How to take photo with special effect?

  • The term "special effects" can cover a multitude of techniques, but here I use it in reference to experimental photographs or pictures with a gimmick. Just as I enjoy finding new subjects, I also enjoy discovering new ways of looking at familiar subjects, and, when I'm not rushed, I spend a lot of my spare time experimenting with new ideas.

  • Apart from the nature of the camera, the possibilities for experimentation are limited only by one's imagination. To help in this direction, many "special effect" gadgets have been invented, such as prisms and cross star filters, and new devices keep appearing on the market all the time. You can also experiment with equipment such filters designed for black-and-white photography in order to produce intensified yellow, blue, or red effects. Or, for strange misty pictures or abstract compositions you can shoot through a piece of glass, or a filter that has been lightly smeared with Vaseline. Multiple exposures or shooting reflections are other possibilities. Any one of such things can be done in combination with another to produce still different effects.

  • A gimmick by itself does not make a picture; indeed it can often spoil an otherwise perfect shot. As in straight photography, it's important first to find an interesting subject, then to try to portray it in an interesting way. The subject should also be suitable for the special effect you wish to employ. If you have a definite theme or motif, so much the better. Many photographers have taken a passage from some literary classic and interpreted the theme and mood in a highly poetic way.

  • One word of caution: whatever your chosen special effect, use it sparingly in any kind of presentation you make. No matter how good it is, anything that is overdone or repeated too often loses its impact and becomes increasingly monotonous.

  • On the next few pages are a few experiments I have made in recent years that have pleased me. They are included in the hope that the reader may be inspired to go out and make experiments of his own and maximize the personal satisfaction gained through photography.

More information about types of photography scenery

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