same spot, I could make a great photo, too!”

But why would you want to be a copycat?

Sure, we all like to go to the iconic spots, but why not try to make a shot that is different and uniquely yours, one that stands out from the crowd?

the statue of Liberty
No doubt millions of photos have been taken of this iconic location, so kudos to friend and fellow photographer Harold Hall, who found a unique perspective for this familiar New York City landmark.

Go where others don’t

I just got back from a trip to Yellowstone National Park. While I was there, I wanted to see the Grand Prismatic Spring, a very iconic spot and a natural wonder well worth seeing.

Upon reaching the overlook, I had to wait to even get to the edge as dozens of tourists took turns at the rail, shooting with their cellphone cameras, posing for selfies, even asking photographers like me, who were carrying obviously more sophisticated camera gear, if we’d snap their group photo with their cellphone.

Grand Prismatic Spring abstract detail
Here’s a different abstract take at the Grand Prismatic Spring, and a shot more likely to be uniquely mine. Dare to be different with your photography.

I get it: They wanted a photographic souvenir of being at the Grand Prismatic Spring, a shot they could post on social media to share with their friends.

That’s fine, but what about you? Are you a serious photographer looking to make artistic photographs? Or are you a tourist looking for a snapshot?

Sure, I wanted to see the Grand Prismatic Spring. And yes, I took my camera and made a shot.

In fact, I’ve photographed next to other photographers at similar iconic locations. How could you not photograph the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, or the Sydney Opera House in Australia (the list goes on)?

So hit the iconic spots, make the usual shot, and check it off your bucket list.

But then find ways to change things up. Go to the lesser-known spots and make some photographs others won’t have considered – images that are uniquely yours.

But how do you make shots that don’t look like the tens of thousands taken by others?

Let’s explore that.

Dare to be different Oceanside Pier
Lots of photos have been done of the Oceanside Pier in southern California, so I tried to make my shot different by shooting a long, 30-second exposure during the blue hour.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse
I was literally shoulder-to-shoulder with maybe a hundred other photographers while waiting for a sunset that never showed at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Acadia National Park in Maine. I tried to be a little different with a six-second exposure to blur the clouds and waves.
Canon 6D | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM | 6s | f/11 | ISO 200

Seek a new perspective

Amateur photographers almost never use tripods. So they often raise their camera to their eye and shoot from a standing position.

Hence, the great majority of their shots are from a five- to six-foot, eye-level height, even when the subject suggests that something else might be better.

A shot of a small child is typically made looking down on the subject, as is a picture of a flower or some other shorter subject. If shooting with a standard digital camera, the great majority of images will be in landscape mode; if shooting with a phone, most shots will be in portrait mode. Little – if any – thought is given to rotating the camera to best suit the subject. The subject will typically be placed dead-center in the frame, so that if the photo is a portrait, then there is an excessive amount of headroom. This type of photographer has never heard of the rule of thirds.

Dare to be different. Grand Fountain Geyer. Yellowstone National Park.
Another iconic location with a couple dozen other photographers shooting at the Grand Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Always look for how you can make your image dramatic and different than what the other photographers will make.

We expect student photographers to be a little better, right? They might shoot with a tripod. Yet I have been to plenty of photo workshops where the photographers are lined up like gunners in a firing squad, cameras on tripods but at that same eye-level height, all trained on the same iconic subject. How much different will their shots be? Maybe they ought to just buy a postcard in the gift shop.

“Sometimes, to stand out, you need to sit down”

Anthony T. Hincks

I’m not sure of the context in which Mr. Hincks was speaking when he authored this quote. But appropriating it so that it applies to photographers, you need to consider various perspectives to better suit your subject and create images that bring new interpretations and compositions. Get up, get down, shoot from a bird’s-eye perspective or a worm’s-eye perspective. Shoot through objects that create natural frames. Try some point-of-view (POV) shots.

There are lots of things to try in order to explore new looks and create interest, excitement, and mood in your photos.

