The legendary photographer Ansel Adams once quoted, ‘there are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer’. What a beautiful way to describe the grace of a picture.
Playing around with your DSLR camera if you are a fond of discovering new techniques to take better pictures works wonders. As a beginner you might have trouble with taking better pictures at night or in low light and capturing fast moving things in a blink of an eye but what do they say, practice makes a man perfect. Experiment with your DSLR camera. Make a combination of different settings and record the diverse results of your digital photography that come out.
Let’s introduce you to some fun photography ideas to help you take better pictures and become a professional photographer.
1. Painting with Light
You might have seen thousands of beautiful night time photos with various shapes made out of light. It is a very popular style and trick of wedding photography among wedding photographers. Let’s see how you can capture your own light painting in a photograph.
Things you’ll need:
- A DSLR camera set to a manual mode with a file format set as ‘RAW’
- A stiff tripod
- A lens hood
- A remote trigger
- A flash or torch light
- Keep the white balance on incandescent or tungsten.
- Focusing the subject in the dark is quite tricky because the camera can’t comprehend anything in the dark so always make sure you first illuminate the subject using a torch light and then lock the focus using auto focus or manual focus on your camera.
- In light painting you use a longer shutter speed to get maximum exposure so your camera is able to capture the tracks of the torch light you are making shapes with. So keep your shutter speed at 30 or more seconds.
- Keep your ISO really low to 200 or 400
- Set your aperture to f/5.6
- Set your camera on a tripod and make sure all the settings are in order
- Turn off any image noise reduction or stabilizing
- Lock your focus on the subject and click the capture button
- As long as your shutter is open the subject should keep moving the torch light in a desired shape
- Once the shutter closes give your camera some time to process the image and see the magical results.
To learn about light painting in detail and other things you can add to it take professional digital photography course so you master the technique of light.
This is a very interesting trick where you can create your own tilt shift or macro photos without using extremely expensive lenses or gear. What you do in free-lensing is:
- You turn the power of your DSLR off
- You dismount the lens from the body
- You turn the power back on it
- Hold the lens in your hand backwards against the camera
- Then move closer to the subject until you have a desired focus
The results will have a lot of vignette and light leaks which always looks retro and cool.
3. Create your Own Bokeh
Bokeh adds an amazing dimension to your photograph whether it’s a portrait or a still life picture. Always remember to carry your camera to your cooking classes or drawing institutes in order to experience the true magic of bokeh with food or still life photography. With a few simple steps you can create your own kind of bokeh to make your photographs even better. Here’s how to do it:
- Take a large aperture lens for example 50mm 1.8
- You’ll need a sheet of black paperboard
- Cut your desired shape like hearts, stars and squares in the middle of the sheet and attach it on top of your lens.
- Now set your camera at the lowest available aperture and start shooting with beautiful hearts and stars at the background.
Photography schools teach even better techniques and photography hacks that you can apply which you are working as a commissioned photographer. With these and so many other amazing photography techniques you learn during a digital photography course it becomes easier for you to step ahead of your game and someday have an exhibition of your work somewhere nice.