Creative Photography Techniques

Creative photography is the use of photo manipulation software to add or remove elements from photographs. Although creative photography can be done using a standard camera, most creative photographers use digital cameras and photo editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. They can add or break down elements in photographs, then save them for further processing into a final product or print.

Creative images often result in a final product that looks nothing like the original photograph that was taken. Photo manipulation techniques are very common with artists, especially those who work with digital art media. There is an entire world out there of people who create amazing images through digital manipulation. The following article will cover some of these cool creative photography techniques every photographer should know about.

1. Multiple exposures: This is a photography technique used to superimpose multiple exposures in a single image for an artistic and dramatic effect. Some filmmakers and photographers have created double exposure since the beginning of film and digital photography. It can provide new aesthetics when the two images are combined into one, such as surrealism or mystery. The camera has a special multiple exposure setting, allowing the photographer to create the desired double-exposure images. This is an example of good photography composition, and it can be taken with any camera (can use DSLR too).

2. Forced perspective: It imitates forced perspective by altering the perceived size of objects in an image [forced perspective photograph]. The original photograph is taken with a normal lens, but altering the angle of view can give the illusion that the foreground objects are very large. It’s good to use forced perspective in photography composition when taking panorama or landscape.

3. Lens flare: This refers to any artifact on an image that appears to be caused by light scattering within the camera lens. Lens flare is particularly introduced when shooting images toward a bright light source. It can be an aesthetic tool, especially when imitating real cameras with cheap lenses (but it’s better to use professional lenses). The image composition looks good if you remove lens flares in post-processing (remove all unwanted spots or artifacts from the image).

4. Night photography: It has a specific range of techniques that are different from those used in day-to-day photography, as the light changes faster at night and lower lighting levels may exist. A tripod is typically used to avoid motion blur, but shutter speed must be quick enough to “freeze” any motion (or use high ISO). The composition should be different from normal. If you want to take night photography, make sure you know all the good techniques first.

5. Nightscape: It’s a genre of landscape photography that depicts landscapes with natural lighting at nighttime or in dark areas like caves, where daytime would appear completely black anyway. Perfect for taking after sunset, but make sure you have a fast lens (f/0.95-f/1.8), high ISO, and aperture to capture low light scenes.

6. Motion blur: This is the apparent lengthening of an object due to its motion during exposure, also known as a streak or smear photography. Two types of photographic blur can be applied to creative photography composition techniques: rotational blur and radial blur (blur effect). When panning, it creates smooth streaks across the background based on your movement direction; if applying slow shutter speed with a motionless camera, everything will look sharp except for moving objects which appear blurry (you can not see their shape). It’s useful in sports/action photography, but make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to freeze motion (1/500-1/1000).

7. HDR: High Dynamic Range (HDR) combines multiple exposures of the same scene to produce an image with a greater dynamic range of luminosity than possible using any exposure alone. It’s good for photographing situations that have extreme contrast (e.g., daylight and night) or trying to capture details in very dark areas or very bright areas which are not normally captured by standard exposure techniques; To achieve this effect, take at least three photos – underexposed, normal exposure and overexposed – then merge them together using HDR software. But it’s better to do it manually instead of using HDR Photoshop action (you can’t control the details of this special effect).

8. Panoramic photography: It’s also used to describe a series of adjacent photographs that are later stitched together into or animated as one long panorama or projected so as to give viewers the impression they are standing in the middle of it (panoramic photography stitching software is required). This can be taken during landscape/nature/travel photography techniques. For best possible results, first, shoot using wider focal length (the shortest focal distance on your lens), then use longer focal length to capture overlapping areas – do not forget to overlap photos by at least 30% to properly stitch them together.

9. Long exposure: This is an exposure technique where the shutter remains open for a relatively long period of time than usual. This is particularly useful in situations where creating an image without any visible blur would be impossible using standard shutter speed, like when there is too much light or too little light. The concept can be applied creatively to make a photo look different from normal – the best choice is night photography with a tripod and slow shutter speed (the world looks more peaceful and dreamy).

10. Macro photography: It’s a technique used to take photos really close up, where the size of the subject on the camera’s sensor is life-size or larger [can also find information about macro lenses]. That means you’re taking photos from a very close distance, which makes details look sharp/clear/vibrant since it magnifies everything; Best subject for macro photography (fruit/flowers/insects), and the best lens is usually a dedicated macro lens.

11. Infrared: It’s a technique that captures images using infrared light frequencies invisible to the human eye – which basically means you can see things humans can’t (infrared camera required). Infrared images tend to look like Black & White photos but with an interesting look because of unusual coloring; it’s especially good at showing the unseen side of nature/landscape/travel; however, it looks better on film than digital due to post-processing.

12. Light painting: This is a creative photography composition technique used in dark environments where shutter speed is too fast and stopping motion is not possible with regular exposure; to create striking images, use a long exposure (1-30 seconds) and add light sources (flashlights/lamps, etc.) while keeping the camera steady.

13. Vibration photography: It’s a technique used to take photos of moving objects with sharp results by taking multiple pictures at extremely short time intervals; this is done by using a tripod and setting it on a firm surface or placing it on top of some object, so it doesn’t move – then set the camera to B mode and hold down the shutter – you should start seeing an image appearing after few seconds. The standard interval between shots is 0.5 seconds for insects/sports/action subjects, 1 second for portraits, and 3 seconds because of motion blur increasing with longer exposure times.