As a photographer, I expect you are more of a visual learner, so here are some shots to help communicate these concepts:

Photos from a worm's-eye perspective.
Get down to the ground and get a “worms-eye view” for a perspective the average photographer shooting from eye-level won’t get. The shot on the left is with an LG V30 cellphone.
Images shot from low down
For the image of the Snow Cone in Craters of the Moon National Park on the left, a cellphone camera was placed on the lava. For the shot on the right, the camera was directly on the stage at “foot level.”
Abstract shots of the ground
Look down. Sometimes the shot is right at your feet.
Photos taken while looking up
Look up. Sometimes the shot is straight overhead.
Compare how high and low angles change the way we view these trains.
A high vantage point allowed me to capture much of the long train in the first shot. The low angle for the Union Pacific 844 steam train (in the second shot) emphasized its immense power.
Hot air balloons lift off from Ann Morrison Park in Boise, Idaho.
To get this unique angle when photographing the hot air balloons ascending from Ann Morrison Park in Boise, Idaho, you had to be in one of them. My photographer son Mark Ohnsman was, and he got this great shot.
Great aerial photos can be made out the window of commercial airliners with your cellphone.
Another way to get high-angle aerial shots is by shooting out the window of a commercial flight. I got these images with my LG V30 cellphone. The shot on the left was made somewhere over the Nevada desert; the shot on the right was made during the final approach to the Boise, Idaho airport.
Seaside cliffs near Cape Arago, Oregon.
Drone photography is yet another way to get a high vantage point. This could have been made with a drone (if I had one), but instead was done off a cliff near Cape Arago State Park in Oregon.
Get down low when photographing flowers and vegetation for a more dramatic impact.
When shooting flowers or low vegetation, sometimes you want to get down in it. Get low with your camera and make shots others won’t get from an eye-level perspective.
Near-far style photography examples.
The “near-far” look is done with a wide-angle lens and a small aperture so that objects from a few feet away to infinity are all in focus. Sometimes, focus stacking might be needed to ensure front-to-back sharpness. The technique produces images with great depth. Photo at left by Rick Ohnsman; photo at right by Dan Mottaz.
Different ways to shoot low-angle photos and still use a tripod.
For getting low while keeping your camera steady, a tripod with no center column, a tripod (left) with a replaceable short center column, or something like the Gorillapod (right) is the ticket
Find "natural frames" to enhance your photos.
Think about “natural framing,” where you use things in the scene that frame your image as a way to make your shot different than what others might get.
Flower and plant images.
Another way to make unique images others won’t get, and also to explore the wonders of an unseen world, is to try close-up and macro photography.
Two photos of sand on a beach.
Work a scene, shooting wide, medium, and close-up shots. Digital film is cheap, so never take a “one-and-done” approach to your photography. I made the first shot here on Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. A little while later, I noticed and photographed the interesting patterns in the sand.
Dare to be different
Explore various focal lengths and crops when making portraits. From left to right: close-up, medium-wide, medium, and ultra-close-up.
abstract photography examples
A great way to ensure your photos will be uniquely yours is to embrace abstract photography. There is no end to the possible subjects.
Dare to be different. Photos that tell a story.
A picture is worth 1000 words, they say. What does your photo say? Try making photos that tell a story; this will better involve your viewer in the image.
Vertical image of a rock
Remember to turn your camera to a vertical (portrait) position if the subject dictates it. You’d be surprised at the amateurs who never consider this.
Car photos with diagonals
Diagonal lines add drama. When shooting cars, I like to employ a “Dutch tilt.” See if you can discover scenes where tilting the camera will make your images more unique and interesting.
Examples of foggy photos.
When the weather gets bad, the photos get good. There’s nothing like some fog to add mood to a shot. If you want unique and compelling photos that are different from the rest of the crowd, brave the elements and get out when the weather keeps fair-weather photographers inside.
Foggy trees in Yellowstone National Park.
Morning fog and steam from nearby thermal springs made for the perfect moody shot in Yellowstone National Park.
Lupine leaf macro
Dare to be different when editing. This is the same shot of water drops on a lupine leaf, but as a monochrome positive on the left and a negative image on the right.
Focus-stacked forest
You can shoot differently when you know your editing options. Here, multiple images taken of the trees at the Boardman, Oregon tree farm were made at various focus points and then focus-stacked with Helicon Focus. Such depth of field would not have been possible in a single shot.
Examples of standard subjects photographed in different ways
Sometimes, the way to make photos that are uniquely yours is to see common things in different ways. The key, as with all photography, is to look for the light.

