In my last post I spoke about trying to get something different from a monument that has been photographed a thousand times before so I thought I would try and expand on that a bit and give you a few tips on how you might be able to achieve a unique end result.
So here are 5 tips to help you come up with something different
1. Get something in the bag quick
When you find your subject or scene that you want to photograph, get a photo you will be happy with quickly, this isn't going to be the most unique image yet but it will give you a starting point, warm up your trigger finger and help take the pressure off.
2. Play with contrast
Great photos are those with the greatest contrast, and I am not talking about that slider in Lightroom or Photoshop, or light vs dark, but the juxtaposition of elements in the frame, playing light of dark or smooth off rough, warm off cool, young off old, you get the point.
3. Get High, Get Low - Change your perspective
Lying on the ground might look weird to everyone else, but to your camera it can make the difference between a snapshot you post on Facebook or an image you would be proud to hang on your wall. Not only does getting lower, or getting higher if possible change the angles in the scene it also changes the feeling given to the viewer. Getting down low and looking up at a subject and give it a more imposing authoritarian feeling, where as getting up high and looking down on your subject can not only make it look smaller but can introduce a feeling of being powerless.
4. Play with time
Photography is all about time, we capture a relatively short slice of it, whether that be a 1/250th of a second or 30 seconds, when we press the shutter button. So play with it, if you are shooting a seascape extend your shutter and smooth out the ripples or waves in water or blur people rushing around a city with a 1/15th shutter speed. Time is not only a necessary ingredient in getting the right exposure for your image but it can also stir up emotions when used creatively in the right situations so get yourself an ND filter or just stop your aperture down and start playing.
5. Capture a moment
This is a harder one to explain as it can be a very broad topic. But capturing a moment can range from a sincere moment between a father and daughter on her wedding day, to how you remember a place to be and the feeling you had while there. The best example I can come up with of how to express this is with the image I took of Lake Geneva in Montreux Switzerland. It was such a serene and calming place to be, especially coming from London a few days earlier. Sitting on the banks of Lake Geneva just around the lakes edge from Chateau de Chillon, with my partner on one side of me, my camera on the other and the Alps in front of us, I could not have been happier or more a peace than anywhere else on this beautiful planet of ours and that is what I tried to get across with the end result, but to get there I had to use a bit of Photoshop and some of my creative license to get there which is definitely not frowned upon.
I hope these 5 tips helped, but keep in mind that these aren't the only way to make your images stand out or different. Things like post processing, cropping and adding your own personal story and style to the image after it has been captured also goes a very long way to making your image unique.
You can see an example of these tips being used with this image of Stonehenge below.