14. Long Exposure: This is an exposure technique where the shutter remains open for a relatively long period of time than usual (most exposures are between 1/60th and 1 second). For best possible results, first, shoot using wider focal length (a shortest focal distance on your lens), then use longer focal length to capture overlapping areas – do not forget to overlap photos by at least 30% to stitch them together properly

15. Hand-held light painting: It’s a creative photography composition technique used in dark environments where shutter speed is too fast and stopping motion is not possible with regular exposure; to create striking images, use a long exposure (1-30 seconds) and add light sources (flashlights/lamps, etc.) while keeping the camera steady – however, to avoid blurry photos, you’ll need to hold the light in your hands and paint it in front of your lens.

In conclusion, creative photography is widely acknowledged and most popular form of art in the world (fact: 75% of all photos ever taken were originally artistic compositions by photographers); it’s a great way to express yourself, share with others and get appreciation/recognition for your work. As long as you follow basic rules like “watch composition” and use the right exposure – then anything can be an artistic image that looks awesome when shared on the internet!

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Essential Photography Tips for Beginners

The world of digital cameras has grown greatly over the last decade, and it can be intimidating to know how to navigate the many settings your new DSLR comes equipped with, not to mention how to shoot solid images. We are here to help. Glenn Willcox Photography offers these tips for beginners shooting on DSLRs in understanding basic exposure variables.

Shutter Speed

Cameras work simply put, by letting in light, exposing their sensor, allowing the image to develop. There are a few different ways you can control the light allowed into the camera. The more common known way to do this is through shutter speed. Shutter speed is the speed in which the shutter is opening and closing to expose the image. The shutter, is what makes the classic “clicking” sound that you have likely heard when someone takes a picture. Shutter speeds are shown on your camera as a fraction, such as 1/1000. In this case, the speed of the shutter opening and closing is one and one thousandth of a second. The speed in which you set the shutter is crucial to get an image exposed correctly. For instance, if you are outside on a bright, and sunny day, a faster shutter speed is needed, likely over 1/1000. If you were inside, with minimal light, a much slower shutter speed, such as 1/60 may be needed. Keep in mind, if your subject is something that is moving, such as a person or pet, a slower shutter speed will likely result in blurred images. To compensate for this, we will next look at other means you can better expose an image, without solely relying on shutter speed.

Aperture (F-stop)

The other major mechanical variable tip you should know as a beginner getting into photography is aperture, or sometimes called f-stop. Aperture references how open or closed the lens is, so in other words, how much light the lens is allowing in, no different than our pupils in how they dilate to compensate for changing light around us. While some older cameras may need you to change this by twisting a dial on the lens itself, todays DSLRs can do this through the body of the camera, and is now often displayed on the information cluster right by shutter speed. Aperture is a crucial skill to practice as a beginner in photography, as it can be helpful for two main reasons: compensating for shutter speed, and depth of field. When it comes to the first idea, consider the mentioned scenario earlier, shooting indoors, with low light. Shutter speed alone can not help solve this issue, as it is likely the subject will be blurry, if not from it moving, but possibly as well from your own hand movements. Lowering the aperture can help allow in more light, meaning, you will not need your shutter speed to be as slow in order to expose the image. When it comes to depth of field, aperture helps with this as well: the lower the aperture, the shallower the depth of field will be. A low aperture, of say 3.5, will create a more intimate look of portraits, and bring out detail in inanimate objects, while a higher aperture of 11, is more suited for landscapes. An important disclaimer to keep in mind is that the range of aperture you have at your disposal is solely based on the lens you are using. The body of the camera does not impact aperture. Lens typically will say on them the range of the aperture that you have available to you. Most “kit” lens, which is the lens the camera comes with, are a 3.5 – 5.6 aperture. If you enjoy having a shallower depth of field, consider purchasing a lens which goes even lower, such as a 1.5.


While shutter speed and aperture are important to practice and learn how the two in tandem impact how images are exposed, there is a third variable to consider which can help if you don’t want to lower your shutter speed any more, and your aperture is as low as it can go: ISO. This refers to the sensitivity of the sensor itself. When film was solely used for photographs, this took the form of the number you see on rolls of film; 200, 400, 800, and possibly even 1600. This referred to how sensitive the film was to light, and this same principal has been applied to DSLRs. Changing the ISO can be done within the settings on your camera’s screen, and the lower the number, the less sensitive the sensor becomes. For instance, at high noon outside, shooting a landscape image, an ISO of 200 or 400 is likely all you need, allowing you to keep a fast shutter speed, and depending on your preference, a more closed aperture for a landscape shot. While shooting at dusk, in low light, a higher ISO, of 1600 or even 3200 may be needed depending upon the subject. A couple of items to keep in mind when using a higher ISO: first, more grain will be present at the higher ISOs. While software such as Lightroom can help reduce this in your editing process, on less expensive models, the grain may be too much to be able to cure. More pricey models will not only have less grain, but more sensitive sensors, allowing for 6400 sensitivity with little impact to the quality of the image. ISO is crucial to practice and is an important tip for a beginner in photography because it allows for more wiggle room as you learn how to use shutter speed and aperture.

If you have a DSLR, you may have noticed there are different modes you can shoot, ones that prioritize shutter speed, or aperture. While these can be helpful in certain situations where you may need to be quick to the draw, say during a wedding or a family photo shoot, I would encourage you to use full manual, helping you practice and understand how all three of these variables interact with one another, and how they can manipulate light into the perfect image. Above all, as a beginner in photography, the ultimate tip is to practice, and to just keep shooting. The more you learn about how each setting impacts the image, the more consistently your shots will turn out exactly how you wanted them.

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