Dare to be different with your photos: the next step

People might call me names, but as a photographer, there’s one name I hope never applies:Snapshooter. I consider a snapshooter to be the photographer who sees something that catches their attention, raises the camera to their eye, and takes a snapshot. That is the person who gives no thought to composition, angle, perspective, subject, storytelling, or concept. They don’t understand camera controls, exposure, depth of field, or ways to use the camera as a tool to communicate their vision. They probably don’t even grasp the concept of a vision. They don’t take the time to consider what they might do to make their photographs better or different. Can they even communicate what they are trying to say with their images?

But that’s not you, right? You have come to a place called the Digital Photography School, presumably as a person looking to learn how to make better images.

So I challenge you: Dare to be different with your photos. Make photographs that are intentionally creative, unique, tell a story, and show the viewer something in a way they may not have seen it before. 

“You walk like others? You talk like others? You think like others? Then the world doesn’t need you, because others are already abundant in the world! Be original!”

Mehmet Murat ildan

The post Dare to be Different With Your Photos appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Rick Ohnsman.

CREATIVE THINGS YOU CAN TRY ON YOUR CAMERA:

A lot of photography techniques can be complex and require a steep learning curve.

But in today’s article, you’ll learn 11 easy creative photography techniques you can start using today! The techniques described below all require minimal extra equipment and don’t require additional post-processing.

Read on to get the most creativity from your camera with these easy-to-use techniques.

1. Reflection

easy creative photography techniques down low reflection
It’s worth getting down to a low angle for reflections.

This is an easy creative photography technique to learn and is popular among many photographers. The main requirement is finding a reflective surface, though this is not all there is to it. Consider the following, and you’ll be capturing amazing reflection photos in no time:

  • Reflective surface: Look for surfaces that reflect (and there are many). Flat water works well, as does glass, marble, or even a regular mirror.
  • Choose a main subject: A successful photo will match up a reflective surface with an interesting main subject. Consider going out after it’s rained, as a puddle in front of a famous monument may only be there after heavy rain.
  • Find the angle: To get a better reflection, choose the correct angle. This often means getting right up against the reflective surface so the angle of reflection is shallow.
  • Create your own: No reflective surface? No problem. Just create one! Use the surface of a smartphone, a small mirror, or perhaps a bucket that you use to spread water and create a puddle.
  • A filter: The best way to control your reflection is by using a circular polarizing filter.

2. Silhouettes

easy creative photography techniques silhouettes
Strong silhouettes work well against a horizon line.

The next option on this list of easy creative photography techniques is silhouettes.

Silhouettes occur when you photograph against the light. The key is to find an interesting shape, and then make sure the background is brighter than the object itself.

You’ll often need to get down to a low angle and then photograph up toward the sky; that way, you can ensure the silhouetted object stands out against the bright background.

Also, when photographing silhouettes, make sure you expose for the bright background. This will turn the subject into a dark silhouette.

3. Repetition

easy creative photography techniques lines and repetition pattern
Lines and repetition can make for a strong composition.

A great design element to add to your frame is repetition.

This is something you’ll usually need to look for, but it’s sometimes possible to create your own repetition. There are possibilities for this both in nature and in the man-made world. Repetition may take the form of a line of trees, or of many bricks in a wall. The question, then, is how you’ll use this repetition.

Here are a few ways you can work with repetition to improve your photos:

  • Create a texture photo: In this case, the high level of repetition forms a texture.
  • Break the pattern: Here everything else is the same, with one variation. This works well to highlight that variation, which will then be the photo’s main subject.
  • Use background repetition: Backgrounds with repetition work very well for portrait photos or still life images.
  • Two or three: You don’t need to have repetition to infinity; two or three repeating objects, such as wine glasses, can work well.

4. Refraction

easy creative photography techniques glasses
Wine glasses filled with water will produce refraction.

