21 Photography Tips and Tricks For You To Get Creative Today

Two things are essential for photographers who create images that have the WOW factor. First, they are skilled at using their camera in creative ways. They also know how to process their images.

I know what you’re thinking:

You want to be creative with your camera, not just pointing. andPress the shutter release button

Today I’m going to share these 21Incredible photography tips andYou can take these tricks along. You only need your camera, some require a tripod andIt takes 10 minutes to perform one of these methods.

Let’s check it out!

**Download the PDF version to read later**

1. Get Freelensing ToYou can create a tilt-shift effect

Tilt-shifting is a method that uses a special lens to achieve selective focus and simulate a small scene. A tilt-shift lens is often expensive, but you can create the effect with your non-tilt-shift lens in an unconventional way.

By holding your detached lens directly in front of the camera, you can perform freelensing andTo create selective focus, tilt it at various angles. It works in the same way as tilt-shift lenses, but the mount is not required.

photography tips and tricks freelensing
Freelensing with selective focus (my cat Frankie).

To begin with, you need a lens that has a focal length of 50mm or more, anything less than that creates fuzzy images that may not be usable.

Aperture priority mode allows you to select the largest aperture possible. If your lens does not have a manual aperture rings (often only for older lenses), any other aperture won’t work. YouYou should also change your focus to manual. and turn the focusing ring to infinity (with the ∞ sign).

Now, detach your lens while the camera is still switched on (don’t cringe!). Hold your lens andYou can tilt the device to one side and keep it in contact with your camera.

Look in the viewfinder or the LCD screen, you’ll see part of the image is in focus andPart isn’t. Turn the lens in a different direction andAngle to alter the focus plane

ForIf you tilt the lens toward the right, for example, the left-side of the lens mount will be lifted from the camera body. The right side stays in contact.

You’ll soon find that the side of the image in focus is the side where the lens is lifted off the mount. You will notice a shift in the focus plane towards the middle of the image, with an increased angle of tilt.

You may get many blurry images at first, but I promise you’ll eventually get the image you want with A LOT of practice!

2. Make Star Trails with Time Stack

photography tips and tricks star trails
Star trails around the North Pole (Polaris).

It sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Star trails images often have the power to mesmerize because of its phenomenal visual effect.

ToSurprise! You can also create this effect using your camera.

Normaly, this tutorial is quite long. But I’m going to give you a super duper crash course here.

You need to be in the correct place at the appropriate time and use the best camera settings. I’ll explain.

Place: YouA location that is free from light pollution or minimally so It means far from big cities. andHighways major. These places can be found easily on the Internet. Begin with International Dark-Sky Association.

Time: Moonlight andThe weather can impact how far you are able to see the stars. Stars appear dimmer when there is moonlight. You should aim to see no moon (a.k.a. New moon YouYou can also plan using this moon phases calendar. It is easy to understand weather. Clear skies are better than clouds that obscure stars.

Camera settings: Use a fast lens. Widest aperture should be at least f/2.8. However, I’ve come across images with f/3.5 or even f/4. Manual mode: Set your ISO from 800 to 1600. Experiment until you get the best results. The 600 rule can be used to estimate your shutter speed. It can be difficult to focus in darkness. YouIf there’s enough foreground you can focus manually on the brightest star or on the object to the left, or utilize the hyperfocal Distance.

The 600 rule This is to give you an estimation of what your maximum shutter speed should be before star streaks appear. Simply divide 600 by the focal length. ForFor example, the maximum shutter speed for 18mm focal length cameras is 600/18. If you are using a cropped sensor, this formula will work for full-frame cameras.

Tips: Use a tripod (must) andA remote release is optional. Locate the North Pole (for Northern Hemisphere) or the South Pole (for Southern Hemisphere) if you want the stars to circle around a center point. ToUse mirror lockup to avoid blurry images. To get beautiful, long star trails, you should take at least 50 photos. You can make your trails longer if you have more photos. YouIt is possible to get intervalometer to trigger the shutter release for you. You can also apply the same method to cloud during daylight. andYou will be amazed by the results Many thanks! Matt Molloy’s tutorial on 500px ISO.

time stack photography tips and tricks
The same method can be used to produce a completely different effect on the clouds

Post-processing: I use Lightroom and Photoshop, so I’m going to explain post-processing with these. Select all images in Lightroom and right-click and choose Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop. Once in Photoshop, go to Edit > Auto-Align Layers to fix any minor inconsistency. You will now make all layers except the first visible. Change the blend more of the second layer to lighten (you’ll see the trails starting to build up). The third layer should be visible. andChange the blend mode from darken to lighten. This process should be repeated for all layers and fix any light trails from airplane or shooting star as you go along (unless you want to include them). This can be tedious, but you can automate the process with a plugin like this. Have fun.

