Creativity photography advice

Defining a creative photograph is difficult, however put in a simplistic manner it is anything that is not a snapshot. So, as an example let’s take a photograph of a dog. A snapshot is the photo taken by simply pointing the camera at the dog and pressing the shutter button. A creative photograph of the dog is one where the background is out of focus or the dog is “doing” something, such as running, carrying a ball, swimming etc. If thought, time and effort is put in to capturing a photograph it is creative.  So, how do we go about turning a snap shot in to a creative photography?

1) Use a suitable camera


Canon eos 5d mark ii


It is possible to take creative images with any type of camera, however when using a point and shoot camera it is more down to luck than skill or judgement. In order to get creative you need to have the control over the exposure to achieve the results you want to achieve. Historically, the only way of having this control was to use a camera that offers manual control, such as a digital slr camera. With this camera you can determine the ISO, the shutter speed and the aperture, which allows for so many creative effects. However, times have changed and there are now mirrorless cameras, which many people consider the best alternatives to digital slr cameras.

For example, varying the aperture allows you to have a narrow depth of field, meaning the background is nicely out of focus, or having a wide depth of field, where the image is pin sharp from front to back. Do you want a narrow depth of field or a wide depth of field? Which is going to be best for the photograph you want to take? The answer to this will vary from person to person but the main thing is that with a digital slr camera you are free to choose.

As another example, varying the shutter speed allows you to freeze time and motion by using super fast shutter speed or allows you to build in some movement blur using a slow shutter speed. Whether a slow or fast shutter speed will produce the best photograph will depend on the type of image you are trying to capture but, once again, with a digital slr camera you have total control and are free to choose.

2) Use an appropriate lens



The Canon EF16mm - 35mm f2.8L


When taking creative photographs it is important to consider the lens and make sure you use the best lens for the image you are trying to capture. For example, if you want to take some macro and close up images you are going to need a specific macro lens, as well as thinking about the essential macro photography tips.

Similarly, if you want to take a portrait with a nice out of focus background you need to ensure the lens you use has a wide maximum aperture. In these circumstances if you shoot a Nikon you are going to need the best prime lens for Nikon and if you shoot a Canon you are going to need the best prime lens for Canon digital slrs.

3) Think about the type of image you want to achieve

As we have already established simply pointing the camera something and pressing the shutter button is likely to end up being a snapshot. Creative photography involves thinking about the type of photograph you want and then setting the camera up to achieve that.

You need to visualise the final image before you have even pointed the camera at the subject. You need to think about the composition, i.e. how to frame the subject, you need to think about the overall exposure (i.e. do you want a dark image or a lighter one), and you need to think about whether the depth of field or the amount of blur is the most critical thing.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there is a lot of different things to think about and consider when trying to capture creative photographs, however this is the fun of it. Experimenting and finding out what does and what doesn’t work is what creative photography is about. When attempting to capture creative photos you need to keep an open mind, be prepared to experiment and try different things and be prepared to have a lot of photographs and images that simply don’t work. The trick to creative photography is not to get too down or disappointed with the images that don’t work (and there will be many of these), learn from your mistakes and build on the images that do work.