CreativeYour key to success is thinking. iPhone photos noticed. But if you think you’re not very creative or you’ve run out of inspiration, don’t give up! In this tutorial, I’m going to share my best tips for boosting your creativity and developing your photographic eye. These easy, yet powerful techniques can help you create unique images that will catch the eye. iPhone photos that you’ll be proud to share with the world.
1. Experiment With Perspective & Angles
There are so many ways to photograph an object, and capturing it from an interesting angle or perspective will make your photos more unique.
Rather than always taking the shot from standing height, why not try capturing your subject from high up or low down? How about moving closer to your subject or moving farther away? Or taking just a few steps towards one side.
Shooting from a low angle is a great option if you want the object look big, mighty and powerful. It can also allow you to capture more foreground detail which is perfect for creating depth in landscape photos and for shooting puddle reflections.
If you need to remove distracting backgrounds, a low angle can be a great choice. While the lift you see in the above photo is located in central London, it was shot from a low angle to allow me to show only the sky.
Shooting from a high vantage point has a completely different effect, making the subject appear small compared to its surroundings.
And when you shoot from a high angle, the ground becomes the backdrop for your photo which works really well for creative portraits like the one below.
As well as experimenting with the height that you shoot from, you can also get creative with your shooting direction. Instead of photographing your subject always from the front, it is possible to create interesting images by shooting them from behind.
This works especially well when you are photographing people. Hiding the person’s face from the viewer creates an air of mystery and suspense.
It can make the viewer intrigued about who that subject is and why they’re not looking at the camera. Photography can be made more interesting by using mystery.
Whatever subject you’re photographing, always explore different shooting angles, perspectives and viewpoints. It’s amazing what a difference it can make to the creative impact of your photo.
2. Try Scales
It is an excellent way to demonstrate the scale of your subject. ToTo give viewers an idea about the size of your subject, include another subject that is known to be the same size.
As an example, the person I chose to photograph next to the tree in the above photo was me. This emphasizes just how huge the tree is. It would be hard to determine its actual size without the human in the scene.
For creative effects, scale can be altered. By using a technique called “forced perspective” you can create the impression that certain objects are bigger or smaller than they actually are.
It’s a great technique that you can try and it will allow you to create some truly creative effects. ToTo create this effect simply place your iPhone close to a small object in the foreground, such as the globe in the photo above.
Then position a larger object such as a person behind it. You will need to position the person far enough from the object so they don’t appear small in comparison to it.
This optical illusion of scale will add a fun and creative edge to your photography, and it’s so easy to set up. This illusion of scale is worth a try!
3. You can create a shallow field depth
Depth refers to the extent to which an image’s focus is from one side to another. An image with a large depth of focus means everything is in focus. The shallow depth of field means that only part of an image is in focus.
It is useful to place the focal point on an object or subject in the scene with a low depth of focus. The viewer’s eye will naturally be drawn to the sharpest part of the image.
On a DSLR camera you adjust the aperture setting to control depth of field, but you don’t have this control on an iPhone.
Do you want to know how to blur background in photos on your iPhone? It’s actually very simple. You just need an object nearby the subject. iPhone’s camera lens, then tap the screen to set focus on that area of the scene.
Focusing on a close-up subject will automatically blur the background to create a shallow depth of field. If the background doesn’t appear blurred, just get a bit closer to your foreground subject.
Alternatively, you can use the Portrait mode feature of your iPhone camera!
A shallow depth of field also works well if you want to create a sense of mystery in your image. The image may become even more interesting if you blur out the person in the background. This will make it seem like the viewer is imagining who the figure might be.
It’s great to have fun with depth of field and it can produce amazing results. Be sure to keep your focus in the exact area you desire.
4. Create Abstracts
The abstract form is a great way to create some of the best photography. Abstract images can be created by photographing fundamental elements such as textures, patterns, lines, shapes, colors and light play.
Abstract photos tend to capture only the essence of the subject rather than the whole thing. If you see a subject that could make an abstract photo, move closer to it and add texture or pattern.
By capturing only a small part of the subject without any of its surroundings, you’re taking the object out of its context. You can take an ordinary subject and make it unique or new by this method.
While getting close to your subject is a great way of capturing intricate textures and detail, not all abstracts have to be shot from close up.
Even if photographed far away, a field of crops or waves in an ocean can make wonderful abstracts.
Close-up abstracts are subject to the same guidelines. You should still fill the entire frame with the abstract element that you’re attempting to photograph.
It is much easier to create abstract photography than you may think. You can create abstracts with so many different objects.
You just need to start looking at everything a little differently and train your eye to notice the patterns, textures, shapes, colors, etc. around you.
5. Include A Person In The Scene
One of my favorite ways to make an ordinary scene more interesting is to add a person into the composition. Although it is simple to do, this can have a significant impact on the quality of a photo.
Including a person in the scene is a great way of adding a strong focal point. It is particularly useful for landscape photography, where there are large areas of undefined space.
Having a person in the scene gives the viewer something to focus on – a place for their eye to rest. This is really important in photography as a photo without a focal point isn’t very interesting to look at.
People also add a wonderful storytelling element to your photos. People bring life to the photos, making it more real and creating an emotional connection with the subject.
The viewer will try to identify with the person in the photo, creating a story in their mind about what’s going on. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful this technique is!
If you want to capture people in your photos, you might be lucky enough to get some great shots of strangers, especially in street photography.
But if you’re shooting out in the countryside you’re unlikely to find many people, so ask a friend to join you to act as your model.
Photographing someone you know gives you more control over where you place your subject in order to tell the story that you envisioned.
