Photography is a unique discipline; you can try endless tips and tricks to make your pictures look better. However, many of these will involve needing additional equipment—such as tripods and different lenses.
The good news is that you don’t need much more than the camera you already have to take amazing photos—even if that camera is on your smartphone.
If you’re curious to discover a wide selection of photography tricks that don’t require fancy new gear, you’re in the right place. This guide will show you a selection of things anyone can try with any camera.
1. Upside-Down Puddles
Puddles are incredibly useful if you want to get creative and make the most of reflections. An easy way to take unique photos is by flipping your camera or smartphone upside down, ensuring you can see both the puddle and its reflection.
Once you’ve positioned your device appropriately, you can take the picture. Besides puddles, this tip might also work with other bodies of water—such as lakes and rivers.
2. Take Photos Through Holes or Gaps
Whether you live in a big or small city, you will find plenty of unique photography opportunities. You can try taking pictures of well-known places through holes or gaps to make images of notable places look more unique.
If you look at many bridges, you’ll notice that they have circles or rectangles you can use to make your images look more interesting. You can also use narrow streets to create a similar effect; if you’re trying to get better at street photography, consider waiting for someone to walk past for a more unique shot.
Another trick you might want to try is covering half of your lens with a wall or something similar.
3. Take Pictures at Different Times of the Day
One of the easiest picture tricks for incredible photography is capturing shots at different times of the day. For example, golden hour is a popular time for taking pictures; the soft lighting can make scenes look dreamier, and portraits seem more flattering. In many cases, photos taken at this time might invoke positive emotions in many people.
However, golden hour isn’t the only interesting time of day to take photos. Blue hour offers plenty of opportunities as well. Capturing images in cloudy conditions is another handy way to make your pictures look more intriguing.
You can experiment and find out which time of the day suits your style.
4. Use In-Camera Filters
While you can purchase filters for your camera lens, that’s not what we’re talking about in this instance. Instead, we’re primarily discussing the different filters you can add to your pictures from within your camera.
If you use an iPhone to take photos, you’ll have plenty of different filter options—and the same is true for many Android devices. Meanwhile, camera manufacturers like FujiFilm have also included various profiles you can use to make your pictures look more interesting.
When using camera filters, it’s worth remembering that—in some cases—these might only apply to JPEGs. However, tools like Adobe Lightroom will allow you to add filters to RAW files.
5. Shoot in Landscape Mode
This tip seems pretty straightforward—but if you look at many people who snap pictures these days, you’ll notice that they only shoot in portrait mode. Considering that images with a 4:5 crop take up more screen space on Instagram, this isn’t too surprising.
Doing things differently and shooting in landscape mode can help you capture more interesting images. And since everyone else is doing the opposite, you might also stand out. Photographing in landscape mode is also useful if you want to get more of the scene into the shot.
If you want to publish your pictures on Instagram later, consider using Photoshop Express to create 4:5 canvases to which you can add your photos. That way, you won’t need to crop your images too much.
6. Play Around With Your Shutter Speed
Your shutter speed will play a huge role in determining how your pictures look, and being a little more flexible with it can help you achieve amazing results. Capturing motion in your photos will let you portray shots that are more fast-paced, and they allow you to get multiple moments in one go.
If you choose a slower shutter speed, you’ll have more motion. Conversely, choosing something faster—like 1/000—will freeze time. You’ll need to figure out a balance between getting the results you want and not making your photos too blurry.
When adjusting your shutter speed, you’ll also need to tweak the ISO and aperture to keep your exposure triangle balanced.
7. Get Close to Your Subject
If you don’t have a zoom lens, you can move closer to your subject to get an interesting perspective. This is especially true if you have any form of Macro Mode on your camera.
You can get closer to leaves, buildings, people, and so on. Doing so will also allow you to capture textures and give your shots more life.
8. Put Your Camera at a Unique Angle
We’ve already discussed putting your camera close to puddles or other bodies of water, but that’s not the only way to gain a unique perspective. You can twist and turn your camera in multiple other ways, such as pointing it upwards at buildings or placing your device on the floor.
You can also move your body to create similar effects. For example, you can crouch down or bring the camera to hip height instead. Experiment with different positions and figure out which work and don’t work for your photography style.
9. Play Around With White Balance
Let’s talk about white balance to round up our photo tricks. While you’ll want your picture colors to look realistic, you can play around with white balance to get more of a unique style. One example would be trying to achieve warmer tones on a summer’s day.
You can adjust the white balance in your camera by tweaking the Kelvin meter. However, that’s not your only option. For example, you can switch between your camera’s white balance filters—such as sunny and cloudy.
In addition to making your images look warmer, you can do the opposite by picking a bluer tone.
Try These Camera Tricks to Make Your Photos Look More Interesting
While we’ve covered a selection of trick photography ideas, these are only a small selection. You’ll find plenty of other ways to make your images look interesting, and as you take more photos, you’ll almost certainly find your own unique tricks.
Start with this list and branch out as you become more experienced.