Are you stuck in a photographic rut? Are you looking to boost your creativity with new photography ideas?
There are so many different photography techniques out there. Where do you start?
Look no further. We have compiled a list of 50 of the most interesting photography ideas, ranging from simple post-production edits to day-long projects.
You’re sure to find something to whet your appetite, so join us as we run down our top 50 techniques.
The use of reflections in your photography can add gorgeous depth and structure to your images.
They can turn average landscapes and cityscapes into something extraordinary. Use a wide-angle lens to capture a wider field of view, for full effect.
But don’t limit yourself to photographing lakes or rivers; puddles in city streets, fountains or even small ponds can give great reflection results.
More information on reflections.
2. Look for Shadows
Shadow photography is a great way to add drama, mystery, and emotion to your portrait photography.
You can add anonymity to an image if you isolate the shadow alone, without showing the subject (as in the image above). You can use shadows of any subject to create this kind of effect.
More information on shadow photography.
3. Shoot during the Golden Hour
The golden hour is the hour after sunrise or before sunset.
Taking photos during this time adds a beautiful diffused warm hue to your images. It also extends shadows as the sun is at a lower point in the sky.
In addition, the golden hour allows a more even exposure, which enhances depth and detail in your subjects.
More information on golden hour photography.
4. Shoot a Self Portrait
Achieving a quality self-portrait with a camera, not a smartphone, can be quite difficult.
However, there are various tips and tricks to taking good self-portraits. We often don’t get to see the person behind the camera, so it is great for the photographer to be able to present themselves in images.
5. Underwater Photography
A beautiful way to capture a snapshot of another world is through underwater photography. It is is one of the most challenging photography ideas, however, it is also very rewarding.
The purchase of protective camera casing, or a specialist camera, is a must for this. Plus, you might consider purchasing color-corrective filters to enhance the vividness and color accuracy of the scene.
Related Article: Best waterproof underwater cameras
6. Catch a Sunset
Following on from the golden hour, a sunset offers some of the most beautiful photography. It works particularly well when dark silhouettes are in the foreground, such as a skyline, mountain or trees in a forest.
This photography idea enhances the overall structure of your image, as well as creating a stunning distinction between a vivid, colorful background and a darker, shadowy foreground.
7. Water Droplets
Water droplet photography is a stunning way to capture a single moment in time. The reflections, colors, ripples, and shapes that droplets create are unique and beautiful to look at.
Taking the perfect water droplet image takes a lot of patience, perseverance and waiting for the right moment. However, once captured, you have a one-of-a-kind image of suspended time.
8. Seek out Frames
Framing your subject with a natural frame in an image is a great way to create a subtle 3D effect. Natural frame photography works best when the ‘frame’ and the inner image differ greatly in color, texture, light, and tone. This draws the viewer’s eyes to both the frame and the central image.
Be creative; you can frame images with architecture, flora, landscape and even human hands.
More information on natural framing.
9. Steel Wool Photography
This long exposure technique creates such unique and interesting effects. But safety is key, as you will literally be playing with fire. The stark contrast between the dark shadowy background and the bright vivid colors from the steel wool are breathtaking.
10. Shallow Depth of Field
Creative use of aperture to create a shallow depth of field helps to isolate your subject from the background and foreground elements. You can also use it to create a beautiful bokeh effect. Use a lower f-number, from f1.8 to f5.6, to achieve this shallow depth of field. It gives a beautiful effect that is eye-catching to look at.
11. Creative Shutter Speed
Slowing down or increasing the shutter speed on your camera is a great way to add light trails or freeze action in your images.
Altering your shutter speed adjusts the amount of time your subject is exposed to light. You can create light trails from moving subjects by slowing down the speed. Alternatively, increase the speed to freeze a shot with no blur–creating a suspended moment in time.
12. Try out Aerial Photography
Aerial photography is a great way to gain an entirely new perspective on a subject. It is perfect for travel, city and landscape photography. It is usually captured via a drone and takes a lot of practice to perfect. However, once achieved, the result is stunning and definitely worth the effort.
More information on aerial photography.
