Have you ever found yourself thinking there’s nothing interesting around you to photograph? It’s a common complaint, but the best way to hone your skills is to learn to find the beauty in even the most mundane surroundings. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and a change in perspective!
Whether it’s a rainy day or you’re stuck in a creative rut, here a few ideas to help spark some inspiration for your next photo!
1. Play with water
Photographing water is a great place to start building your photographic skills for two reasons: the creative possibilities are endless, and you can start right at home with tools you already have!
- Photograph drops of water in mid-air.
- Capture raindrops against a window.
- Drop objects into water to make a splash.
- Add drops of food colouring into a glass of water and capture the movement of colours.
2. Get creative with smoke
You’ve probably seen countless images of smoke against a black background, creating mesmerizing shapes and patterns. This technique is actually not as hard as it seems! Take a look at this step-by-step tutorial from New York Film Academy to learn how to do it yourself!
3. Experiment with bokeh
Bokeh is an optical effect where highlights in the background of a photo are out of focus, creating blurred shapes, usually circles. The shape of the bokeh depends on your camera’s aperture. However, you can create custom bokeh shapes by purchasing or creating bokeh filters for your lens. Take a look at this easy DIY Bokeh Aperture filter tutorial!
You can easily get the bokeh effect in your photos at home by adding Christmas lights, fairy lights, or even candles, behind your subject. Just make sure there’s enough space between the lights and your subject, depending on the aperture of your lens. You’ll want to use a lens with an aperture of at least f/2.8, with faster apertures of f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4 being ideal.
4. Get up close and personal
There’s no such thing as too close in my opinion! Get as close to your subject as your lens will allow you to, and experiment with different angles and perspectives. Sometimes even the most boring objects, such as kitchen utensils or a piece of fruit, will look so much more interesting when you show off the textures or patterns that are present.
5. Draw with light
Light trails are probably the most fun to photograph because you never know what the end result is going to look like. To create a light trail, all you need is a tripod, a camera with long exposure ability, a dark space, and a source of light.
6. Take a self-portrait
Rather than taking another ‘selfie,’ step up your game with a creative self-portrait! All you need is a tripod and a camera with either a self-timer option or a remote shutter. I usually set up the scene with a stuffed animal in my place, and take a few test shots to get the lighting and exposure exactly how I want it to be. Then I use a remote shutter to take the photo while I take the place of the stuffed animal. If you don’t have a remote shutter, you can set your camera to a 10-second timer. Take a look at these creative self-portraits to help get you inspired!
7. Chase the shadows
As photographers, we’re often chasing light and looking for the perfect lighting for our photograph. After all, photography is all about creating art with light. But an overlooked aspect of photography is shadows. Shadows can elevate your photos in incredible ways if used wisely! Take a look at this article from Light Stalking on how to get amazing images from shadows, including some creative examples.
Have an idea you’d like to add to the list? Share them in the comments below! 🙂