This is a form of photography that can be practiced with a camera as simple as a smartphone. You’re probably thinking of lensballs, but refraction photography can take many forms, including:

  • A lensball: This is a large glass ball that creates a refracted image of the background inside it.
  • A prism: A prism splits the light and can be used to produce a rainbow. You could either photograph the projected rainbow or photograph through the prism.
  • Water drops: Get out after it’s rained, and you can produce refraction in things such as water drops on a spider’s web.
  • A wine glass: Fill a wine glass with water, and you will see the refraction effect!

5. Contrast

easy creative photography techniques silhouettes
Contrast with silhouettes works really well.

Contrast is a great concept to use in your photography.

The most obvious way to use contrast is by emphasizing dark and light areas of your photo through things such as silhouettes and shadows. But this is not the only way contrast can be used in your photography; anything that has an opposite can be used. You might choose to contrast something old with something new, for example.

6. Framing

easy creative photography techniques cave entrance frame
Natural frames such as cave entrances are good frames.

The world is full of frames, from pictures on the wall to window frames. These frames can be used in photography, which is another easy creative photography technique.

You can achieve a great framed photo with any kind of camera. Good options for this include doorways and windows. You can even become more creative and make your own frame using objects that contextualize the scene behind it.

7. Panning

easy creative photography techniques panning
Bikes are the easiest moving object to try panning with.

Panning is a form of intentional camera movement. The technique involves following the motion of a moving object and using a slower shutter speed to blur the background behind it.

As long as your camera allows you to use a slow shutter speed, this is a technique you can try. Those using a smartphone should download an app that allows you to use a slower shutter speed to take a photo.

8. Point of view

easy creative photography techniques buildings from below
A worm’s-eye view can look amazing. This example also shows how lines and repetition can work in a photo.

Changing your angle can give you dramatically different results, and it doesn’t matter which type of camera you use for this technique.

It’s easy to photograph from a standing position, but try some of these alternative angles:

  • Low angle: With this angle, you’ll get low to the ground. Things look different from down there!
  • Worm’s-eye view: This angle involves looking straight up. It can be even more dramatic when you get right down to the ground.
  • Bird’s-eye view: The easiest way these days to take a bird’s-eye view image is with a drone. However, find a high vantage point from a tall building and you can achieve a similar result.

9. Lines

easy creative photography techniques lines
This photo shows several lines converging in the left third of the frame.

Using powerful lines in your photos will almost always give you a strong composition. The trick, of course, is to utilize those lines correctly using the focal length available to you.

Here are some of the lines that can be used in your photography:

  • Leading lines: A leading line leads the eye to the main subject of your photo. This line might take the form of a road or a river meandering through your frame.
  • Horizon lines: Many photographs have horizon lines in them, which is a strong line running through the middle of your frame. Look to position it at the top or bottom third of your photo (using the rule of thirds).
  • Converging lines: In some photos, many lines converge at one point: the infinity point. This can be compositionally very strong. Look for lines of trees or a tunnel for this type of photo.

10. Shadows

easy creative photography techniques shadows
The shadow in this photo shows an element of repetition, as well.

Photographing shadows requires a strong light source. This can be the sun, but an external flash is another option.

The best time of the day to photograph shadows is therefore when the sun is at a low angle: an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset.

Shadows can be formed and used in different ways. You might photograph a person’s shadow, shadows formed from trees, or the way shadows emphasize the shapes of hills.

11. Minimalism

boat minimalism
This minimalist photo uses a bird’s-eye view taken from a bridge.

Keeping your composition nice and clean is the key to a good photo. This means that one of the best easy creative photography techniques is minimalism.

You can create minimalism even in the most cluttered environment as long as you frame your photo correctly. This style of photography requires that you give your subject some room to breathe. Focus on the main subject and position it in front of an uncluttered background.

Try out these easy creative photography techniques, yourself!

There are so many ways to be creative with photography. Which techniques do you like to use? Are there any simple-to-apply techniques you’ve tried that didn’t make this list? Share your thoughts in the comments!

And if you have any photos that illustrate these techniques, share them in the comments, too!

Then get photographing with these easy creative photography techniques!

The post 11 Easy Creative Photography Techniques You Can Try on Any Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

Here are a few more photos, using those steps above:

Leading lines
Silhouette
Minimalism
white and brown trees on forest during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com / Shadows