13. Shoot Wide Angle
Using a wide-angle lens for photography is particularly useful if you are shooting interiors, architecture, or vast landscapes. Make sure you have a clear subject in your framing to draw the viewer’s eye. Otherwise, you will be getting a dull photo.
Related Article: Best Canon Wide Angle Lenses
14. Focus on Fine Detail with Macro
Macro photography is the art of taking extreme close-up photographs of small detail or subjects such as insects, small animals, raindrops or flower petals. You can buy specialist lenses for Macro but check if your current lens has a Macro focal range indicated.
15. Capture Stunning Seascapes
Capturing the perfect seascape takes time, perseverance and patience. You’ll need to think about the type of lens you use, lighting, and the time of day you take the shot, plus any flora or fauna that may be included your scene.
Stunning cityscape photography can convey the feel of a city; as soon as you see a famous skyline, a city is instantly recognizable. Try different viewpoints and plan to shoot during the golden hour for an impactful shot.
17. Street Photography
Street photography differs from cityscapes, in that it focuses on the day-to-day life of the city itself. This can include the streets, residents, and even transport. It provides us with a unique first-person perspective and insight into the lives of those living in that city.
18. Add a Texture Overlay
Overlay your images with textures at the post-processing stage to give your images an edge. It works best with an unusual texture, such as cracked concrete, paint dabs or even water ripples. The separate photo of the texture is added over the top of your original image using PhotoShop.
More information on texture overlays. More Photoshop tutorials.
19. Candid Photos
Candid photography is a beautiful way to capture the lives of others from a unique and interesting perspective. It tells a natural story of subjects and their everyday lives, which can often go ignored.
Mirror reflection is a fun way to produce a unique perspective of your subjects. Look for unusual angles or symmetry to add impact.
More information on mirror illusions.
21. Selective Color Effect
Color selection involves leaving a colorful subject and making the rest of the image black and white. The isolated subject in a bright color helps to draw the viewer’s attention
22. Artistic Filters
A great way to add extra impact to your images is to use an artistic filter in post-production. There is a wide range of different filters available. You can take your pick from painting effects, sketching, oil pastels and ink work effects.
23. Time Slice
Time composition photography, aka ‘time slice’ photography, is when you take multiple photos of the same subject, in the same location and angle, at varying times of the day. You then split the images into sections. These strips of photos are then combined together to create a gradient image of time.
More inspirational time composition photos.
24. Time Suspension
Time suspension, or freeze-framing, an image can be easily achieved by simply using faster shutter speed. This can also freeze any action; minimizing blur and movement. It is a great way to capture brief, fleeting moments that may otherwise be missed.
More information on time suspension.
25. Capture the Joys of Motherhood
The subject of motherhood is such a beautiful theme for photography. Capturing the trials and tribulations of this special time is a fabulous way to convey raw emotion and feelings. Maternity, newborn and kids’ photography all play a part in this genre.
26. Create the Perfect Panorama
Panoramic photography is a great way to capture sweeping vistas. You can include as much of your surroundings as possible with the use of specialized photography equipment or by stitching photos in post-processing.
Silhouettes are the perfect way to add anonymity, drama, and mystery to an image. Similar to shadows, silhouette photography works best with vivid, colorful backgrounds so that the silhouette stands out. To take a silhouette shot, expose your camera to a bright area in your scene and re-compose to take the shot. The camera will then properly expose for the bright area, leaving the silhouette subject in dark.
28. Seek out Symmetry
Symmetry is one of the basic photography composition tools that help to simplify the scene. You can either aim for vertical or horizontal symmetry.
Juxtaposition is when you capture two contrasting subjects in the same frame. Which helps to highlight the differences between those subjects.
Juxtapositions can include social themes such as young and old, rich and poor, or healthy and ill. However, simple topics work too, for example; dark and light, bright and dull, or smooth curves and sharp edges.
30. Smoke Bomb Photography
Smoke bomb photography is becoming very popular these days. The colored smoke can be used to create mood, atmosphere, or to add mystery to your photos.
More information on photobomb photography
One of the main purposes of ‘picception’ is to playfully confuse the viewer. It encourages them to look closer at your image. There are various forms of picception, some can be created in the shot itself, for example by using reflective surfaces, while others are created at the editing stage.
