Feb 14, 2011

Creative Photography

Creative photography tricks can be used to add unique effects to your photos.

Professional photographers often use varying Depth of Field to add interest to their photos. This technique allows the central subject to be in sharp focus while the foreground and background have a softer focus or blur. This draws more attention to the subject by appearing to separate it from the surrounding areas.

DOF can be controlled by anyone with a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera by adjusting the aperture (lens opening). However, lighting conditions at the scene will often limit the amount of DOF because opening the lens aperture too large will over expose the photo. Point-and-shoot cameras are almost never able to use creative depth of field due to lack of control over the lens opening.
But here's a great creative photography trick that ANYONE can use for achieving that cool DOF effect:

Take a piece of clear plastic wrap, available in any grocery store, but instead of wrapping a sandwich we're going to stretch it over our camera lens. If you have a point-and-shoot camera just stretch it over the whole camera and secure it with a bit of tape or rubber bands. Make sure that there are no wrinkles on the part directly in front of the lens. Those with a protruding lens can use a smaller piece that need only stretch tightly over the lens front, and secure that tightly with a rubber band. Be sure it doesn't hinder or bind your lenses focusing mechanism.

Once you have your plastic wrap in place, using your finger smear just a bit of baby oil or petroleum jelly onto the wrap (NOT directly on your camera or lens!) along the outer edges of the lens area. So, when you're finished you should have a clear central area, surrounded by an oil-smeared outer area.
Now, when you take a photo, regardless of your lens setting, the central subject will be in sharp focus yet the edges will be blurred from the light coming through the oil smeared outer ring.

This is a great simulated Depth of Field effect that anyone can use to add real interest to their photos.

Try adding a little more petroleum jelly, or make the oily area bigger and the central clear area smaller. Have fun. The great thing about digital is you can see the result immediately.

Playing with these kinds of fun, homemade, creative photography tricks can really add new interest and excitement to your photos.

Robert Schwarztrauber is an award-winning photographer, author, and creator of "The Original Photoshop Recipe Cards" sold around the world. Through his creative photos and informative websites Robert is helping photographers across the globe add excitement and fun to their photos. For more information and creative photography tricks, visit his website at: http://creativephotographytricks.com