As part of our ongoing series to help you get more creative with your digital camera, each month we publish some fun, seasonal, creative photo ideas to help inspire your imagination.
Along with some amazing images, we’ve also provided some quick photography tips by photographers who are experts in these fields.
For September we aim to have you capitalize on the splendid late-summer light and splashes of brilliant colour.
Our photo ideas will have you snapping verywhere from pool-side to the helm of a boat!
01 Capture colourful still lifes
You may think that you need lots of fancy studio equipment to capture professional-looking still-life photography like the image above, but that’s not the case. “It’s all about how you control the light,” explains still-life photographer Nicholas Rigg.
“I shot the gerbera (flower) image simply using natural light from a skylight positioned overhead and a ringflash attached to my lens. I often use ringflash in my still-life photography because it produces an even light and eliminates any harsh, ugly shadows.”
Nicholas puts up boards either side of his set-ups so light can’t filter away. “You have to be creative when it comes to laying out the objects within the frame, and how you use materials,” he explains. “You needn’t spend a fortune – there are many cheap alternative materials that you can use to your advantage, such as greaseproof paper to diffuse the light.
“I have everything in my studio you could possibly think of – from pieces of black-and-white card to reflect and stop light, to a pack of small mirrors, which are great for bouncing light back onto your subject.”
Finally, Nicholas says that if you’re going to try shots like the cream splash you should make sure you use a telephoto lens and have a cloth to hand. “I took this shot at 200mm, because I didn’t want to get cream all over my camera and lens!”
Get started today…
* Use colourful backdrops. Experiment with alternative (and cheap) materials such as gingham, Perspex, greaseproof paper and textured material for interesting results.
* Set the aperture to around f/14 to keep the background and object in focus.
* A CowboyStudio O-Ring Flash can be fixed to an external flash unit and costs in the region of £25 if you shop around online. This is a cost-effective solution if you already have an external flashgun.
PAGE 1: Shoot a seasonal still life
PAGE 2: Shoot a high-key portrait
PAGE 3: Shoot a pool-side portrait
PAGE 4: Shoot a late-summer sunset
PAGE 5: Shoot birds in flight
PAGE 6: Shoot a seascape at dusk
PAGE 7: Shoot moving water
PAGE 8: Shoot at sunrise
PAGE 9: Shoot from a boat