There’s nothing you love more than staying behind the camera, adjusting the lens, giving directions to your subject and happily snapping away photos. It’s the thing you wake up for and go to sleep dreaming about. Sometimes, though, you can find yourself in a rut, using the same techinique over and over again or focusing on the same subjects and angles, instead of learning to master your skill in different ways. Try these ideas for a change:
- Use layers. Instead of composing your picture with a subject and background in mind, take into consideration the foreground, too. You can use it as a leading line or as a way to convey mystery and depth. If you can’t find one in your surrounding, simply hold a piece of paper on the bottom of the lens, to frame your subjects or put a textured object in front of the lens. Another way to blur the foreground and background, while keeping the middle ground clear, is to use a wide aperture, like f/1.4.
- Shoot vertically. It’s easy to capture beautiful landscapes horizontally, but it’s another thing to turn your camera and focus like that. It forces you to take into account details, not whole images, so to speak. These should be more visually striking than the run-of-the-mill spring “wallpapers”.
- Think about silhouettes. Instead of capturing a couple hand in hand, looking at your lens, make them look at eachother, act as they usually do and choose a bright background for your shoot. Their profiles will get underexposed, meaning much darker to the point where the contours of their bodies are more important than the rest.
- Forget about the eyes. Many times, a portrait will strike you with a curious, deep or wounded look back at you. Eyes are very expressive and tend to be the focus of portraits. Try to switch it up a bit and focus on other details of the face: the lips, the ears, something the subjects hold, a tattoo or piercing. Find that one other thing that draws your attention when you watch people, besides eyes.
- Use reflections. Instead of photographing the subject, make him stand out in your images by shooting its reflection. Direct your camera towards a glass, a mirror or even a drop of rain (if you have macro lens) and capture if for an interesting, rare render of the subject.