9 creative photo ideas to try in January

Creative photo ideas for January: 07 Shoot a winter portrait

Creative photo ideas for January: 06 Shoot a split-frame landscape

Creative photo ideas for January: 06 Shoot a split-frame landscape

Pictures that capture the landscape above and below the surface of a lake or river in a single frame can look striking at any time of year, but the contrast between a frozen surface and the green world below is particularly effective.

You’ll need to know what you’re doing though, both photographically and dealing with the cold temperatures.

“I made ‘Tropical Winter’ in the Saxon Switzerland National Park in Germany on a February day when plenty of snow had fallen,” says landscape pro Tobias Richter.

“After I found an interesting part of the river Kirnitzsch, I sealed my camera in waterproof housing, slipped on waders and neoprene gloves, and then went into the water to look for a suitable foreground.

“I didn’t use a tripod for this shot, so I switched the camera to its continuous shooting mode and fired in bursts to improve my chances of getting a sharp shot with a perfectly centred waterline.

“The photo was taken under a cloudy sky in early-afternoon light, so it was possible to capture detail above and below the water in a single exposure.

Often you have to use a neutral-density filter or take two exposures and blend them together in software in order to realise the huge dynamic range, because the area underwater is usually much darker than the rest of the image.

SEE MORE: How to blend two photos for perfect exposure

“If the water is too murky, the flow is too strong or the light is too frontal, it’s not worth the effort of carrying the additional equipment to a remote location. If you’re starting out, I’d recommend trying a compact or mirrorless camera body, as underwater housings for an SLR are expensive.”

Get started today
* If you’re attempting this in mid-winter, take the necessary safety precautions.
* No underwater housing? Try this technique by putting the camera in a fish tank and half-submerging that.
* If you’re an absolute beginner, Tobias recommends starting with a flat, calm lake in summer “because there is enough technical stuff to focus on in addition to concentrating on swimming, water flow or cold temperatures”.

Creative photo ideas for January: 01 Shoot a vertorama
Creative photo ideas for January: 02 Shoot a vibrant abstract photo
Creative photo ideas for January: 03 Shoot tropical fish
Creative photo ideas for January: 04 Shoot in ultraviolet
Creative photo ideas for January: 05 Shoot frost in spectacular detail
Creative photo ideas for January: 06 Shoot a split-frame landscape
Creative photo ideas for January: 07 Shoot a winter portrait
Creative photo ideas for January: 08 Shoot animals in action
Creative photo ideas for January: 09 Revisit your old photos

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