9 creative photo ideas to try in April

02 Shoot still life photography with personality

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 both amateur and professional photographers who are experts in these fields.

This month our list covers fun projects like shooting out of focus, experimenting with humorous still life photography, wildlife long exposures and looking for faces where they don’t normally belong!

On each page you’ll find a stunning image and an explanation from the photographer on how it was made.

If you attempt any of these photo ideas, don’t forget to share them on our Facebook wall!

We’d love to see how you get on.

01 Shoot twilight portraits

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

Now that the clocks have sprung forward, evenings arrive at a more civilized time. Make the most of this opportunity by shooting low-light portraits in the fading light of dusk.

The soft light and cool color temperature at this time of day can add incredible mood to your pictures.

Although the quality of light might be softer, it will also be lower. This means that your pictures may be blurred unless your technique is spot-on.

You’ll need to select wider apertures and higher ISO settings if you’re shooting handheld, and you’ll need to be accurate with focusing if you’re forced to use the widest aperture on your lens.

Select a focus point that corresponds with one of your subject’s eyes, or use the centre AF point and lock the focus on their eyes before recomposing.

To emphasise the cool, blue quality of the light, use the Daylight white balance preset. If you rely on Auto White Balance to make adjustments, it’s likely to try and warm the scene up too much, removing some of the mood as it does so.

Of course, you can always shoot in raw and make adjustments later – although dialling in the Daylight white balance will give you a more accurate impression of colour on the rear screen.

Get started today…
* Use focal lengths of 50mm and above to create more flattering portraits.
* Shoot in Aperture Priority, but keep a close eye on the shutter speed in the viewfinder – it needs to be the equivalent of 1/focal length of the lens for sharp handheld pictures (so 1/50sec for a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera).
* Use the camera in continuous drive mode, and fire in short bursts in order to capture any change in expression from your subject.
* The soft light of dusk can lead to low contrast pictures – you might want to boost the shadows and highlights later using Levels and Curves.
* Consider using an off-camera flash with the power dialled down in order to add a catchlight to the eyes.
* This style of portrait works equally as well early in the morning, with the advantage that you won’t be working in fading light.

PAGE 1: Shoot twilight portraits
PAGE 2: Shoot still life photography with personality
PAGE 3: Shoot a film noir style
PAGE 4: Shoot quiet landscapes
PAGE 5: Shoot out of focus
PAGE 6: Shoot faces in unusual places
PAGE 7: Shoot pictures of weather
PAGE 8: Shoot wildlife with long exposures
PAGE 9: Shoot baby sheep


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