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

Which is more important: Lighting or Composition?

I have been a photographer for a long time. I have worked in camera stores for 20 years, helping people understand photography. And then this question pops up today: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: LIGHTING OR COMPOSITION?

That is a very good question. Because without good lighting, you can’t have good composition. And good composition can’t be any good if the subject is not lit up correctly.

I am going to show you how lighting was the key to several photos, but, in these cases, composition was good, only because lighting helped create these amazing photos.

asphalt dark dawn endless
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Using some of my friends from Pexel Photos, I am using this photo as a lesson in lighting. Answer these questions with me, and see if you agree: 1- Is this good composition? 2- Does lighting play an important role in the success of this photo? 3- Would this photo be so good if it didn’t have this lighting? All good questions, but, it goes back to the important lesson good photographers learn somewhere along the way. And because I am so involved in these blogs, I understand more than ever, how important it is to see a good photo. It is an art. And it takes 10,000 photos you have to take before you really learn to SEE a good photo (said a professional photographer once). In this photo above, I think this photographer was just driving down the road, and noticed the incredible lighting, and stopped and captured this photo.

photo of people reaching each other s hands
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

This photo was one of the most beautiful photos taken in the last little while. And the lighting is rather flat. Not exciting. But, if the light hadn’t been perfect on these hands, the message would not be the same. This is a beautiful photo of hands that has made a wonderful statement in the last year.

As landscape artists, we are told that the best time of day to get really good photos of landscapes, is to either go early in the morning or late afternoon to get the most dramatic photos of your landscape. Would this photo above be the same if it was shot at noon? No, definitely not. The shadows, the side lighting is what totally makes this photo. If you have ever been here, taken a photo at noon, you would be severely disappointed in your photos. But, if you got up early in the morning, when you have the long shadows, then you will always have a winner.

woman in white clothing touching her face
Photo by Yuliya Kosolapova on Pexels.com
woman with veil on head in studio
Photo by Владимир Васильев on Pexels.com

If you are a portrait photographer, in order for you to be successful in portrait photos, you have to know and see lighting better than the average photographer. The question you may run in to, as a portrait photographer, is: Would this portrait be more dramatic with the whole room full of lights, or just one light? Here above, are two portraits taken with just a minimal amount of lights. The first photo, involves two lights, one in blue to shine on the back of the model, and then the yellow light in front. So, basically, on the face…. just one light. This second portrait, only one light was used. Knowing how to get that lighting so perfect was an art. We call this “Rembrandt Lighting”. A very beautiful lighting technique, that uses 1 light, and have it give you that triangle of light on the one side of the face. Do you see it? That is what you need to see in all photos: the perfect light.

symmetrical photography of clouds covered blue sky
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

What makes this photo so great? If you just had the lake and the mountain in the photo, would it be so good? No, I don’t think so. The lighting from the sunset is what makes this photo so spectacular. And without this light, it would, in my book, only be a 2 or 3 (rating it from 1 to 10, and 10 being the best). But, with light, and the different color of light, this photo is close to a 10, I think.

So, what is the priority in photography? Lighting or Composition? I will pick lighting first. You can have great composition on a photo, but, without the proper lighting, composition is nothing.

two person riding boat on body of water
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on Pexels.com

I hope by even looking at this photo, that you now see what light will do to get an amazing photo. Start by looking at things with special lighting on it, and practice “seeing” a photo. You will notice right away, that light is so important.

Article written by Lanny Cottrell, Editor, author of 123PhotoGo.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Take care of your body!

I have gone to do some photography of flowers, and close-ups, and after a while, my back has had it! I realize that I need to find ways to better take care of my body while taking photographs.

This timely information from Sunny Shrestha is great advice. Watch this:

Being a photographer really seems fun and exciting for an outsider. But only when you do it regularly do you realize that there can be some serious occupational hazards. Like many other jobs, we can see the wear and tear the job brings about in your body in the long run. And with age, these issues can get serious. In today’s video, we have photographers Andrew & Denae to discuss the issues that can plague a photographer’s body and offer some tips to avoid them:

The daily life of a photographer or a videographer involves carrying a lot of weight. This means cameras, lenses and even lighting equipment. Working continuously under this kind of stress means people often damage their muscles and joints. Add to the mix all those awkward postures we assume to get that perfect shot, and the whole job can quickly lead to muscle cramps, aches and long-term harm.

As they say, prevention is the best medicine. So be sure to go through the entire video above for some great information on the do’s and don’ts of being a photographer when it comes to taking proper care of your body.

active adult athlete body
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
blue and red superman print tank top shirt
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
selective focus photography of woman in pink shirt
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

Just a quick note to let you know….. I think these blogs seem even more effective when you have a video presentation, from YouTube. In the future, you will see more of these, and even I will be doing some of these videos. These are designed differently as I will take you to a photo shoot to see how it’s really done.

Thank You

Lanny Cottrell, owner and creator of 123PhotoGo.