9 creative photo ideas to try in May

9 creative photo ideas to try in May

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.

We’re kicking off May with a slew of fun projects like time stack landscapes, photographing spring lambs, indoor wild flowers, changing coastal light and 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 May: 01 Shoot a time stack image

9 creative photo ideas to try in May

Better weather means more chances to take great landscapes, but it can be hard to come up with a fresh take on scenics.

A great technique for creative landscape photographers to try is time-stacking.

It’s basically a time-lapse shooting and editing procedure that can give you wonderfully dramatic skies, like something from an Impressionist painting.

The idea is to layer multiple still images, and it’s a technique that has been used for many years, particularly to create star trails.

US-based photographer and image-editing wizard Matt Molloy has become a specialist in time-stacking.

“Once I made a few star trail images, I wondered why I’ve never seen this technique used on daylight time-lapses,” Matt explains.

“I tried it and, after a little tweaking here and there, I was astounded by the resulting images! They are kind of like a super-long exposure, showing a large chunk of time in a single image.”

To get these stunning effects, Matt uses an intervalometer, a device that allows your camera to shoot repeatedly at a given interval.

As a Canon user, he uses some free software called Magic Lantern, but most cameras are able to use a remote control with an intervalometer function.

You then need a tripod for shooting multiple images; Matt further weighs his down with a stone block, especially when it’s windy. Once Matt has the images, he changes over to Photoshop.

“Open the first photo of your time-lapse sequence, which will be your bottom layer,” he explains.

“Then add the second photo on a new layer. Change the top layer’s blending mode to Lighten and merge both layers together.

“This adds only the parts of the second image that are brighter than the same area on the original image. You then repeat the process with as many photos from the time-lapse as you like.

“It takes some practice, but you will get used to selecting the right number of pictures for the effect you want.”

SEE MORE: 13 photo editing mistakes every photographer makes (and how you can avoid them)

Get started today…
* Try shooting a scene with both fixed and moving elements – a church or tower against fast-moving clouds, for instance. Sunset is a great time to try this technique.
* You need to expose for the brightest moving elements – apart from the sun, these will usually be the clouds in a daylight scene. If you over-expose the clouds, you’ll end up with pure white streaks in the sky.
* You need to experiment with the shooting intervals – with faster clouds you need a shorter interval between the shots, and vice versa for slow clouds, otherwise you will capture very little movement.

Creative photo ideas for May: 01 Shoot a time stack image
Creative photo ideas for May: 02 Shoot a dramatic seascape
Creative photo ideas for May: 03 Shoot the changing light on the coast
Creative photo ideas for May: 04 Shoot spring lambs
Creative photo ideas for May: 05 Shoot wild flowers indoors
Creative photo ideas for May: 06 Shoot empty buildings
Creative photo ideas for May: 07 Shoot with your smartphone on city breaks
Creative photo ideas for May: 08 Shoot pedestrians with slow shutter speeds
Creative photo ideas for May: 09 Shoot with a fisheye lens


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