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 making rock towers, creating fantasy landscapes, an urban montage, as well as chilling portrait to coincide with Halloween, among many other fun and creative photography projects that are perfect for this time of year.
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 October: 01 Shoot an autumn dawn
Now is the time for northern-hemisphere photographers to set their alarm clocks to catch the spectacular early-morning scenes of early autumn.
If the preceding day was warm and the night has been still and cool, the conditions are perfect for early morning mist. But once the sun starts to warm things up, the mist will soon burn away.
These conditions coincide with the red deer rut, enabling you to capture one of the most iconic images in the wildlife calendar. To include beams, you’ll need to shoot near trees.
The balance needs to be right, though: too many trees and the beams may be too broken up; too few and the effect will be weakened.
You’ll need to shoot towards the sun in order to get the backlit effect. This can lead to flare, which will reduce the contrast of the picture, making it look hazy and washed out – as if it’s been shot through a net curtain!
You need to fit a lens hood to reduce the chances of this happening, and set up your tripod in a shady spot if you can. If you can’t manage to do this, at least position yourself so that a branch is blocking the sun directly.
As the lighting conditions will be changing, stick with Evaluative or Matrix metering and use your camera’s exposure compensation function to brighten or darken the image.
Most of the time, you’ll be dialling in positive exposure compensation: bright, backlit mist will cause your camera to under-expose the picture and make it too dark.
Get started today
* Prime locations for red deer in the UK include Richmond Park in London, Exmoor and The Highlands.
* A zoom lens in the range of 70-300mm will provide plenty of framing options.
* Take a tripod: light levels will be low when you first start shooting and you’re likely to be shooting at longer focal lengths, which are prone to camera shake.
* To keep the scene bright overall, ‘expose to the right’: check the histogram after taking a shot and see if the histogram reaches the right of the graph without being clipped.
* Switch on your camera’s highlight exposure warning for a quick indication of any areas that may be over-exposed.
PAGE 1: Shoot an autumn dawn
PAGE 2: Shoot your scenes under-exposed
PAGE 3: Shoot a chilling ghost portrait for Halloween
PAGE 4: Shoot a fantasy landscape
PAGE 5: Shoot with creative lighting
PAGE 6: Shoot a Geocaching treasure hunt
PAGE 7: Shoot an urban montage
PAGE 8: Shoot fungi at eye level
PAGE 9: Shoot rock towers in familiar locations
Break the rules: become a pro at using backlight to add drama to any photo
Better pictures of fog and mist: adding intrigue to an everyday landscape
Wildlife photography made easy: simple techniques for pro-quality pictures
10 common wildlife photography mistakes we’re all guilty of (and how to fix them)
Golden hour photography: tips for making magical pictures at dawn