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 we kick off 2014 with a slew of fun projects like black-light portraits, vertoramas, winter portraits, animals in motion and we even show you how to get creative with your old photographs, 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 January: 01 Shoot a vertorama
Sometimes, a single frame just isn’t big enough to squeeze everything in. While landscape photographers often stitch several pictures together to create a panoramic image of a stunning view, vertoramas – or vertical panoramas – are far less common.
Vertoramas work in a range of situations, but city architecture is particularly well suited to this type of picture.
Jonathan Danker created this imposing urban shot in the early stages of learning panorama photography. “I really wanted to see the effects of doing an extreme vertorama, which was quite a challenge,” he says.
“I shot four frames at 16mm to create the vertorama. In addition, I made four different exposures of each frame to create an HDR image. I installed Magic Lantern firmware on my Canon 5D Mark II and enabled the HDR bracketing feature.
“For the best results, you really need to use a panoramic clamp: I use a Benro set-up, which is mid-range in price but very durable. I’ve banged mine around quite a bit. A stable tripod and ballhead are also essential.
“I use a number of software programs to stitch the vertoramas, from Photoshop CS6 to Autopano Giga. Some vertoramas and panoramas seem to stitch better in one program than the other, so experimentation is key.”
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* Set the camera to manual exposure and manual focus, to ensure consistency between frames.
* Use mid-range apertures of between f/11 to f/16: anything smaller is likely to lead to soft pictures as a result of diffraction.
* Activate your camera’s depth-of-field preview function to check that everything appears sharply in focus.
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