3. Make sure to expose your eyes for a long time For Light Trails, Smoothen Water, Create Light Painting andGhosting Effect

photography tips and tricks long exposure
A 16-stop ND filter for long exposure

These are only a few of the many benefits that long exposure can bring. YouThis technique can be used to get rid of people while shooting in tourist areas. You only have your imagination to limit the possibilities!

YouA tripod is essential to stabilise your camera. Any long exposure without one can cause motion blur. What shutter speed should I use? The amount of available light will determine the shutter speed. andWhat effect do you desire?

If you want to take an image of traffic light trails, simply compose andIn aperture priority mode, shoot as you would normally. The shutter speed will not be as fast because of the low light. YouYou can increase the aperture for a slower shutter speed.

ghosting effect
30 second exposure. I was out of the frame in 10 seconds. 

A neutral density (ND) filter is required to achieve a slower shutter speed, such as 1 minute. A neutral density (ND), filter is required to get a slower shutter speed, such as 1 minute. It’s basically a transparent, dark glass that limits the amount of light passing through it. It can be placed in front of the lens and positioned in a filter holder. This will reduce shutter speed. This can be used to create light paintings, smoothen water flow or for other purposes such as creating light painting. ghosting effect.

4. Hand-Bracketing Exposure In Extreme Dynamic Range

We all understand what automatic exposure bracketing is (AEB). It is why we have to manually do it.

AEB may not be able to capture the entire dynamic range of some scenes due to extreme contrasts. Manual bracketing is the solution!

How to manually bracket expose

Check the histogram to see which brightest has been bracketed once you’ve done that. andThe darkest image is the best. The graph should touch the far right of the brightest image. If it touches the far left, you need to manually re-bracket the exposures.

highlight and shadow clipping

Start by taking a normal shot in aperture priority mode. Take a note about the ISO and aperture. andSpeed of shutter. Set your camera in manual mode andSet the settings and keep your lens in autofocus. Increase the shutter speed to half-speed or one stop. one stop up from 1/250 second is 1/500 second – just double it) andTake another look. Take a look at the

Step up your shutter speed to half the or one-stop (e.g. one stop up from 1/250 second is 1/500 second – just double it) andTake another picture. Recheck the histogram. the graph of the histogram doesn’t touch the vertical line on the right).

Next, adjust the shutter speed to restore the original value andContinue to step down, but in the reverse order until the shadow clipping is gone from the histogram. 1/125 second, one stop below 1/250 is 1.125 seconds You have successfully shot in manual mode with your camera!

You have now shot in manual mode, congratulations!

5. Horizontal panning For Panorama

long axis

There are times when your camera just couldn’t fit the entire composition you want into an image.

Don’t be discouraged, create a panorama that will fit everyone in  To shoot for a panorama, you need to use a technique called horizontal panning.

Stand still (don’t ever move while panning!) andYou can hold the camera in one hand, supporting it with your other and pressing the shutter release.

As the long axis of your body, turn your waist towards the right or the left. andMake a photo. You would find this scene in the middle of your panorama.

Then, turn slightly to the right. and take another image so that the second image overlaps the first image by at least ⅓. Repeat this step until you have captured the whole scene.

Panoramic images

ToStay focused andConsistent exposure in all photos, consistent focus in AF andShoot in aperture priority mode. Pay attention to the shutter speed and aperture and ISO. Go to Manual Mode. andYou can adjust the settings.

To keep your AF settings, change to manual focus.

ForThe grand finale is to stitch all the images together in Photoshop for an amazing panorama.

6. Vertorama: Create The World View With Vertorama

photography tips and tricks vertorama
Flickr: A vertorama of Michiel Buijse

Vertorama = vertical + panorama. What do you think?

YouYou can make stunning images using an amazing perspective. It’s a bit like using fisheye lenses.

Instead of panning horizontally, now you can pan vertically using the Horizon as an axis. Vertorama can be used indoors. andFloors that have intricate details andCeiling, e.g. in a church!

ToStart by tilting your camera so it points at the ground. This will allow you to capture the objects in the foreground. Then, tilt it a bit higher making sure there is at least ⅓ overlapping with the last image. Keep doing this until you include the ceiling.

Focus on the important things andExposure in accordance with the above-mentioned panorama technique. In post-processing, stitch the images together (e.g. Photoshop) to create mind-blowing vertorama!

7. Please be CreativeWith Intentional Cam Movement (ICM).

photography tips and tricks icm
Image credit: Ulrich Kersting on Flickr

PhotographyIt is an art form. We photographers should love motion blur just as much as sharpness.

