How to Perform Trick Photography And Special Effects Creatively
Leisure / Photography
Trick photography is one of the fastest rising subgenres of photography because it doesn’t require a lot of additional equipment, and the results are often more than satisfying to the average enthusiast. Unlike other forms of photography, trick photography is also very open to beginners, and there are actually online communities that are just waiting for novice photographers to join. Image Credit: Highway at night (ISO speed) slow shutter speed photography 01, Wikimedia Commons. Image License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), Creative Commons.
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There are essentially four things that you will need to create spectacular trick photos: a subject, a light source, your camera, and a tripod. These are the bare essentials of trick photography.
Unless you are shooting pure light subjects, like swirling physiograms, you will need a subject so you can conceptualize your photos better. Additional materials and tools may be necessary in some trick shots, but for the most basic photographic effects, the four things I’ve mentioned are sufficient.
The simplest way to create special effects on your images is by tweaking the basic settings on your camera. Here is a breakdown of the most essential settings you will need to be familiar with if you want to perform trick photography and special effects:
Trick Photo and Special Effect Basic Settings
1. ISO speed – The ISO speed is the sensitivity of the camera to available light in the surroundings. The lowest ISO speed setting is 100 for most cameras. The ISO speed range of 100 to about 400 is best for trick photography, because this speed range greatly reduces digital image noise.
Image noise refers to those out-of-place pixels on your digital images that have to be cleaned up with Photoshop. If you don’t want to spend hours on your computer cleaning up images you have just taken, then it is best to minimize their occurrence by adjusting your camera’s ISO speed.
Generally speaking, the higher your ISO speed setting, the brighter your image (and vice versa). If you are shooting in low light conditions (such as a concert), a higher ISO speed setting will allow you get more details from your subjects (but more digital noise, too).
If you are working with flash, LED strips, and other sources of light, it won’t matter if your ISO speed setting is low, because the available light sources will compensate.
2. Aperture – Another camera setting that will help you create stunning images is the aperture. The aperture or f-stop setting controls how much light enters your camera’s lens. The rule for f-stop values is simple: the higher the f-stop value (ex: f=32), the darker your image. The lower the value, the wider the aperture becomes and brighter your image gets.
3. White balance – If you want to change the color temperature of your images, you need to master your camera’s white balance settings. The white balance settings of your camera are pre-set values that you can use to make your images warmer or cooler, depending on what you want to accomplish with your shot. Settings like fluorescent will make colors and light look bluish, and therefore cooler. If you want more neutral tones (staying true to the actual appearance of the subject) then presets like Shade will do.
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