8 Creative Photography Techniques + Inspiration Images

There is always something new to learn about the fascinating world of photography. Whether you are a seasoned professional or amateur, learning new photography techniques can elevate your images to the next level. 

How so? Well, implementing new photographic techniques can get you out of an artistic rut, or help you break outside of your comfort zone. From macro to panoramic photography, there is no limit to what you can create with images! 

So, what are you waiting for? Read this blog, on 8 creative photography techniques, to get inspiration for your next image! Then, grab your camera! 

1. Get Up Close with Macro Photography

macro image of a drooping flower with water droplets

Macro photography is the practice of capturing small subjects in extreme detail, focusing on tiny objects or living organisms such as plants and insects. Using a macro lens or camera setting allows photographers to capture a world that is often unseen by the naked eye. This image of a flower is a perfect example of the macro technique in action because it is an extreme close up that magnifies the subject and makes it appear larger than life size.

2. Show Movement with Motion Blur

black and white, multiple-exposure image of a woman twirling in heels with lots of motion blur.

What is motion blur, you ask? In photography, motion blur is the intentional blurring of a subject that is in motion. This technique is used to create a photographer’s desired visual effect and immerse the viewer in the feeling of movement. Motion blur works best when part of the image is blurred, allowing it to stand in sharp contrast to the part of the image that is static. This image of a woman dancing in heels, by Alexander Krivitskiy, is a great example of motion blur because the woman’s upper body is in continuous motion while her feet remain stationary. 

3. Bring on the Bokeh

Edison light bulb in focus with surrounding lights shown as bokeh in the background

If you’re wondering exactly what bokeh is, let us explain. The term bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke which means to haze or blur. This technique is depicted by visually-pleasing photographs, of out-of-focus points of light, like this image of light bulbs. To achieve a bokeh look, you’ll need to pay attention to the type of lens you’re using. According to the camera experts at Nikon, the best way to get a bokeh effect is to use a fast lens at a wide aperture such as f/2.8.

4. Crank Up Your Camera to High-Speed

three kids splash water on each other while taking a bath in a river.

Looking to capture an action-packed shot that freezes motion? Try increasing your shutter speed! High-speed photography is perfect for capturing alluring shots of athletes, liquids being poured and other fast phenomena. This image of three kids splashing in a river is a great example of high-speed photography because it shows the children and splashes of water frozen in time.

5. Play with Light When You Use Long Exposure

car lights trail across the highway at sunset

Using a long-duration shutter speed allows photographers to capture stationary objects in an image while blurring moving objects. This photography technique is incredibly useful when it comes to capturing time lapses, or trails of light. This photograph, of car light trails at night, is a wonderful example of how long-exposure photography can be used to add color and vibrancy to an image.

6. Use Your Camera or Phone to Achieve a Shallow Depth of Field

close-up photo of a cactus with shallow depth of field that provides a soft halo effect around the edges of the cactus.

Shallow depth of field is achieved when photographers use a low f-stop while capturing their subject. A low f-number, such as f/1.4  or f/5.6, allows more light into the camera and makes the plane of focus very shallow. Depending on your subject and plane of focus, you can blur the foreground of an image. Likewise, you can also use shallow depth of field to blur the background of an image like this shot of a cactus. On your phone, this technique is commonly referred to as ‘portrait mode’. Whether you use a traditional camera or a smartphone, shallow depth of field is a good way to capture a stunning shot, no matter your subject.

7. Grab the Right Gear and Go Underwater

a whale shark and fish underwater.

Dive into a different world with underwater image-making – a photography technique that requires a bit of courage! Ready to ride the waves and get some awesome shots in the process? Snag a waterproof camera, diving equipment, and underwater lights, to get started on your journey to the sea floor. Underwater photography allows you to capture sea life up close and personal, like this shot of whale shark and fish underwater. If this photo technique sounds intimidating, remember that underwater photography can be achieved while swimming or by using a remotely-operated camera rig.

8. Get the Whole View with Panoramic Photography

panorama of sunset over Botswana, near Ghanzi, Africa.

Take it all in with panoramas. This photographic technique is about capturing elongated fields of view; stitching together a series of images to create a single photo. But, how does one take a panoramic photo? Creators can use their smartphones’ software or specialized camera equipment to achieve a panorama in one shot. Alternatively, creatives can take multiple images and stitch them together manually in image editing software such as Photoshop.  This shot, of the sunset over a landscape in Botswana, is a wonderful example of how a panorama can help you capture the feeling of a place.