5 tricks to make your photographs special

October 13, 2015

Are your photographs boring and ho-hum, even though you have a great camera? Use these five tricks to make your photographs special. Here, you'll learn how to turn an ordinary photograph into something truly extraordinary.

5 tricks to make your photographs special

1. Use Juxtaposition

  • Juxtaposition in photography means placing two or more objects in proximity for contrast. An example of this would be a photograph of an octogenarian holding a newborn baby.
  • The smoothness of the baby's face in contrast with the deep wrinkles on the elderly person's face makes for compelling photographic imagery.
  • When you next photograph something, consider setting something in the frame that is in stark contrast with your subject matter.

2. Introduce action

  • A picture of your little girl standing in her gown on graduation day is sweet. But imagine that same picture, but with a background filled with her graduating class throwing their mortarboards into the air.
  • When you introduce action into your photographs you transform them from static images into kinetic imagery that can evoke real emotion.
  • Some simple ways to introduce action into everyday snapshots include blowing bubbles into the frame, throwing autumn leaves into the air or letting a feather slowly ride down on a current of air.

3. Frame your subject

  • Framing your subject involves using some kind of existing object to create a natural frame around the photo.
  • For example, if you are photographing someone in a rowboat in the middle of a lake, you could use a tree trunk or some overhanging branches.
  • Stand back a little so you can get the branches in the picture and observe the picture inside the frame through the lens.
  • Framing also gives a sense of place from the photographer's viewpoint. In other words, if you took the shot without the branches, the lake could be any size or distance from the photographer.
  • Including the branches lets the viewer know that that photographer was standing on land when the shot was taken.

4. Give depth and size perception

  • Some photographs fail because the photographer gave no sense of depth to the subject.
  • Make sure there's something else is in the shot that the viewer would recognize to put the subject in perspective.
  • An example of bad perception would be pictures of seahorses in magazines. Typically when you see a picture of a seahorse, you just get a close up as it floats in the sea.
  • But if you've ever seen a seahorse in person, you'd discover that an average sized seahorse is about two inches long.
  • If you'd have seen a photo of a seahorse with a big shark in the background, you would have had a better sense of size perception.

5. Go back in time

  • Sometimes images can take on a completely different look and feel just by applying a digital black and white filter.
  • So if you take, for instance a photo of a young child, you can turn it into something special just by printing it in black and white or sepia.

Use these five tricks to make your photos extra special, and soon you'll be thinking of even more ways to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

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