21 Great Shots [And How They Were Taken]

21 Great Shots [And How They Were Taken]


In our photography forums we’ve got a creative group of photographers – many who set themselves all kinds of photographic projects and then share how they took the shots.

Here’s 21 from our ‘How I took It‘ section. Click pictures to read the story and techniques used behind the shots.

1. Light Sugar Cube


2. Dart Shot


3. Know When to Fold’em


4. How I Shoot the Moon


5. Bubble World


6. Digital Unmasking | Ripping one’s face


7. Bottles on Fire


8. Light + Clothes dryer


9. Partial Solar Eclipse on Feb 7 in New Zealand


10. Parabolas


11. Balls


12. Long Exposure While Driving


13. Light Painting “Love”


14. Master Chief’s Bad Day


15. Splash of Color


16. Make Your Own Cadillac Commercial


17. Chuck Norris Eyedrops


18. Shaped Bokeh!


19. Smoke Photography


20. Create Flames Using Light


21. Skateboard Motion


Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • adidas schoenen April 11, 2012 01:13 am

    Great shots really good background

  • Adam Webb August 5, 2011 06:49 am

    Great shots, lots of time and effort is truly worth it!

  • Don Brown July 21, 2011 03:46 am

    Great pics, I'm still learning and this is a great site to help me. Thanks

  • Russell December 4, 2010 01:30 pm

    Some really awesome photos and pics.

  • Allan Rye November 24, 2010 08:00 pm

    Really cool shots and it's great to get some insight about the process.
    I will try more of them when I get the time to do it.

    Cheers Allan Rye

  • Rosalie November 5, 2010 03:03 am

    These are really great photos and I enjoyed looking at them. The title led me to believe that it was the photo set up that made them great, rather than the post processing.

  • Adrian Hill October 8, 2010 08:42 pm

    All the shots give any & everyone food for thought, we are all trying to acheive "that shot" like no other, the one that "you can hang your hat on". Take a look at your photo's, is there one thing that stands out that you could say was your signature? Some poeple like landscapes, some like portraits and the list goes on. I personnally like to try everything, if it does not work I try again. We are all different and looking at other's work inspires me to improve, I'm only in it for the "thrill" of acheivment, I'm not in the position to make it my livlihood.

    Well done to all concerned, we can all learn from this in a small way.

  • best interest rates on savings September 8, 2010 08:27 am

    the " bubble world' shot is pure class, what a shot

  • Martin Soler HDR Photos August 28, 2010 04:30 pm

    This is totally inspiring. Now I have some ideas of what to do on the boring rainy weekends when we I just want to shoot at home.

  • Mark August 5, 2010 10:07 pm

    Great pictures. I think I am in love with these pictures.

  • Barbara July 3, 2010 02:14 am

    I like the beauty of the splash of colour, the fun of the Chuck Norris Eyedrops and the look of Light Painting “Love”.
    Thanks for sharing these quite good shots.

  • Sasi June 17, 2010 05:18 pm

    I do not think all pictures are not great..some great..but most are magic..

  • Beautiful Horizon Photography February 24, 2010 02:28 am

    Great photos! I will definitely have to try it!!!

  • Geoff February 24, 2010 01:32 am

    All the photo's/pictures entail a lot of skill, some with software, Photoshop for example, and do not deserve unfair comments. They are simply using a digital camera in a different way to 'normal'. I say keep up the good work and forget the sceptics.

  • O'fallon IL Photographer January 30, 2010 02:28 am

    These are some great images! I've tried the whole light painting thing, and I'm not very good at it yet. The dart image and the skateboard image get my vote for creativity.

  • Vikram Paul Pinto January 28, 2010 03:53 pm

    This is amazing collections

  • aadon_2000 November 29, 2009 03:18 pm

    thanks to Digital photography school and the photographer.
    all the picture was simply awesome and thanks to give such a advice and tips ..

  • jimmcd November 18, 2009 12:52 am

    Great shots.... The more I search this forum the more inspired I get !!

  • Nelson Bigles October 30, 2009 01:48 pm

    My favorite would be hard to say but the one that I would like to see how it was done would b e #5 and all the long exposure. I see how the Cadillac was shot but the others with no motion blur... very impress.

