creative photo techniques

Do you want to use a few creative photo techniques to jazz up your photos?

Digital photography gives you an infinite number of possibilities. Do you realize what a great time it is to be interested in photography?

Once you've gotten a basic understanding of lighting, composition and exposure, you can expand your creativity with photography. 

Creative photo technique-mulitple subject from one - dog poses

One of the first creative photography techniques I had a lot of fun with when I was just beginning to experiment was multi-exposure. Of course, it was more challenging back then because it involved film and darkroom techniques.

The photo of the dog triplets above was easy to create. This photograph was created from the three separate photos of the same dog shown below.

3 Separte dog photos combined into one multi-position dog photo

It is actually often a simple digital photo editing trick than can be done easily once you learn it and have planned ahead.

To accomplish this effect, you must use a tripod to hold the camera in the exact same spot for every exposure. This will insure that you can combine the photos with no loss in quality or sharpness when you do your photo editing.

In the case of the multiple exposure of the German Shorthaired Pointer, I also needed a couple of dog biscuits to bribe her to stay in each of the locations for the three photos.

You need a tripod and a shutter release or the camera's self-timer to keep your images sharp unless you are using a high shutter speed or flash lighting to avoid camera shake.

I use Adobe Photoshop, but you can also use Gimp, which is similar in capabilities and it's free software. There is also a multi-exposure feature within the "Make a Collage" function of Picasa, but you will get the "ghost" effect when you combine the images.

Essentially you combine your different photos into one by stacking them as layers. You can they reveal or hide any part of any of the layers independently by making them into masks. When you are completely satisfied with you editing, you can "flatten" your layers into one single photograph.

Creative photo techniques using multiple exposures and layers in PhotoShop

I planned the 3-dog photograph so that there was plenty of room in between the three spots the dog would occupy in each of the separate photos.

Another one of those creative photo techniques is really just some creative photo editing that I frequently use with nature photography. Again it is done with Adobe Photoshop.

Look at the dramatic difference in the two photos below taken in Zion National Park.

creative photo techniques with software

Creative photo technique using Curves in PhotoShop

The photo on the right was adjusted using curves in Photoshop.  This is an advanced technique used to control contrast. The photo on the right was also sharpened a bit using Unsharp Mask applied to the "lightness" channel only in LAB mode.

It's a unique technique that I use frequently and absolutely love the results I get.

PhotoShop Curves used as a creative technique to enhance the photo

It takes a bit of experimenting to get to your desired result, but my adjustments to the curves often resemble a lazy "S" shape. This shape increases contrast in the shadow areas and the highlight areas, but has little effect on the mid-tones.

Please read my articles on creative photo techniques involving shutter speed, depth of field, composition and lighting, also posted to this Digital Photo Tips web site.

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