All artists fall in it...the dreaded rut where they just aren't feeling it and the desire to pursue their art just isn't there. I wrote a blog post awhile ago about being in a photography slump, check it out here if you'd like. I share some important things over there! ;) And for anyone not in a complete rut, but just ready to try something new...this is for you! Six simple ways to add some creativity to your photography.
#1--Change your perspective
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to be more creative in your picture-taking! It doesn't take a lot of effort to change perspectives on a shot. Sure, take the shot as you see it, then don't put your camera away. Walk a few steps to the left or right, get up on a ladder or chair, or crouch down to the ground. You may find that changing your perspective just a tad can make your images more engaging!
#2--Find a frame
Now I don't mean go find a picture frame and have your subject hold it, that is so 5 years ago! But look around you to see if you can find a larger object to frame your subject. Doorways, windows and trees are perhaps the easiest ways to do this, but don't forget to look for smaller things as well like chairs, playground equipment, rails, or even between posts. Once you start making yourself look for frames, you'll start seeing them everywhere!
#3--Look for a reflection
Reflections are one of the best ways to add some extra dimension and creativity to your images. They give the viewer another look at the subject, sometimes at a different angle. Water and mirrors, of course, are great places to find reflections. But don't forget things like windows, countertops, wet sidewalks, beaches, mobile devices, sunglasses, cars, dishes or even your toaster! Adding a bit of reflections to your images can certainly make them more creative!
#4--Make color work for you
If you're familiar with the phrase of "color theory", you may already know what I'm going to say. There are some great ways to use color in your images to make them stand out. Using contrasting colors (colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel), such as an orange shirt against a blue sky, or a red flower against the green foliage can make your images pop! Using analogous colors (they're next to each other on the color wheel) can lend a more peaceful presence to your image. And using a single pop of color against a neutral background can make your subject stand out completely! Next time you want to add this to your images, think about first what you want to convey, then arrange your colors to do it!
Adding movement to your images, is like breathing life into them! It will give the viewer a sense of being in the moment, and make your subject stand out. You can freeze a moment in time with a rather fast shutter speed, usually 1/100 second or faster is sufficient to accomplish this, though it depends on the lighting conditions. But what most people forget, is that we can lower shutter speeds to capture a blurred movement. One thing can be still (such as a building) while other things are moving (such as people walking around). You can also create movement by panning--that's where you use a slow shutter speed, then follow your camera along the path of a moving subject. No matter how you do it though, using movement in your images can add a lot of creativity to them!
#6--Shoot through an object
You may be saying to yourself...how is this different than framing? Well, this is what I think the biggest difference is: framing your subject means the frame is closer to your subject. The frame will be either in focus or very close to it. When you shoot through an object, it's closer to your camera and will be blurry, so as to make a softer frame around your subject. When you shoot through an object you usually can't tell what the object is, just that there's something there.
Trees, flowers, plastic wrap around your lens, a copper pipe and a prism are just some easy and fun ideas!
If these things sound like fun, then give them a try today! Also, be sure to check out the Creative Photography Challenge, where you can join in with us on a new creative challenge every month. As of right now, we are half way through and have 6 more creative things we'll be working on, to amp up our creativity in photography.
If you would like to see a lot of examples from amazing artists all over the world, check out the Instagram hub @Creative.Inspiration.Community. We follow the monthly challenges on there, and do them in easily digestible one week sub-challenges that will help you with the big challenge. We feature tagged images as well as share tips on how to accomplish some of the challenges.
Now, go out and there and get creative!