10 Ideas To Boost Your Photo Creativity

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We all get into a rut sometimes with photography. We find ourselves doing the same things, shooting the same subjects in the same ways. Here are some ideas to challenge your creativity next time you go out with your camera. Pick one of the ideas and restrict yourself to only creating pictures using this technique for the entire session. You will likely find you are forced to get creative and think beyond your usual compositions.

  1. One focal length – Head out with only one prime lens or gaffer tape your zoom lens to a specific focal length for the entire session. Focus on framing the composition by moving around your subject. Zoom with your feet.

  2. Frame within a frame – Compose all your pictures so the subject is surrounded by an object in the environment that acts as a natural frame.

    Frame Within a Frame

  3. Up close and personal – Every picture must be within 5 feet of your subject. Experiment with getting close to the subject and letting it fill the frame. Getting close makes the subject more prominent in the image.

  4. Black and white only – Set your camera to monochrome and shoot only in black and white. Look for high contrast subjects. Without the use of color to add interest to the photo, focus on light and shadows.

    Black and White

  5. Reflections – Incorporate a reflection into each picture you take. Look for unusual surfaces that might cause reflections and use them in your photographs.

  6. Foreground, middleground, background – Make pictures that have these three compositional elements at once. Having strong elements at different distances from the camera adds interest.

    Foreground Middleground Background, and Reflections

    Foreground Middleground Background, and Reflections

  7. No Chimping – Cover your LCD screen with gaffer tape the entire session. Eliminating the instant feedback of the screen forces you to focus on visualizing the shot through the viewfinder and being more patient forming your composition.

  8. Rule of thirds – Take pictures that exhibit rule of thirds. Align your subject with the visual lines of interest that fall about one third of the way from each side of the frame. Take extra time when composing the shot so you can visualize the layout. Restrain yourself from cropping the image later on the computer to correct issues with framing.

    Subway Thirds

    Subway Thirds

  9. Faux-Film – Bring a 1GB memory card (or smaller) and shoot on highest raw settings. Limit yourself to 36 exposures max, like back in film days. Limiting your total photos will force you to be more selective and deliberate with your shots.

  10. Down and Dirty – Get low. Take all pictures with a part of your body touching the ground in addition to your feet. Explore the different perspective offered by shooting from a low vantage point.

    Get Low

    Get Low



Equipment used in photographs:

  1. Nikon D5100
  2. Nikon 18-200mm
  3. Sigma 8-16mm