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Many cameras have a double exposure settings where you can blend two images together. Of course, this can also be done in Photoshop, but doing it in-camera will give you unexpected and potentially incredible results. Plus, using the in-camera function to create doubles will give you a better idea of how two images blend together. It's hard to think beforehand about how two images will combine in relation to their highlights, shadows, and framing. But if you experiment with it enough, you'll be able to master the double exposure.
Light painting has really taken off in the last year with people experimenting with everything from flaslights, to glowsticks, to whips of fire. This technique basically lets you “paint” a picture (or pattern) in your photo by setting a long exposure time and waving lights within the view of the lens. This is similar to when you attempt to spell your name with a sparkler. You can see the residual lines where you wave the sparkler. With a camera, you can capture all of this movement. You can also use light painting to do selectively lighting where you take a flashlight and light your subject in a dim or completely dark room. This allows you to control the amount and angle of all the light in the scene.
This is a technique that essentially gives you the effect of a tilt-shift lens without dropping $1K on a lens. To do this, you simply remove the lens from your camera, set the camera to manual mode (auto exposure and focus functions will be disabled, sorry), and move your lens perpendicular or parallel with the sensor. This will alter your plane of focus which can result in some very interesting and unique photos. The problem here is holding your camera and lens at the same time while also trying to focus and set the exposure settings. Many also warn about getting dust and other particles inside your camera.
This technique is free assuming your camera has a built-in intervalometer. You can always buy an external intervalometer if yours doesn't, which only costs $20-30. A timelapse is a series of still images that, when shown in quick succession, creates a video that speeds up a scene. So you could set your camera up at a construction site or at a harbor and let your camera take photos for 5 hours, and then create a short video out of it allowing you to view the 5 hour span in, say, 3 minutes. Timelapses work best in areas where there is a lot of movement and activity.
Unique Bokeh Shapes
Bokeh is the art of using out of focus points of light seen in an image. It can most easily be seen in photos that have a shallow depth-of-field, where background lights appear as small circles of light. The shape of these points are determined by the shape of the aperture which, in most cases, is round. On camera with fewer aperture blades, you may notice a hexagonal or octagonal pattern. However, you can change the shape of these points by creating your own aperture. All you have to do is cut a very small shape out of piece of paper, say, a star or a heart, and tape this piece of paper to your camera's lens hood. If you open your camera's aperture all the way up and take a photo, any out of focus points of light will appear in that shape. This works best with small focused points of light like distant street lamps or Christmas lights.
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Written by Spencer Seastrom