  • umer babry October 21, 2009 08:38 pm

    this is indeed a very informative article. keep this series on.

  • prem kumar October 20, 2009 06:14 pm

    Very amazing photo shots! especially love the Splash of Colot.. awesome!!

  • Juan Jimenez October 16, 2009 06:46 am

    Simply amazing and thanks a lot for the tips...

  • Nyi Nyi Myanmar October 7, 2009 02:08 am

    This is a nice post. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • Jason Grubb October 4, 2009 07:10 am

    Great thoughts... thanks for sharing. Love deconstructing images to determine how they were made.

  • christina October 3, 2009 04:46 am

    very useful information! Thank you!

  • maverick September 30, 2009 02:30 pm

    wow.. very amazing photo shots! especially love the Splash of Colot.. awesome!!

  • Mark September 28, 2009 02:37 am

    Awesome, Darren. Thanks!

  • Obi September 27, 2009 07:49 am

    wonderful stuff, great inspiration

  • PEG September 25, 2009 12:31 am

    This is a great resource. I think one of the best ways for photographers to learn new techniques and how to use photographic tools is:

    1. Seeing - great images that they can take inspiration from
    2. Reading/Studying - the techniques to understand how they were created
    3. Doing - this is about putting knowledge into practice

    This post has provided the first two and the third is up to the initiative of the photographer, if you don't get out and practice, you are limiting yourself and what you are capable of!

    To read more, visit this blog

    PEG Photo Expert Guy - photoexpert.typepad.com

    Its new and in development, but have loads of free content lined up on photography techniques, tools, and training.

    You can download a free guide called ' 3 Ways to improve your photography'

    PEG Photo Expert Guy - photoexpert.typepad.com

    All the best

  • lechroy September 24, 2009 09:54 am

    Really wonderful work
    You've created a fun and instructional resource for any photographer from level A to Z.
    Kudos and thanks

    wonderful work!

  • CampC September 23, 2009 12:20 pm

    Great shots and ideas for some long Winter day fun. Thanks everyone.

  • Madhav September 18, 2009 01:57 am

    It might be in Tv mode

  • e11world September 15, 2009 06:38 am

    These are some really amazing works. My favorites are face ripping, the moon, light sugar cube, splash of color and parabolas. I will definitely try these in the next 2 months and if I get some good results, I'll upload to my flickr page which has some light and HDR photography as wellhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/80789985@N00/with/3209260450/

  • Versaille September 12, 2009 11:01 pm

    omg these are fabulous shots! The tutorials are very useful too, gonna try some of them soon :D

  • Francis September 12, 2009 07:40 am

    great work! should keep me busy for a while trying thses out !

  • Gordon Mould September 11, 2009 09:48 pm

    Wow pretty shocked to see my little shot up there (#11 Balls). Would have come up with a better title if I had known ;)

    It's always great to get some recognition for something that was done using orange balls and a dinner plate :D


  • Wilma September 11, 2009 09:08 pm

    i love every article here.. very inspiring...

  • Scott Rohe September 11, 2009 06:18 pm

    Great shots. Very inspiring!

  • Paul Rickard September 11, 2009 06:06 pm

    This is the best DPS article I've ever read. So useful to know how photos like these are achieved and massively inspirational.

  • littletiger September 11, 2009 10:54 am

    Its amazing what you can do with a camera huh. Great examples. I learned how to do the basic photoshopping off youtube. Maybe you can try it! (in response to angie)

  • Rajev Charudutta September 11, 2009 04:42 am

    Thanks Darren, awsome pics. Gives me new ideas and inspires me.

  • hfng September 11, 2009 04:32 am

    This is fantastic!! Great work!!

  • Angie September 11, 2009 02:47 am

    My apologies to "rolling stone" and anyone else I offended by my comment. These are really great photos and I enjoyed looking at them. The title led me to believe that it was the photo set up that made them great, rather than the post processing. I don't have the time or the skill to do that kind of post processing yet, so I was hoping for tips on how to "take" a great picture rather than how to "make" a great picture.

