Are you isolated at home right now? How’s that going for you? It’s a weird and scary time and the CLG team and I are right there with you, stuck at home too. And as we’re forced to restrict ourselves in so many ways, we need to keep an eye on our mental health. Staying connected, engaged, and stimulated is key to getting through this, at least from an emotional point of view.
So with that in mind, this week’s highlights reel is a collection of images that use fun techniques or subject ideas, that you can do without leaving the house. Read on, grab the tips and go have some fun with it!
This fun idea popped up in our Grad’s group during one of our challenges, and we fell in love with it. Lisa shared with us her tips for creating this shot:
Shutter Speed: 1/160
There are two ways to create a shot which uses intentional blur to creative effect.
We love this artistic technique because it gives us permission to let go of the need for razor sharp focus and shoot freely, and this is especially liberating when the subject is our kids in motion!
We use shutter speed to capture or freeze motion, and in doing so you need to consider the speed of the motion, because this affects the final outcome just as much as the shutter speed.
In this instance you’re going to capture motion to purposefully create blur, so you need a shutter speed that is too slow to freeze the motion. Now, as the speed of motion will vary depending on the type of action and the age and ability of your subject, naturally your shutter speed will vary too. So you’ll need to experiment with settings until you get an effect you love.
Before you say “action!” switch your camera to continuous focus drive mode and high speed burst mode, choose a focus point and say action! Then fire off multiple shots of your subject jumping, moving, dancing, spinning, whatever!
Ensure your focus point is over your subject… if it lands on the background which isn’t moving, you’ll have a sharp background and that’s not desirable.
In this shot below, the shutter speed was quite fast at 1/640, however the subject was spinning very fast. If a much slower shutter speed had been used, she would have been rendered unrecognisable.
Shutter Speed: 1/640
This blur is created through intentionally avoiding sharp focus, and it creates a beautifully dreamy feel.
Whilst looking through the viewfinder turn the focus ring until they’re blurred. That’s it!
You could also drag your shutter a little if you want to add a little motion blur too… there are no rules, you’re only limited by your own vision!
Traditionally created by making more than one exposure on a slide or frame of film, multiple exposures are simply the combining of two or more images to create a single image. Many digital cameras now include this function or they can be created in software such as Adobe Photoshop. Some uses of multiple exposures are composites, creative portraits, focus stacking and HDR photography.
This mini tutorial will show you how to do it easily do it in Photoshop… even if you’re a beginner!
The first image was created by layering the two images below it. There are many ways to do this in Photoshop, but we think Becca’s method is the easiest. For the purpose of this mini tutorial, we’ll name the image file of Lenox as Image 1 and the leaf image as Image 2:
This is one of the most basic methods. If your Photoshop skills are more advanced, you might like to experiment with different blending modes, or layer masks so you can easily erase areas where you don’t want to see the overlay at all.
But for beginners,this is a fabulously easy start! The first image was created using only the method above, by layering the second and third image.
Still life photography is the art of depicting inanimate subjects. It’s an artistic genre, and often the challenge is in finding objects that work together and arranging them in a balanced way that is visually appealing.Try these tips to get started:
Head outside early or late in the day and have a play with your shadows! Look for well defined, hard light shadows to create unexpected low light imagery. The subject doesn’t have to be a person either… any shadow if well defined and interesting can be a subject within itself if you pay attention to the surroundings and your composition.
Related: Shadow Photography
These days we’re all in love with the organic feel of a lifestyle or documentary approach to portraits. They do a great job of depicting our daily lives, conveying personality and character, and including the environment gives us context to tell a story.
But there’s a lot of fun to be had with a simple black backdrop as it forces us to get a little more creative to capture personality, and it can be loads of fun for the kids because in this instance we don’t want them to simply sit and smile.
Simple black fleece fabric or throw is a great option for a home made backdrop. Sheets are not so great as they tend to crease easily and that shows up in images. Also, put your subject a good metre away from the backdrop to blur it nicely.
You’re also not limited to black. If you love colour or pattern, go crazy, be my guest! Clash as much as you like!
Then have some fun! We love the impact of the unexpected large expanse of negative space has given this shot.
Add a little sparkle to your portraits and hand them a sparkler. Make sure they’re old enough to hold it safely!!
Related: DIY Sparkler Photos
Create a gorgeous fairy light bokeh frame by dangling some white, battery operated fairy lights in front of your lens. Make sure they’re not too close or the highlights will blow out, and you don’t want to scratch your lens!
Tip: If you don’t have any battery operated lights around the house, raid your Christmas deco box for objects that light up. Open it up and remove the small light set up.
The first time I tried this experiment I dangled the lights in front of my lens with one hand, whilst trying to control my heavy camera and lens combo in the other. Let’s just say there was a lot of missed shots, sweating and swearing!
Excuse the dodgy phone photo, my camera was clearly required elsewhere!
A twist on the popular confetti portrait, the results are sparklier, but they’re also messier! So take this one outdoors or you’ll be cleaning glitter out of the corners of your home for the rest of your life!
But the process is the same as a confetti shot, and we have a handy tutorial we wrote earlier which walks you through it step-by-step!
Related: DIY Confetti Photos
This is one the kids will love to be involved in for the fun factor!
Follow Kelly’s easy tips and take your own!
For this shot, Megan popped the clear glass out of a pair of glasses, held it in front of her lens and shot through it. She also slowed her shutter speed to capture the motion of her son dancing.
Megan slowed her shutter speed for this shot, and captured some motion of her son dancing. We suggest for that speed of movement, begin with a shutter speed of around 1/30 and experiment.
Your lens will probably have trouble focussing through the extra layer of glass and will hunt which is frustrating! If this happens, switch over to manual focus and capture some intentional blur instead.
This is an oldie but a goodie, and it’s easier than you’d think!
Kellee took a series of photos of her son riding his little roller coaster, then stacked them together to create this fabulous shot!
And these are the images that came together to create the final masterpiece!!
Want more ideas for learning at home?
If you love food and you love photography, I’m so excited to announce our next Creative Workshop, Beautiful Food Photography with Naomi Sherman.
Over 4 weeks in this interactive workshop, be led behind the scenes by international award winning food photographer Naomi Sherman and learn everything you need to start creating your own delicious food photos. We go on sale on 31st March (US) / 1st April (Aus), and if you register your interest here we’ll notify you as soon as we open!
Our 8 Week Enthusiast Photography Course is starting again SOON! You'll learn how to get the most from your DSLR & take photos you LOVE!