ICM is a technique that allows you to blur the image with motion blur. This can be done by moving your shutter while it’s open.

This sounds bizarre, but it is true.

Sometimes the results are unpredictable but often artistic. ToMake an image using ICM and move your camera to trigger the trigger.

YouYou can make it go up and down, left andTurn it clockwise from the right and anti-clockwise. You don’t need a guide!

You can try this: Look for a scene that contains many structures and objects vertically (e.g. Take an image as you would normally, except that this time, press the shutter release while moving your camera up. You can also press the shutter button while you move your camera upwards. andKeep it down often.

It looks cool! Try moving the car at a slower speed.

8. Go Time Warp With A Zoom Lens

Star Trek was a spacecraft that traveled at warp speed. Have you ever noticed the light trails in Star Trek that indicated it was travelling at ultra fast speed?

YouYour camera can produce a similar effect and you don’t need any special equipment. This is possible with a zoom lens.

This technique consists of three steps:

Locate a moving subject. Then, move towards the front or rear of your subject. The subject may be moving towards or away from you.

Last but not least, don’t forget to keep the camera still andTake a photo while zooming in and out using your lens.

Two rings are usually found on zoom lenses. One is for focus. andOne is used for zooming. It is important to know the difference between them.

9. Try panning ToCapture moving subject

photography tips and tricks panning

Do you want to capture the magnificent image of a Swan in Flight? You might also want to take a joyous shot of your son on his bicycle.

Pointing is all that’s required. and shoot, you’re going to have your subject blurred. Because your subject is moving, but your camera still is stationary.

Pan is when you take your camera and move it along your subject. The result is that your subject becomes in focus and blurred the background. It’s pretty neat, right?

The key is to switch your camera’s focusing mode to auto continuous focusing. Your camera will automatically track your subject. andIt can automatically adjust the focus to maintain it as it moves. It’s also known as AI Servo for Canon or AF-C for Nikon (check your camera manual).

Support the camera with one hand by holding it in your hands. andPlace the index finger of the shutter release on one side and the other on your right. Half-press the shutter release button to concentrate on your subject. YouYou should now hear the flash or beep on your AF point indicating that your subject has been brought into focus.

Keep half pressing the shutter release button. and don’t let go. Keep your hands on the subject and pan in steady motion. andKeep your subject moving fluidly with you, while keeping the camera in place. Once the moment has arrived, you can press full-force on the shutter release!

10. Shoot Macro By Reversing Your Lens

photography tips and tricks reverse lens macro
A reversed Canon 50mm F/1.8 allows for shallow depth-of-field

If you haven’t heard of this technique before, you are in for a big treat!

A macro lens can be quite expensive. For photographers who just occasionally shoot macro, or simply want to give it a try, it’s not often practical to invest in a macro lens.

All you have to do is get a lens that can be detached from your camera. You can use it in either a DSLR or a smartphone. and mirrorless, prime or zoom lens.

Reverse mount your lens with the front of the lens to your camera’s body with a reversing ring, which normally costs just under $20. Reversed lenses can’t shoot at maximum aperture. This means that your subject will be sharp all the time.

As modern lenses have no manual aperture rings, this is possible. However, a lens with a manual aperture can be lowered to enhance the depth of focus as you approach your macro subject.

You will need to use a tripod, just like traditional macro photography. andTo lighten your small subject, use a flash or a reflectiveboard

11. Burst Mode is a good option ToTake the perfect moment and capture it

photography tips and tricks burst mode

You can’t always predict when a moment is going to happen. With modern cameras, you can take multiple photos in seconds. andYou can choose which one is your favorite.

Set your camera from single frame to continuous frame, check your camera’s manual if you are not sure how to do so.

Compose when you feel something amazing is about to occur. and shoot. The only difference is you don’t let go of the shutter release button. YouThe shutter curtains will sound like a machine gun, and sometimes it’s fun to just do it!).

Your camera may slow down after taking 15-20 continuous images, depending on the model. Your camera will catch up, so stop waiting. andShoot again, if necessary.

12. Keep Your Eyes on The Hyperfocal Distance ToOptimize Sharpness

Although focus stacking seems like a good way to improve front-to back sharpness, it is not the only solution.

Don’t be deceived by the big words, hyperfocal distance essentially means the focusing distance that gives your image the greatest depth-of-field, which in return maximize the area of sharpness in your image.

The technique is best if there’s no subject close by. If it does, then focus stacking could be more effective.

hyperfocal distance
Concentrating on hyperfocal distance produces sharpness, from half hyperfocal length to infinity

What is the best way to calculate hyperfocal focus distance?

