A lot of us get into a creative rut when it comes to winter time or gets into a winter slump! For some, the start of a new year means new goals and new resolutions which also means trying out everything that they possibly can. If you are like me, and always love looking for new and creative ways to push yourself further or merely interested in just trying out a new technique, here are some tips. Without breaking the bank of course!
#1 Experiment with double exposures or even triple exposures
You can find the drop-down menu from the main menu screen. Select multiple exposures and then select the number of exposures you want. Get creative with 2, 3, or 4 exposures.
Try shooting the next few frames in live view to see how your images overlap. You can get that cool multiple exposure effect.
#2 Creative images with slow shutter with intention
The use of a slow shutter speed in landscapes is common. However, try bringing that in with portraits or even your everyday lifestyle photos. There are many unique ways you experiment with slow shutter speeds:
- Have a subject stand still while everything else is moving in the frame. You can do this with self-portraits, outdoor scenes or even with clients. Keep your shutter speed at 1/50th or even 1/80th. If it drops below that, you might get motion blur even if you are as still as possible.
- Use a flowing dress or a scarf to indicate movement by using a slow shutter.
- Slow shutter speed shows the movement in the frame. If you use it intentionally to tell a story within your frame, it’ll be your best friend! Shutter speed is powerful. When we are so used to using it always set high to freeze movement, especially with kids running around, the opposite can have a different effect when used intentionally.
If you are super-brave, try combining double exposures with slow shutter speed.
You have just opened up a whole new way to get out of a creative rut and spend hours ‘playing’ with your gear. Yes, we all know some of us really don’t need that! We can spend hours with our gear anyway!
Remember there is no right or wrong here, and experimentation is always for fun. If you get it right, you know what to do next time, and if you think it didn’t turn out the way you like, well you know what not to do next time!
#3 Try using objects to shoot through
This is one of my favorite techniques when I want to try something new. I don’t know about you, but I crave the creative freedom to experiment – even if they end up being a fail sometimes.
I always find I learn something new when I experiment with techniques, tools and even photography subjects. One of my favorite ways to experiment is by shooting through various objects.
Here are a few options:
- A fabric cloth
- Shooting through glass or a window
- Glass cube or prism
- Bubble wrap
- Twinkle lights
- Plastic colorful flowers
Your creativity is only limited to your imagination.
#4 Free lensing
Why not step out of your comfort zone and experiment with a little free-lensing?
Free-lensing is a technique where you disconnect the lens from the camera and use the viewfinder and manual focus to photograph.
I will caution, that depending on the size and weight of your lens, this is a bit difficult to maneuver. Also, be careful not to drop your lens! I would recommend you try this with a lightweight lens or an older lens that you are not too attached. Free-lensing works best with manual focus.
Free-lensing adds much creativity to photos because:
- It truly helps you let go of the perfection and you begin to appreciate the beauty in simplicity
- If you love dreamy images that tell a story
- It helps you with your storytelling
#5 Creative photography projects
Dedicated photography projects are a great way to force yourself to photograph consistently. Sometimes it is committing to photographing every day for a year.
Alternatively, it could be something like a weekly theme.
Both are great ways to channel your creative energy.
Doing something every day is one of the easiest ways to get good at it. Shooting every day is something every photographer can do to get better and better at their craft.
It doesn’t have to be stressful or take laborious effort. You don’t have to worry about models and outfits. Instead, focus on the techniques – shoot at different times of the day, shoot in different lighting conditions, use still objects or moving subjects likes kids and pets, or practice motion blur. The possibilities are endless.
Think outside the box and do something different every day. Maybe even start an exercise like a 365 project (one photograph every day for a year). Soon enough you will find that you are not only better at the technical parts of photography but the creative aspects as well.
#6 Try a new genre
Trying a new genre helps you reconnect with the basics of photography without the pressures of trying to be perfect at it. Sometimes we get in a creative rut because we are doing the same thing over and over again. If this is you, perhaps try another genre of photography.
I recently took a class on food photography. I am a terrible cook and always thought that food photographers have to be fantastic cooks to not only cook the food but also photograph it.
However, my instructor was super nice and let us in on a secret – store-bought cheesecake is just as good as homemade, and no-one knows the difference. The basics and rules of photography apply to across genres. So go ahead and give yourself permission to experience and experiment with something new to you.
I hope these tips help you add a little bit of fun, creatively and freshness to your photography. Remember, always keep learning and trying something new to keep the fun element front and center of everything that you do.
Do you have other creative tips you’d like to share in the comments below?