32. Paint with Light
Light art and painting with light, is a creative way to add words, light bursts, shapes, or capture fireworks in your images.
This photography idea works best with a dark background so that the illumination is more vivid. All you need is a torch or different colored lights, and long exposure.
Panning is a photography technique that creates the illusion of motion in your shot. Simply set a slow shutter speed and sweep your hand steadily to follow the subject as you take the shot.
This will create a sharp subject and a blurred background.
34. Focus on Different Age Ranges
Capturing people at key ages and stages in their lives is a great photographic idea. It adds depth and emotion to your images. One idea would be to focus on the elderly, babies or children. You can tell stories of your subject’s life through this imagery.
35. Delve into Duotone
Duotone is a great way to bring up the mid-tones of an image. It involves post-production edits to superimpose two contrasting color halftones on top of each other.
36. Capture Humanity
The theme of humanity, social or economic climates, and the world we live in today is an important photographic concept. You can present subjects in ways that could potentially influence your viewer’s opinion for both good or bad. This is a powerful skill to master.
37. Still Life Photography
Still life photographs are a great way to take everyday items and make them look beautiful and interesting. Your arrangement of subjects, lighting, and angles are very important in this genre.
38. Food Photography
The essence of good food photography is to make the subject of your photo look appetizing. This genre is highly sought after in restaurants and bars across the world.
39. Star Trails
Star trails are a stunning way to make your photography stand out from the crowd. To create them, you’ll need a long exposure and avoid light pollution. You have to track the movement of stars in relation to the rotation of the earth.
40. Photograph Seasons
Incorporate the changing seasons into your photography to add some color. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter offer great opportunities for photography
41. Pet Photography
Pet photography is a great way to showcase the cheeky characteristics of our fluffy friends. It can tell their stories and provide insight into their lives.
More information on pet photography.
42. Create Beautiful Bokeh
Bokeh is basically how your lens perceives out of focus points of light. This sought after effect is a favorite of portrait photographers because it helps to get rid of unwanted background distractions and is visually pleasing.
43. Play with Light Prisms
Use a prism to bend light in your images to create unique effects. They can be used to create a subtle color, blur and shape effects across your images. Prism photography is quite a simple process, but the results can be beautiful.
44. Tell a Story
One can argue that photography is storytelling. Your main objective in telling stories through photography is to visually convey a story to your viewers. You can tell stories of people, landscapes or even hidden worlds.
More information on storytelling.
45. Dabble in Double Exposure
Double exposure is an editing technique that combines 2 different images into one. You can tell two sides of one story in a single image. The end results are beautiful and unique.
More information on double exposure.
46. Mini Globe Panoramas
Mini globe panorama photography is the perfect way to contain an entire vista into one image. Panoramic globes are created through the use of a panorama setting or specialized equipment. It is a unique way of seeing the world and quite simple to create.
More information on mini globe panoramas.
47. Dazzle with the Droste Effect
The Droste Effect is a really exciting way to present a subject.
It is simple to achieve in post-production and is an easy way to make a mundane image pop. The Droste Effect applies a repetitive photographic sequence of the same image, to confuse the viewer.
More information on the Droste Effect.
48. Time-Lapse Photography
Time-lapse photography is a great way of showing continuous movement in a single shot. Simply shoot a range of photos of the same subject, at the same angle over a period of time, then fit them together at the post-processing stage.
The finished image will show a scene that is simultaneously at a standstill, while also appearing to move quickly.
49. Get Creative with Filters
Photography post-production doesn’t just have to be about adjusting contrast, brightness or saturation; you can add filters too. Creative filters such as grayscale, pop art, paint, cartoon or sketch can add a unique flair to your images.
More information on creative filters.
50. Try Hyperfocal Distance
The hyperfocal distance is the distance at which you focus your camera to maximize the depth of field, e.g. to get both the background and foreground in focus.
More information on hyperfocal distance.
We hope that this article has inspired you to go out, experiment and create your own spectacular photography.
Have you tried any of these techniques? What were the results? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
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