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photo by anyaberkut via iStock
Photography ideas are like weekends: few and far between.
Sometimes, you just run out of creative juice. But, when creativity is literally your job, you can’t afford to run out of it.
Whenever I run into a photography rut, I try to make myself as uncomfortable as possible by trying new photography techniques I’ve never tried before.
Here are some of my favorites.
Try Macro Photography
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Macro photography is typically far outside many photographers’ comfort zone.
But, macro photography enables you to see the entire world from a new perspective, albeit a forced perspective.
However, I find forcing myself to look at things in a new light oftentimes translates into me being able to put on my artist’s eye whenever I need it.
photo by ihsanyildizli via iStock
Macro photography also has other benefits, like teaching you more about highlighting interesting elements in a scene rather than the entirety of the scene.
In a field of flowers, focus on a single flower as your subject. Even better, focus on a single petal, the pistil, or the stamen.
When you begin to look at the world for its fine details, you begin to see the incredible possibilities for creating images.
Recommended Photography Reading
Try Long Exposures
Photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini on Unsplash
If you’re a beginner photographer, long exposures might seem like they should be above your ability level. But, trust me...they aren’t.
Long exposure photography is all about using the shutter speed to show indicated movement - the blurring of lights from passing cars, as shown above, the blurred movement of clouds as they streak across the sky, or creating a beautifully blurred photo of a waterfall as the water cascades downward.
In this detailed tutorial, you can learn precisely how to create long exposure images. It includes a review of the gear you need, offers instruction on how to calculate shutter speed, and even gives you some long exposure photography ideas.
It really just boils down to extending the shutter speed, having your camera on a tripod, using a remote to trigger the shutter, and having a filter in front of your lens.
The filter is an essential component of this because without something to block some of the light entering the lens, the image will be way too bright, or overexposed.
I like to use Kenko’s PL Fader because it gives me precise control over how much light enters the lens. That’s because it’s an adjustable filter, all the way up to 9-stops. This means you can greatly extend the shutter speed to blur movement in the scene without overexposing the shot, even on a bright, sunny day.
You can even use the PL Fader to control exposure when shooting video, so once you’re done experimenting with long exposures, you can try your hand at making awesome videos!
Go Shadow Hunting
Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash
I find most of my best photography ideas come from my childhood, and this is one of them. Remember trying to chase your shadow? Or playing with shadows on the walls of your bedroom?
You can harness that creativity and try to only photograph shadows for a day. Photography challenges should always tie back to your photography business, and shadow hunting will teach you about important facets of photography, like light and composition.
Plus, it's an interesting way to photograph people without getting anyone angry.
Pick an Odd Subject
photo by bahadirdurgut via iStock
Again, this is one of those photography ideas from my childhood. I used to love insects, especially ladybugs, as a child. In order to harness the power of childlike wonder, pick something you used to be obsessed with as a child and try to photograph nothing but that subject for the day.
This will be challenging because, most likely, your odd subject won’t be able to pose for you.
Plus, it will prove that not all mainstream photography topics are the best photography topics.
Print Your Photos
Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash
Now that you’ve had so many brilliant photography ideas, you need to get them down on paper… literally. Print your photos!
It’s scientifically proven that seeing your work in a new medium allows you to see parts of it you would’ve never seen before. It’s like when you write a memo, proofread it three times and then immediately catch a grammar mistake the moment you send it to your whole department.
The reason why you caught it too late is because your eyes were trained to miss the error in your Word document. But, the minute you sent the memo out in an email, the font and size changed and you were seeing it in a new light.
photo by Kostyazar via iStock
Photography is just like that. You may see something entirely different when you print your photos on canvas. And, since CanvasHQ makes printing your photos on quality canvas so inexpensive, you have no reason not to.
Aside from excellent prices, CanvasHQ offers the best customer service in the industry. I’ve bought canvases from a variety of websites over the years, and no one has been able to match the service I’ve gotten with CanvasHQ.
It’s a small, family-run business and they treat you like a member of the family. If you have a question, they’re there. If you have a problem, they’ll fix it. Your satisfaction is their number one priority, and it shows in the way they craft their canvases and treat you before, during, and after the sale.
So, give a new kind of photography a try, challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone, and get your photos printed.
I think you’ll find that if you follow this formula, you’ll be able to tap into your creativity better than ever before!