Trick photography is the most improved form of photography. There are many types of trick photography but basically they all focus on one thing, trick. They capture the world in a slightly ‘tricked’ manner.
Capturing photos of your trips creatively or taking them just for fun is something that everyone wants to do. You might own a camera and you might know about each and every option of it but have you ever thought how could you make use of all these in order to expand horizons of your camera knowledge?
Well! Here are the five really common and popular types of trick photography that are really easy to tackle and fun to play with:
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HDR Trick Photography
High Dynamic Range, commonly known as HDR photography, is a trick in which photos with different exposures are combined, which increase that photo’s “dynamic range”. To make it clear, the exposure level between dark and light areas of a photo is called its dynamic range. Basically, you can manage HDR directly with some software but generally it is done with 3 photographs having different exposures.
When doing it from your camera, you have to use a software to combine those three images altogether. However, when doing it from your cell phone camera, you don’t have to use any software. You phone’s settings will do it all for you and believe me, it will create such beautiful photos that are hard to keep your eyes off.
The main purpose of HDR photography is to take better photos in ugly situations or in situations in which you can’t think about perfect camera settings. However, the best suited situations in which you should do HDR include landscapes, portraits in heavy sunlight and scenes with low light. This means that when you can’t find perfect lighting for your photographs, then you should switch to HDR trick.
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HDR photos do look good and are really fun to do, but there are some certain situations in which you should avoid this trick. These situations include high-contrast scenes, scenes with vivid colors, and pictures with movement.
- HDR 1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42343095@N08/14268986451/in/pool-hdr-surreal/
- HDR 2: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/93542361@N00/1543318604
Tilt-shift photography involves shrinking your subject and making it appear like a toy. The photography trick has been grabbing much attention for last few years. The main purpose of this trick is to pick a real life scene and convert it into a fun miniature scene.
Some cameras now offer built-in miniature option to create such photos. It is not a typical type of photography because you apply a blur effect to make your photo look miniature.
The typical tilt-shift photography is done with a very special type of lens which costs you a lot of money. This trick could also be done with your cell phone camera.
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- Tilt-shift 1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79889568@N02/7322585596
- Tilt-shift 2: https://www.flickr.com/photos/machncaz/450880772
Long Exposure Photography
The explanation of this term can be easily guessed by its name. To explain it in easy words, opening your camera’s sensor to light for a long time is called long exposure. The most common use of long exposure is in night photography because its main purpose is to enhance the brightness of a particular scene.
You might have observed long exposures in photos of vehicles, spinning rides and fireworks mostly. Yes! Now you know what long exposure photography really is. The trick gives a really different ad artistic look to your photo. Actually the effect shows movement in the photos. Also, the trick is most commonly used in showing the movement of water. Another use of long exposure is in foggy or misty scenes. It creates dream-like and mysterious atmospheres in such situations.
When capturing photos with long exposures, you need to make use of a tripod most-importantly. You might have real steady hands and a great image stabilizer but believe me without a tripod, long exposure is really not possible. Natural camera holding definitely creates blur to some extent. So, to avoid blur in your long exposure photos, you need to use a tripod.
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Another important thing in long-exposure photography is choosing the right subject. The most ideal subjects that actually enhance your long exposure photography are night lights, fog or rushing water. However, how long your exposure should be depends on you. It is adjustable through manual controls of your camera. The trick is to choose the right shutter speed. So, it is suggested that you set a few seconds on your camera. Most of the cameras come with a ‘Bulb’ option which lets you open your shutter for as much time as you want. Well! Having a remote for shutter control is recommended because pressing the button might shake your camera, resulting in a blur photo.
- Long Exposure 1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcronin/5249140341
- Long Exposure 2: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kitkit201/8595601456
Rear Curtain Sync
Apart from long exposure photography, there is another technique through which you can show movements in your photos. This technique is called Rear Curtain Sync. It is also called as Slow Sync sometimes.
Ok, now in normal flash photography, the flash is fired automatically when curtains of your shutter open and close. This results in the freezing of your subject at beginning of exposure. You subject gets lightened up but the background gets darkened and all the detail of your background get hidden. Using this trick of photography, you can lighten up the background details as well and show their movement at the same time.
There is a Second (Rear) Curtain option in most of the DSLRs in which two flashes get fired. The first one gets fired when the first curtain of your shutter closes i.e. at the beginning of exposure, while the second one is fired when the second curtain of shutter closes i.e. at the end of exposure. Sure, your subject would be frozen in this shot, but the details in background will get blurred into movements and you will notice those suggesting trails.
You will find this sync option under your flash settings but these can be adjusted only when you have connected a flash to your camera. Also like long exposure photography, you need to choose a very slow shutter speed to create that epic movement effect. In this photography, you should set your shutter speed to fiftieth part of a second at least. The subjects that look best in this kind of photography are musicians or dancers.
Rear Curtain Sync is not that easy to do. You’ll find many blundered photos when capturing that great one. However, the result of that great photography would be really amazing.
- RCS 1: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ashley_photographer/12288396634
- RCS 2: https://www.flickr.com/photos/star_krek_photography/11036983504
Infrared Trick Photography
Have you seen those supernatural type of photos in which the colors appear really different. Well! This is called as infrared photography in which a modified digital sensor or film is used. Since that special modified sensor that you are using is sensitive to infrared light, your captured image will have amazing black-and-white effects or false colors.
Like, if you are capturing a landscape with trees and skies in black and white, then the sky will become menacingly black and the trees will look ghostly white. However, in colored photography, the scene will turn more dramatic as the leaves of the trees will turn orange and the skies will look hazy pink. This surreal infrared look was common back in 1960 when musicians loved to use this effect for their rock album covers. Nowadays, it is famous among landscape and art photographers because of its mind-bending artistic effect.
Infrared films can only be found at online sites and some retailers because the trend is now over and only a little people appreciate it. Secondly, the effect is really expensive. There are only a few cameras released with infrared sensors. The one and only company that mass-produced infrared cameras was Fujifilm. It released its all-in-one model in year 2007 known as FinePix IS Pro. However, after a short span of time, the company discontinued this camera. After a few years, Fuji released an infrared SLR but that wasn’t sold in bulk. Its production was limited. The camera was manufactured for law enforcement officers who needed such cameras to capture evidences. Also, there are many services online that will offer conversion of your camera to an infrared one or will deliver the tools so that you can do it yourself.
So, if you ever manage to get your hands on an infrared film or camera, then choose trees and sky as your subject first, because they are the easiest subjects to reflect typical infrared colors.
There are some things you need to set before starting out. Always shoot RAW when doing infrared photography. This is because shooting RAW lets you alter white balance without any problem. Never shoot your infrared images in JPEG mode. Also do not forget to turn off long exposure noise reduction in your camera.
You might be a very good landscape, wedding or any other type of mainstream photographer but believe me to add some fun and mood to your photography, you need to learn and practice these five types of trick photography. They really help in understanding some really important camera terms and options to beginners. Also, they help beginners in impressing people that yes they are doing good work. Trick photography is really easy to do once you get your hands on the right settings.