Top Tips to more Creative Photography
With the advent of digital cameras, (Digital DSLR, compact or Bridge cameras) smart phones and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) photography has become a hobby available at an affordable cost to most people.
However, whether you are a seasoned photographer who can easily work your way around the manual settings of a digital camera, or a smartphone snapper, there is a big difference between a good shot and a truly amazing shot.
Most of us are involved in social media to some degree, particularly the younger generation who capture and share snapshots of most aspects of daily life. Facebook, for example, is loaded with images of people’s new born babies and children, pets, holiday shots – even what they had for dinner.
Most of these images, although some are technically very good, are much the same in composition and style. How do you stand out from the crowd and develop your creativity?
Although our first rule may seem like a misnomer to creative photography, it would be a real shame to see a once in a lifetime photo opportunity and end up with a blurred, or over exposed picture. Let’s face it some awesome shots are just about getting lucky and being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
To take consistently good photos and capture that elusive, amazing photo you do need to know the technicalities and basic rules of the equipment that you are using.
When you buy your new digital camera, or smartphone, get familiar with all the settings. Do try and read the instruction manual. If you, like many of us, find that a bit overwhelming, then go on the internet and learn a little bit at a time. There are a lot of good websites that explain the settings clearly and simply.
Change how you see the World
We all perceive the world according to our own world maps. If two people looked at the same scene, their perception of the colours, the landscape and the feeling that it inspires would be totally different. However, we all have a fixed idea of what most things are. For example, if I say ‘dandelion‘ most people will produce a fairly similar image in their heads of this flower.
A great photographer understands the world is not always as we see it and can change the mundane into the extraordinary, often by capturing an aspect of something ordinary that is not seen by others, and showing it. Most people only see what they expect to see, so playing with concepts or capturing a different angle, is a key element to creative photography.
Think about different Positions
To aid you in getting a change of perspective on things, start taking your shot from a totally different view point. Think about getting as low as possible to the ground and shooting your subject upwards. This technique will highlight totally different elements of an object, a person or an animal and can result in some very interesting images.
Likewise, get up really high. Make use of tall buildings or climb a tree and capture your shot from above. You can also use an extended tripod, although the obvious disadvantage is that you cannot see through the view finder what image you are going to capture.
Mess around with perspective. Not only can you place your camera down really low or really high, you can often move around your subject as well. To begin playing with perspective, you need to have a thing or person in the foreground shot and something else further back, a classic example of this creative technique is the classic shot of a person who appears to be holding the sun.
Feeling in Photography
We are all creative on an everyday basis, in that we create our own environments, what we do and how we feel.
To capture real, genuine emotion in photography, you must be able to tap into your own emotions and moods. Use your photography to express your true, authentic self, and this way you will produce much more feeling in your shots.
For example, if you are feeling particularly loved up and light, go out and about with your camera and try to capture scenes and shots that reflect this. Whilst in this mood you will be more attuned to the special glint in a couples eye as they picnic together, more likely to capture a portrait shot that expresses pure delight.
Adversely, if you are angry or hurt, you can use those emotions whilst out snapping. Go for dark, moody shots of winter trees, even go to a place where there are a lot of people and try to capture the facial expressions and body language of somebody in a fierce argument.
Whatever pleases and delights you or angers and irritates you will all be reflected in the world around you – true creativity involves being attuned and present in the moment and capturing and conveying that mood to others.
Don’t shoot what it looks like, shoot what it feels like.
David Alan Harvey