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 time stack (see below), toy props, vignettes, environmental portraits, among many other fun and creative photography projects.
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!
Creative photo ideas for July: 01 Shoot the passage of time
This month we thought we’d start you off with something completely different. Fine-art photographer Matt Molloy is receiving some intense internet interest with his time stack images, and there’s no reason why you can’t have a go at this technique yourself. All you need is some interesting clouds, a focal point and a vision for how the final result will look.
“To create these time stacks I merge several photos into one image,” reveals Matt. “The first thing I do is shoot a timelapse (multiple photos shot from a fixed position), then I combine the images in Photoshop.
“When shooting the timelapse, the interval (the time between each photo) can drastically change the look of the final image. A shorter interval will give smoother looking movement, while a longer interval will create spaces between moving objects, which gives a stepped look.
“The speed of the moving elements is much the same. Faster moving subjects will have spaces and slower ones will look smoother, depending on your interval.
“To merge the photos, I use the Lighten layer-blending mode in Photoshop. This adds only the lighter elements of each successive photo.
“Once I’ve blended the images, I adjust the levels and contrast to bring back the dark tones. I’ve found that automating the process via Photoshop scripting saves time and a whole lot of effort.”
Get started today…
* Use a tripod and remote release to ensure there’s no movement between the frames when shooting the timelapse.
* Shoot in Manual, to ensure there’s a consistent exposure between pictures. Expose for the highlights (that is, set the exposure so you retain detail in the brightest areas).
* Take multiple frames – Matt’s stacks feature anywhere from 80 to more than 600 images.
* Matt suggests that not all time stacks need to show every frame: “If there’s too much going on once you’ve merged all the photos, it can look rather messy. If that’s the case, you should try using less photos. I generally start with all the photos to get a good idea of what I’m working with, then I take some out if needed and try again.”
PAGE 1: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 01 Shoot the passage of time
PAGE 2: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 02 Shoot seabirds
PAGE 3: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 03 Shoot dew covered bugs
PAGE 4: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 04 Shoot portraits with backlight
PAGE 5: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 05 Shoot toys as travel props
PAGE 6: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 06 Shoot environmental portraits
PAGE 7: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 07 Add a vignette
PAGE 8: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 08 Shoot a photography hotspot
PAGE 9: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 09 Shoot pictures with water as the main subject
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