How Did They Do That?
Have you ever looked at an amazing photograph and wondered “How did they do that?” Wonder no more. If you are a photographer who wants to learn how to do some of the most interesting and exciting photo tricks, this article will explain exactly how those mind-boggling images are made. Read on to get the secrets of special effects and trick photography, and learn how to incorporate them into your own work.
A Moment Frozen in Time
It seems like it should be impossible to get a photograph of a split-second instant like a balloon popping or a glass shattering. However, by using the right settings on your camera, you can do exactly that. The secret? Set up your photograph in a completely dark room. This means that you can keep the shutter open without any light exposure happening. Then, synchronize the flash with the image you want to capture. The easiest way to do this is by using a sound plug-in for your camera that will activate your flash at the sound of a loud noise. Pop the balloon and the flash will be triggered, capturing the photograph. Though this technique takes practice to get exactly right, the resulting image is worth the time spent.
High-Dynamic Range Photography
This technique creates an image that is completely “noise-free,” meaning that there are none of the imperfections that come with a regular photograph. This creates an image that is incredibly sharp and lifelike, with vibrant color and immaculate edges. To take a high-dynamic range photo, you need to take three exposures of the same scene. One should be properly exposed, one underexposed, and one overexposed. Once you have the three images, use a digital editing program like Photoshop to layer them on top of one another. This can be a complex process, but like with all photography tricks, the best way to get started is by jumping in and experimenting so you find out what works best for you.
Macro photography is the art of taking an extremely close and detailed photograph of a very small object, like an insect, a flower, or a drop of water. Though special macro lenses are available, it’s possible to take this type of photo with just a point-and-shoot camera. In many cases, the camera you already own may have a macro mode. You’ll also want to make sure to use a tripod. Choose a large aperture for a shallow depth of field, and use manual focus to zoom in sharply on the most important part of the photo. You may also want to use an automatic shutter release so that the camera doesn’t capture the shake that occurs when you push the shutter manually. This type of photo works best in a setting with lots of natural light, although it can work with a bright flash as well.
Working with Silhouettes
Shooting interesting silhouetted images on a bright background like an orange sunset can result in striking, eye-catching photographs. To get started, set your light balance for the bright background, rather than the foreground as you’d do with most photographs. Make sure to focus on the silhouetted image so that it pops out from the background in sharp detail. If you’re capturing several silhouetted images in one photo, such as a group of people, make sure they don’t overlap with each other. If there are too many intersecting shadows, it may be difficult for the viewer to discern what they’re looking at. However, if you’re going for an abstract look, the overlap can be exactly what you need.
Most DSLR cameras allow you to take several exposures of the same image and combine them into one photograph effortlessly. This technique can be used to capture motion, such as a runner crossing the finish line, a basketball player making a jumpshot, or a racecar speeding down the track. Make sure that you use a tripod when experimenting with multiple exposures so that the images captured are still and clear. If your camera doesn’t have the feature to combine the photos automatically, you can do it yourself in a photo editing program.
You might have been spooked by a “ghost” photograph that appears to show a specter in a shadowy room, but most of these photos are actually faked. If you’d like to try to make a scary ghost images to creep out your family and friends, simply take one photo of a ghost-like, floating image (try a sheet), and one of a dark shadowy room. Today, we can combine the two images using digital photography software, although this technique is also common in film photography.
Trying these step-by-step photo tutorials will help you get in on the secrets of trick photography and special effects. As with most elements of photography, luck and timing factor into getting that perfect shot. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you lots of time and practice to get the effect you’re looking for. Chances are, you’re learning something along the way. In fact, experimenting with photography tricks may open you up to a new way of thinking about your art and expand your creativity.
Though photo editing software isn’t necessary for most of these tricks, if you’re serious about photography it makes sense to invest in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Take lots of photos, play with them, and most of all, have fun!
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