    However- these photos turned out amazing and my comment wasn't a complaint. Just a statement of fact that I should have kept to myself. Rolling Stone- you are right. It's not all about what I want. I apologise and will be much more careful with my comments in the future.

  • Make Note September 11, 2009 12:54 am

    Cool images. Thanks!

  • Daria's Arts Boutique September 11, 2009 12:34 am

    I very much enjoy photography, especially masterpieces like the ones above and would like to congratulate all the authors/photographers for their creativity and use of imagination. Terrific job and great post, thank you!! :)

  • Jer September 10, 2009 11:09 pm

    Wow, I was wondering why my traffic had jumped up so high. Thanks for posting my shots, and great work from all the other members. Some really inspirational stuff here.

  • oliverignacio September 10, 2009 07:41 pm

    These photos are amazing.. thanks for sharing!

  • David September 10, 2009 04:03 pm

    A brilliant post, I went straight home to attempt two of the photos listed. Sadly the results are not as good but hey it was a first attempt. http://www.flixelpix.com/macro/colours/

    if anyone had any information on the IR trigger mentioned I would be keen to give one a try. I also attempted the painting with light and used filters, and the outcome was great. 2 down 19 to go :)

  • priyesh das September 10, 2009 03:23 pm

    Wow. amazing photos! Thanks Darren for sharing.

  • james erols September 10, 2009 02:47 pm

    that is truly breath taking indeeed!


  • Rolling Stone September 10, 2009 01:24 pm

    I like to see ALL images! Be they artistic, sooc or manipulated. People need to chill. This is a learning site. It's not all about what YOU want.
    Amazing work from our DPS members.
    Thank you Darren for sharing. May more learn and create.

  • Tom - StandOutBlogger.com September 10, 2009 10:25 am

    Wow! These photos are amazing! I am only just testing the marco feature of my camera so these types of shots are way out of my league at the moment!

  • Photos September 10, 2009 07:06 am


  • Eric Nelson September 10, 2009 05:49 am

    These are great, thanks for sharing!

  • Steve Windwood September 10, 2009 02:43 am

    While all great "shots", the majority of them rely heavily upon post processing.

    Perhaps a better title would be "Great shots [and how they were digitally manipulated]", instead of [how they were taken].

  • Angie September 10, 2009 02:25 am

    These are great photos, and really inspiring, although what I'd really like to see are great photos that don't require a large amount of post processing.

  • Naser September 10, 2009 02:01 am

    Not as great as the 21 described above, but here's a tutorial I wrote on setting up your own rig to shoot "Bokeh-Motives"..thats toy-trains with beautiful,jittery light trails in the background: http://snapomatic.blogspot.com/2009/09/engineers-guide-to-making-of-bokeh.html

  • MeiTeng September 9, 2009 11:58 pm

    Amazing photos. I like the humour behind Chuck Norris' eyedrop!

  • Tyler Garns September 9, 2009 11:37 pm

    Very cool Darren. Great uses of light in different situations. Thanks for sharing.

  • robb September 9, 2009 11:33 pm

    great list.
    i liked shaped bokeh the best.

  • Ilan September 9, 2009 10:47 pm

    A bit strange to notice that most of the photos are more on a 'technical' side of photography. Good ("Great?") exposure , long exposures and/or heavy editing. ... etc.
    Even though such photos do look great and awesome , once you learn to control the technical side of photography, these are pretty easy to achieve.
    But what about some Street photos? Capturing good/great shots in an uncontrolled environment?
    For example - http://www.ilanbresler.com/2009/06/flower.html - And I don't mean to say that the photo is great/awesome, but I do think that such situations are harder to see and capture than some of the photos shown above.
    Maybe the question should be what is "Great"? Is the photo being very aesthetics is enough?

  • Corey Freeman @ Writer Seven September 9, 2009 08:19 pm

    Wow! These are really, really fantastic. I personally really love motion shots. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Most Interesting Ideas September 9, 2009 08:13 pm

    Amazing photos

  • preecha September 9, 2009 08:10 pm

    Wowww. Amazing shots. Those who created these pictures got talent on them.