9 creative photo ideas to try in April

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

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.

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

We’re kicking off April with a slew of fun projects like creating street collages, photographing baby birds, finding numbers in nature, getting abstract with portraits and, as you’ll see below, becoming more in tune with the natural world. We also have many other 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!

SEE MORE: 77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything

Creative photo ideas for April: 01 Shoot a natural history sequence

9 creative photo ideas to try in April

Here’s a creative idea for a rewarding photo project to start this month. Creating a sequence composite can bring a subject to life in a way that few other photographs can, but it demands both patience and quick reactions in equal measure.

“I bought this African Moon Moth as a cocoon,” says nature photographer Alex Hyde, “but I have produced similar work with native UK insect species I found in my garden.

“Moth cocoons can take months to emerge, so the real art is being there at the right time. I kept the cocoon in a mesh tent near my computer so that I stood a chance of noticing it emerge.

“The moth makes a rustling noise as it squeezes out of its cocoon, so once the rustling began, I only had a short time to set everything up.

“I secured a twig in front of a white background and clamped two Canon 580EXII Speedlites with diffusers in place to light the background and twig separately.

My Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 100mm macro lens was mounted on a tripod. Triggering the flashes with a Pocket Wizard system, I checked that I was obtaining a pure white background.

SEE MORE: Wireless flash triggers – how to set up and shoot with off-camera flash

“Once the moth emerged from the cocoon, I carefully placed it on the twig and captured a series of images over the two hours it took to expand its wings.

“The composite was done in Photoshop, beginning with all six chosen frames in a stack of six layers.

“Using layer masks on the upper five layers, I was able to isolate the moth from the twig and reposition it along its length with the Move tool so that they didn’t overlap.”

Alex’s advice for producing sequence composites is to keep your exposure identical for each frame, otherwise it will take longer to achieve a balanced result in Photoshop.

SEE MORE: How to make a composite image in Photoshop Elements using layers to add depth

“To make sure of this, I stick to Manual mode for both camera and flashes. If you rely on TTL metering, the exposure could change as the moth’s wings expand and take up more of the frame. Sticking to a plain background makes the construction of the composite a bit easier.”

SEE MORE: What is a macro lens – magnification, minimum focus distance and more explained

Get started today…
* You can buy butterfly and moth pupae and larvae from specialists such as Worldwide Butterflies (www.wwb.co.uk). Ensure you have suitable housing and a good supply of food.
* “If obtaining a moth cocoon is too tricky,” suggests Alex, “why not try a sequence of a snail emerging from its shell?”
* Shoot a larger creature, such as a bird taking off. Set the camera to its fastest drive setting.
* Click here to see more of Alex’s insect photography

Creative photo ideas for April: 01 Shoot a natural history sequence
Creative photo ideas for April: 02 Shoot family portraits with a twist
Creative photo ideas for April: 03 Shoot oil and water abstracts
Creative photo ideas for April: 04 Shoot numbers in nature
Creative photo ideas for April: 05 Shoot a street scene collage
Creative photo ideas for April: 06 Shoot a single theme
Creative photo ideas for April: 07 Shoot a war reenactment
Creative photo ideas for April: 08 Shoot a pinhole image
Creative photo ideas for April: 09 Shoot baby birds


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