Even asking them to bring in props or clothing that adds visual interest to your image, is a good idea.
If you’re out shooting on your own, don’t worry. You don’t have to be the subject.
All you need is a small iPhone tripod. Then use the self-timer in the camera app or a remote shutter to give yourself time to position yourself in the frame before you take the shot.
6. Create Silhouettes & Shadows
You can create interesting and unique images by using shadows or silences. The darkness will add a wonderful sense of mystery and drama to your photos.
Capturing them is all down to knowing how to make the most of the available light. To create a silhouette, start by positioning your subject in front of a light source.
If you’re shooting outdoors, this could be the sun or a bright sky. And if you’re shooting indoors, just place your subject in front of a window or an artificial light source such as a lamp.
Once you’ve composed your shot, tap on the screen to set focus where you want it, then reduce the exposure by swiping down on the screen. You want to darken your image so that the subject is visible against a bright background.
To capture dramatic shadows, you’ll need to shoot in harsh light. A bright sunny day will create the strongest shadows.
If you want to capture really long shadows you’ll need to shoot when the sun is low in the sky, so the golden hours of sunrise and sunset are the perfect times for this.
For a more mysterious portrait, you can ask your subject for a large hooded or hat. Position them in a way that creates shadows over their faces.
Shadows can also be made indoors with artificial lighting or windows.
Keep your eyes peeled for interesting shadows throughout the day. They’ll change in appearance as the sun moves through the sky, so each new hour will present a different shadow opportunity!
7. Make sure to use Props
I love to use props in my photography. You can add fun to your photographs and use them in so many creative ways.
I love umbrellas. They can add color to your photos and create a focal point for your composition.
The little red chair is another prop I enjoy using. It’s perfect for spicing up an ordinary landscape shot, and it contrasts especially well with a green background.
Props are also useful for portrait photography. You could ask your subject to wear a hat, hold a flower, or hold up an empty picture frame around their face.
I love the way this yellow hat matches the color of my subject’s clothing, as well adding an air of mystery by hiding her face.
If you take a few minutes to look around your home, you’re sure to find a whole range of props that you could use to enhance your next photo shoot.
8. Photograph Your Subject In Different Ways
When you find something you want to photograph, challenge yourself to find at least three different ways to photograph it. It will help you improve your artistic eye as well as your photographic skills.
Don’t be satisfied with just one decent shot. You should explore other creative possibilities so you can take several photos of the exact subject.
Below is photo of a mosquito net out in a garden. The beautiful setting sun caught its light and it immediately grabbed my attention.
The net was swaying gently in the wind, creating a dreamy scene where it looked like it was dancing across the garden. That was the first thing that I wanted to capture, and so I took the photo shown above.
The shot was great and I started walking away. Then I realized that this net might offer me some additional photo opportunities.
The net’s texture was captivating so I came closer. I was struck by the sun’s rays, which created striking shadows and lines.
It was a very abstract pattern, but it fascinated me so I started to shoot. To add spice, I tried my best to get a good shot.
Even though I’d already taken several great shots, I still wanted to experiment with the net some more. My daughter was also invited to join me in exploring the net. Adding a human presence created a completely different photo again.
These examples show how I captured one subject in several ways to create three very different photos. Using this technique on any subject that you’re shooting will train you to think in a more creative way.
9. Look For The Common Elements
Another very effective approach is to look for the same thing in different environments. What I mean by this is that no matter where you’re shooting, you could look out for common elements such as leading lines, symmetry or colors.
If you enjoy composing your urban shots using strong leading lines and symmetry, try to look for the same things in nature.
For instance, you can create very similar symmetrical compositions in a subway station, on a street, and with a row of trees along a country path.
Another option is to look for similarities in the same shot angle. This is illustrated by the two images below.
The lush canopy, if you stand directly over you and are standing under a tree can look the same as an aesthetically pleasing ceiling at a mall. Both images have strong yellow elements that emphasize their similarity.
As well as training your eye to spot common compositional elements in different kinds of scene, this technique also encourages you to come up with ideas even when you’re not out shooting.
Creative thinking for me is as important as the actual execution of the shot. Many of my shots are the result of spending time thinking about what I want to capture.
This thinking process can lead from one thing to another, based on common elements of different types of scene.
So once you start thinking about that tree you want to photograph from a certain angle, that can lead to other ideas for shooting different subjects in a similar way.
10. Revisit Places You’ve Already Photographed
A good way to develop your creativity is to revisit places that you’ve already photographed and challenge yourself to take a completely different picture than you did the last time.
Choose any place or object that you’ve photographed before, such as a building, tree, lake, spiral staircase, etc. Then go back and attempt to create some different shots.
You might be able to visit the photo at a different season, with different lighting, and in different conditions. It can make the photograph feel more relaxed.
Take different perspectives and shoot from various distances. You can add people or props to your scene to make it more interesting. Sometimes it’s enough to just add a hand or a foot into the frame to get a brand new version of an old shot!
Boosting your creativity is all about pre-visualization, practice and experimentation. By thinking about what you’d like to create before you actually pick up your iPhone, you’re taking the first step toward a more creative approach to photography.
And the more photos you take using different techniques and in different environments, the more interesting and unique images you’ll begin to create.
This article is a good starting point to develop your photographic eye. And once you’ve mastered them you’ll be equipped to keep on growing as a photographer.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process! If something doesn’t work out, evaluate what went wrong and think about how you could improve the photo next time around.
Photography is incredibly rewarding because you can learn new things every time you take photos. Your creative development is ongoing, so you can only get better!