You can find a reference chart! The focal length should be used andTo determine the focus distance, you will need to use the aperture that you have chosen. The chart can be downloaded as an iPhone app.

The tricky part is to locate the distance that you are going to focus. YouIt is possible to estimate or use the scale found on the lens, especially for older lenses.

After focusing on the hyperfocal distance, andIf you look at the image, all distances from the hyperfocal length up to infinity are within the depth-of field.

13. Use Custom Shaped Bokeh To Create Memorable Photos

photography tips and tricks shaped bokeh

Bokeh doesn’t always have to be round (or technically, near round). Bokeh can take any shape that you wish andThis is the way to go.

GetTake a piece card and cut a circle in its middle. This shape can take any form you wish, just be imaginative! Then, trim the card so that it is the right size for your lens.

Here’s another idea:

You can use a clean ice cream tub lid (e.g. Ben & Jerry’s) that can simply fit in front of your lens YouYou will need to trim the form so that it fits within your largest aperture.

How do you check your size?

The aperture should be the biggest andTake a look at your eyes!

Place the card on your lens. Hold it with one hand, or with tape. andYou are now ready to go. This is most effective when there are lots of lights.

Imagine taking a picture like you do every day andIt’s worth a look. Now the bokeh are taking the form you made on the card.

YouYou can create stunning images with this technique or personalized greeting cards to impress your friends andYour family will be cherished.

14. Get Bokehlicious By Unfocusing Your Lens

photography tips and tricks bokeh

Speak up!

If abstract is your thing, andIf you like bokeh then this is the technique for you. YouImages can be created with soft colors andBeautiful bokeh can be used as background on your smartphone or desktop.

It is easy to shoot for bokeh. The technical part is not difficult. Let me explain.

ToTake bokeh pictures, then change to manual focus andIn aperture priority mode, use the largest aperture. Find a scene that has lots of lights (the better the more!). You will need a lot of lights. The larger the light source is, the greater the effect on the bokeh.

You can frame your image by manually turning the focusing ring to blur everything andGive it a shot. YouYou can achieve different effects by using different lighting and aperture.

15. Learn how to master the art of illusion with forced perspective

forced perspective photography tips and tricks
Photo credit to Alex Schwab at Flickr

YouYou must have seen photographs of tourists trying balance the Leaning Tower of Pisa using their hands.

It was actually just them holding up their hands with Tower of Pisa behind. Your brain will believe otherwise because of an optical illusion.

Forcing perspective, an optical illusion that alters human perception using a camera trick called “Forced Perspective”, is an age-old camera trick. ForIt makes objects look larger, smaller or closer than they really are.

Forcing perspective photography is not a set of rules. It is a good idea to ask the subject to move closer, or farther away in order to adjust their perceived size. and distance. YouYou can also change your position andYou can tilt your camera up and down to alter the perspective.

Ask your subject to shift closer or further to adjust their perceived size. and distance. YouYou can also change your position andYou can tilt the camera up and down to alter your perspective.

You can be innovative, and think beyond the box. I promise you’ll come out with trick photography ideas of your own!

16. Get more out of portraits with Levitation Photography

photography tips and tricks levitation

Tired of the same old portraits? You could make your portraits more interesting with the help of levitation.

This effect is most commonly used to make creative self-portraits. However, you could also use models to achieve this effect. This is a simple concept: you make an image of someone that seems to be floating in space.

This is easiest if you get your subject to either jump from the ground or from a high height, while you take a picture in mid-air. This is a time-consuming process. andThere are only so many options.

It is better to use a tripod for mounting your camera. andTake an image of your model or you after putting him/her in a position. Another image can be taken, this one without your model.

Then open both photos in Photoshop. Now, place the second image over the first. On the second layer, apply a black mask andUse a white paintbrush to cover the stool. Your model will appear floating in midair without the mask.

Wingardium Leviosa!

17. Profit from the Golden Hour To Create Cool Silhouette

photography tips and tricks silhouette
Santa Monica Pier Sunset

Silhouettes are one of the coolest. andThis is the easiest image that you can capture. A bright sky and an image of it together is magic. andThe outline of the subject as seen in shadow

It’s the perfect image at the end of a day. When the sky is bright and colorful, sunrise and sunset are ideal times to take a great silhouette photo.

To capture strong, elegant silhouettes is important to do the right light metering.

Set the light metering mode to spot metering (check your camera’s manual if you’re unsure). Now, your camera will calculate the exposure based upon the intensity of light in the circle center of the frame.

