Everyone who has a DSLR or a point-and-shoot or the m4/3 camera wants to know how to get their camera off program mode and onto manual mode. Whilst this is important, as there are some great techniques you can use in manual mode, people forget about the creative side of photography and worry too much about the technical side. If I can recommend one thing it would be to spend 30% of your time learning about the technical side of photography and 70% of your time honing your creative flare. Below are 10 tips to make you more creative.
1 It's not all technical: When it comes to getting creative at photography don’t get too fanatical about the setting on your camera. A well thought-out photo in program mode is going to be much better than a photo that has been shot in manual mode but with less thought given to the overall photo. For me, its more of thinking outside the box.
2 Change perspective - shoot high, shoot low: So many photographers shoot at eye level, but things get really interesting when you change the height of the camera. Crouch down low and shoot up and all of a sudden you enter a whole new world. Also, try shooting at various angles for a different perspective. You may integrate this with the shoot high, shoot low.
3 Don’t have your camera around your neck: I am still amazed by how many photographers shoot with the camera around their neck. This is such a lazy way of taking photos as you are basically telling yourself that all the photos you are going to take are head height to the length of your camera straps. I wrap the strap around my hand and then hold onto my camera, that way I have full range of use with my camera. I can shoot at floor level or up high and I don’t have to be looking through the view finder either. Now you can take some really interesting photos from a new angle. Also it lessens the burden if you wrap the strap of your camera around your hand. Another option is save some for a camera sling like the R-Strap or the Q-Strap.
4 Sit and wait: It might only take a fraction of a second to take a photo but the waiting can take hours or even days. Wildlife photographers spend many an hour waiting for the perfect moment to take the picture. The difference between taking snaps and producing art is not rushing the shot and taking your time to think about each picture before you press the shutter release button. This is where the pros separate from the newbie trigger-happy. Most street photographers wait not only for the right moment but for the right light as well.
5 Limit yourself to only 24 shots: In the olden days you could buy films with 24 exposures on them, now you can take 1000 photos with digital cameras. If you limit yourself to 24 photos per day of photography you will be much more selective with your shots. This technique is great for 2 reasons - firstly it makes you think about every shot and secondly it saves you a lot of time when reviewing your photos as there are less photos to go through. I'm thankful I got to learn more through digital. But the point is avoid being trigger-happy and waste some space on your memory card. As an alternative, don't over do it or set your camera not to do burst shots (taking shots in succession).
6 Don’t rush your shot: Haste makes waste. Everyone is always in such a rush in today's world, but one time when it pays not to rush is when taking photos. By taking your time you are actually thinking about each shot and selecting what it is you want the viewer to look at. You spend more time looking at the angles, the light and the contrast in colours, which will ultimately improve the overall shot. Again, its all about getting it at the perfect moment. ^_^
7 Framing your shot: When you are out and about look out for interesting objects. Is there a sculpture or a window frame that you could use to shoot through to change the point of view and create a natural frame around your picture? By having an open mind and having a keen eye you can add a new twist to your photos. This is a good exercise to add to your skill and eventually to your portfolio.
8 Using reflections: Reflections are great as they add new interest to your images and help create depth and detail in your photos. Keep an eye out for reflection in puddles, windows, buildings, sculptures or indeed any shiny surface. This is a good example of #8 XD
See what I mean? XD
9 You tell the story: Being the photographer you are telling a story to your audience and you must communicate what is important in each photo. Where do you want your viewer to look? Is it in the centre, left or the right of the photo? Is the most important thing in the photo in the foreground or the background? What is it about the shot that you found interesting? You must tell your audience otherwise they will not make an emotional connection with your photo. Very well said. Create the shot, not a snapshot.
10 Think: Thinking is the most important thing of all when it comes to being a photographer. A great photographer is always thinking about the shot and what it is about the shot that makes it interesting. By thinking, the photo becomes much more than just a click of the button. Everyone can take a photo, but very few can take a great shot. Spending time thinking before pressing the button will develop your creative side, which will in turn show in your photos.
After reading and absorbing some of these tips, please close this page. Then turn off your PC and get your camera. Its now time to take pictures.