9 creative photo ideas to try in June

Creative photo ideas for June: 09 Look at the world in monochrome

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 June with a slew of fun projects like black and white animal portraits, butterflies, abstract water and using a few clever tricks from the portrait photographer’s handbook to photograph your food, among many more.

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

9 creative photo ideas to try in June 2014

Creative photo ideas for June: 01 Shoot the great outdoors

Landscape photography is a lot nicer at this time of year: it’s warmer, and you can always have a go at shooting during the longer dusks if you can’t face getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning.

That said, it’s well worth making the effort to get up if you can. There is something really magical, even spiritual, about dawn light – and hardly anyone else is around. Make 2014 the year that you really think about light.

A good start would be to download an app that tells you the position of the sun – a good one to try is the Photographer’s Ephemeris.

That done, try to think about light in more creative ways. Shooting into the light can generate interesting images, but try to put the sun behind an object (such as a big tree or rock) to reduce flare.

You want to avoid blown-out highlights in the sky as much as possible. A good way of using strong sunlight is to turn a strong graphic element into a silhouette. Reduce exposure compensation by -1 for a stronger effect.

Shooting landscapes is a good way to practise manual-focus skills, as landscapes are usually pretty static! If you’re not sure whether you’ve focussed properly, turn on Live View on your rear screen and pick an area to focus on, say about one third into the scene.

Live View should enable you to magnify this area without needing to change the lens’ focal length; once the area looks sharp in Live View, you’re good to go.

SEE MORE: Live View mode – how to use it on any camera

Using a narrower aperture and placing your camera on a tripod will help to ensure front-to-back sharp shots.

If you are experimenting with slower shutter speeds, maybe to create milky water or interesting effects in moving grass, make sure you aren’t on Auto ISO – you want to stick to a low ISO to keep shutter speed down.

SEE MORE: 10 landscape photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

Get started today…
* If you’re noticing dust spots in images, you need to clean your sensor.
* Shoot in raw to ensure maximum detail, and turn on automatic distortion or lens correction in your lens.
* You don’t need to lug around lots of filters to shoot landscapes, but at the very least you need a polariser and an ND grad filter. Polarisers ensure blue skies and better reflections on water, while an ND grad helps to balance the exposure.
* Watch the shapes in your camera’s histogram to give you a more accurate exposure reading. Way over to the left indicates underexposure, way over to the right indicates overexposure. Turn on the separate colour histograms for the most accurate feedback.

Creative photo ideas for June: 01 Shoot the great outdoors
Creative photo ideas for June: 02 Shoot your food using portraiture tricks
Creative photo ideas for June: 03 Shoot water in new and interesting ways
Creative photo ideas for June: 04 Shoot animals in black and white
Creative photo ideas for June: 05 Shoot butterflies
Creative photo ideas for June: 06 Shoot with your telephoto lens
Creative photo ideas for June: 07 Shoot late spring gardens
Creative photo ideas for June: 08 Shoot a new city
Creative photo ideas for June: 09 Look at the world in monochrome


10 quick landscape photography tips
Creative landscape photography: master the dark art of shadows and shade
14 photo editing tricks and tips every landscape photographer must know
The 10 Commandments of Landscape Photography (and how to break them)
Overcoming the landscape’s greatest challenges: free photography cheat sheet