This contrasts with matrix metering, which most of us have set as our default. In this case your camera will calculate the shutter speed using the average frame exposure.

Point the circle towards the sky. andLock the exposure. You can now recompose you image. andClick the shutter release button.

18. Revive Retro Effect With A Pinhole Camera

I mean a homemade pinhole camera. YouNeed a camera body cap? (Just a few bucks on eBay). andHere are some things you can find in a basic tool box.

You have to cut a hole through the center of your body cap.

To measure, first use a ruler and locate the center of the cap. This step is extremely important as you’re essentially creating the aperture, which MUST be in the middle.

Next, drill an opening through the middle. The size of the hole is irrelevant at this point. YouYou only need to dig a hole.

The important part is now: Cut a piece of tinfoil about 1cm by 3cm. andUse a needle for piercing the center. You will need a small needle to make the hole.

Place the tinfoil in a position so the pinhole is at the center of the hole on your body cap andUse gaffer tape to tape it down.

Before you attach the cap to your camera, check the inside of the cap to see if it’s shiny. Exposure will be affected if light reflects off shiny surfaces. Gaffer tape can be used to cover it up if you find any.

Now you’re ready for some action!

You’ll have to shoot in manual mode. You’ll have to experiment with the ISO and shutter speed to find a setting that gives you the best result. It’s a bit of trial andIt is possible to make an error.

Salvatore Cincotta Credit Behind The Shutter for the awesome tutorial.

19. Get Abstract with Kinetic Photography

photography tips and tricks kinetic

You are not running out of ideas. Let your imagination run wild and take off with your camera!

You read it right, TOSS your camera in the air!

You might be a little nervous about kinetic photography andCamera. It’s certainly not fun getting hit by a DSLR weight almost 1kg in the face, or worse, dropped on the ground!

It’s definitely not for the fainthearted 

Set your camera for a longer exposure. Then, take it out and throw it in the air. andAllow the motion to do the job for you.

ToThis technique is worth a try. Start with something small. andYou can use a lightweight lens like a 50mm or compact lens. You can do it at low light and use artificial light to your advantage.

No matter what, safety must be your top priority.

YouFocus the scene first in aperture priority mode, then note the settings andYou can dial it manually.

Because you’re tossing your camera up in the air, you want the shutter speed to be long enough for it to take off andYou have the power to get your land back. Try different exposures to achieve the best results.

20. Time Lapse and Motion Blur to Create Motion Blur

You want to get rid of people or water from your photo?

YouTo achieve the long exposure effect, you would need an ND filter. But what if you don’t have one (an ND filter can be quite pricey)?

Use time-lapse technique! You take multiple shots of the same frame, but at very short intervals. andTo simulate the long exposure effect, stack them in Photoshop.

You basically take multiple shots of the same frame in short intervals. andIn Photoshop, stack them together.

The first step is to find the right scene for you. You can use clouds, water, people or cars to smoothen your scene.

Next, mount your camera on a tripod andSet your camera for continuous shooting in aperture priority mode.

You can take multiple shots with the moving part in them. Time lapse photography can be achieved by adjusting the time between images.

A fast-moving element, such as water or clouds during a windy day, can make it as quick as one second. YouIf you need to take out people, it may be necessary to prolong the process for up to 3-4 seconds.

YouTo achieve smooth motion blur effects, you should capture at least 20 photos.

Once you’re done, upload the images to your computer. Open up Photoshop, go to File > Scripts > Statistics. Browse and select all the images, change the “Stack Mode” to Median and check the box for “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images”.

Click OK andWatch the magic happen!

21. Absolute FrontTo-Back Sharpness and Focus Stacking

One of the most common problems with images that have depth, especially landscape photos, is not being able to achieve sharpness all around.

If you concentrate on something in the foreground, this is even more apparent. Even if the aperture is small, your background will still be out of focus.

Manually focusing on each area of the scene individually is a brilliant way to do this. andThey can be combined in post processing (hence, the name Focus Stacking).

For consistent frames, you will need a tripod or something to hold your camera still.

Start with the frontground and turn the focus ring until you can see the sharpest elements. Take a photo. I recommend zoom in on your LCD screen while focusing because it’s easier to ensure the focus is sharp.

Zoom in on the foreground to see the LCD screen.

Gradually move upwards (into the distance) until you notice the image starts to lose focus. Make a note of the location in your composition and refocus with your lens. andTry another one.

Keep going until the final image appears.

After-processing the images will blend them. Boom! All around sharpness!

This is what you should do Photography Tips and Tricks

Now you’re brimming with ideas and adrenaline, it’s time to try one of these yourself. Choose ONE andSpend 10-15 minutes working on this. You will love the results!

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