Are you bored of taking the same old pictures? Many photographers find themselves hitting a wall where new ideas seem to seem to slip through their fingers. The cure? Sometimes all you need is to try something new. Shake the dust off your camera and give one of these styles a try, and don’t forget to take advantage of BeFunky’s Photo Editor for all your post-editing needs.

Bokeh (BOH-kay) Photography

Bokeh

Bokeh is a photography style that adds a touch of softness to a photograph by hazing out the background and highlighting the subject. In the image above, you can see how the flower petals pop out in comparison to the rest of the image. This effect is especially great to use when you have a bad background situation for a portrait photo.

The good news is that you probably already have everything you need to try out this technique. Most camera lenses can be used to create a bokeh effect, but prime lenses with a large aperture tend to work best. The camera will need to be set into manual or aperture priority mode to adjust the aperture settings.

A good starting point is around f/1.4 or f/1.8 for the best results. Place the subject of the shot as far away from the background as possible and make sure the camera is focusing on the subject. It may take a few tries to get the hang of this technique, but you’ll be a pro in no time. Need help with all that exposure talk? Check out this post for more info on that.

And if you’re looking to nail the perfect bokeh effect without the fancy equipment, the Photo Editor’s got a lovely Textures section where you can play around with Bokeh to your heart’s content:

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Already tried bokeh? Try this!

If you’ve already tried bokeh photography and you want to spice things up a bit, try creating your own cutouts. All you need are some scissors, black cardboard, and black tape. Use the scissors to cut out a circle from the cardboard big enough to lay against the rim of the lens. In the center of the circle cut out a shape such as a star, heart, or alphabet letter. The shape tends to work better if it is at least half a centimeter big, but may vary depending on lighting. Use the black tape to secure the cutout to the lens. Now set your camera so the aperture is completely open and have fun.

There’s also this pretty sweet post on 5 DIY filters using household items, if that’s your cup of tea.

Reflection Photography

Reflection

Reflection photography is an entertaining way to breathe some life back into your photography. Every photographer has at least a little experience with reflection photography (whether it was intentional or not). Heck, I’m willing to bet that at some point you’ve even come across a reflective surface that’s bounced some extra color into your shot. If you want to add a little more style into your photographs without nature’s help, be sure to check out the Photo Effects in the Photo Editor.

Start by looking for reflective surfaces in the area such as water, metal, tiles, glass, or just about anything shiny. Get even more creative by purchasing a glass or crystal ball for locations that might not have a reflective surface to work with. There is no magic set of camera settings for this technique, so switch your camera to manual mode and experiment with the settings until you’re happy with the outcome. For water shots, use longer shutter speed for a smoother effect or attach a polarizing filter to tone down the reflection glare.

High Speed Photography

High Speed

Anyone can take pictures of a moment in time, but how about the moments that are faster than the eye can see? High speed photography is used to capture rapidly occurring events such as a balloon in the process of popping or a glass shattering. This style is a bit tricky and involves more prep than the above mentioned techniques, but don’t let that discourage you from trying something new. While there are several different tricks that can be used to create high speed photography, I’m just going to cover the basics to help get you started.

How it works:

The goal of this technique is to leave the shutter open on the camera long enough to capture the action—the action should trigger the flash creating just enough light to freeze the moment on camera. Getting the timing right is the most difficult part and will take several attempts. Meanwhile, the subject being used to create movement (example: balloon popping) should be placed in a dark room with a dark backdrop. It’s key that the room is completely dark without any exposure to outside light. The light source for this technique often uses a handheld flash that can be controlled by a trigger or timing device.

While there are some timing devices on the marker, many photographers build their own to save money. High speed photography is limited only by the amount of effort your willing to put into it. A quick internet search will show you all the crazy methods photographers have developed to create high speed photography. If you’re looking to snag a couple of tips and tricks along the way, the BeFunky Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration.

Feeling inspired yet?

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