10 Photography Techniques to make outstanding pictures

Credits: Alex Beckett Photography

Stuck in a rut? Do all your images look the same? Wanna stand out from the crowd? Luckily we can help you with some quick photography techniques.

Here are ten tips you can try out to get images that startle.

1) Panning

Panning is a technique where you move the camera along with the subject to keep the subject sharp and  while the background becomes blurred. Use the Panning technique to add a dimension of movement to the subject and separate the subject from the background. Remember to keep the shutter speed around 1/100 to 1/200 to get the best results.

HD by Cristian Todea on 500px.com

Photo by Cristian Todea

2) HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, it is a technique where multiple images of the same scene of varying exposure are blended together to get all the details in the scene. Using Hdr technique we can bring the vivid colours in a photograph which won’t be possible using a single exposure. Use the HDR for bringing out the details in backlit photos or the fine details in architecture as shown below.

Fontana di Trevi by Peter Stewart on 500px.com

 Photo by Peter Stewart

3) Bokeh(Shallow depth of field)

Bokeh is the nature of the out of focus bits in an image. When images are shot with apertures like f/2.8 or lower the background becomes blurry resulting in a smooth and silky background which is pleasing to the eye while the subject remains sharp. The lights in the background become round or hexagonal depending on the shape of the aperture of the lens. Use this technique to isolate the subject and make the image less cluttered while making the overall image more aesthetically pleasing.   You don’t need to buy the most expensive lenses to get a good bokeh. The 50mm f/1.8 which retails for about  Rs6000 can take really bokehlicious images.

sweet babies by Katie Andelman Garner on 500px.com

Photo by Katie Andelman Garner

4) Long exposure

In this technique, the shutter speed is kept at a lower setting to create motion blur in the frame. Keep the shutter speed very low to blur even the motion of the clouds and give the water a smooth and silky look like in the photo below.


Photo by Anthony Fields

Use this technique to give your portrait shots a new dimension as shown below.

Violinist & Cellist Performing in Traffic by Anatoleya  on 500px.com

Photo by Anatoleya

5) External lighting

Use a speed light or a strobe to light up your subject. This will allow us to reduce the exposure and bring out the colors in the background and create an awesome dramatic image.

Passion by Melody Hood on 500px.com

Photo by Melody Hood

6) Rear-curtain sync flash

Combine the Slow shutter technique with a speedlight set to Rear-curtain sync mode to capture some sharp images with motion blur to get the most out of your action shots.

Capoeira in Motion by Jeremy Hall on 500px.com
Photo by Jeremy Hall

7) Selective colour

This is an editing technique where the saturation of all the colors is reduced expect one color. Use this technique to direct the attention of the viewer to the subject and make the subject stand out.

Love by YuriFineart on 500px.com

Photo by YuriFineart

8) Light Painting

This is a technique where a hand-held light source like a torchlight or a mobile phone is moved in the frame during a long exposure to create funky lines and shapes. Use this technique with multi-colored lights and rear-curtain sync flash to transform even the dullest of locations into a light-filled wonderland. Try out this technique with sparkles, steel wool and fire to take your outdoor nighttime portrait shoots to the next level.

Super Power by Ben Heine on 500px.com
Photo by Ben Heine

9) Multiple Exposure

This is a technique two or more exposures are superimposed over each other to create a single image. Use can do this using the in-camera multiple exposure mode or phot0shop. To learn more about multiple exposure read our article about multiple exposures here.

Миша&Юлиана  by Ivan Popov on 500px.com

Photo by Ivan Popov

10) Zoom  Burst

This a technique where one zooms the lens while taking a photograph. The result is an image with multiple lines converging towards the center of the frame. Use this technique to create a sense of direction and divert the viewer’s sensor to the centre of the frame.

The Light Fantastic by Mark  Cornick on 500px.com

Photo by Mark  Cornick

Feature image by Alex Beckett