March is arrived and soon spring will be here and changing our environment with the beauty of green leaves, colourful flowers, jumping squirrels, later sunsets and early sunrises. But this month is a transitional month and here in Belgium we still have a winter decor with only early signs of changes. So, if you are looking for some inspiration you have here 5 Ideas to try in March:
1. Light Painting
I know this is not a new technique, but have you ever tried it? I have and I adored it! You can have great results even on small subjects, and this is my advice, if you are starting, start small, you’ll be astonished to see how different are everyday objects when you light paint them. You can shoot indoor, in your kitchen, living room, laundry room, bedroom, doesn’t matter or outdoor. Now, If you are outside, you should check the city lights, as you are shooting with a long exposure technique, your camera will catch all the sources of lights that surround you. It can be nice, or it can screw everything, all depends of what you want to photograph and how. With a 30s exposure time you can even have a nice starred sky behind your subject, if there are no other lights that pollute your place and that’s awesome! What do you need?:
- A SLR Camera
- A tripod
- A source of light
If you don’t know how to do light painting photography, or you want more tips, have a look here: Light Painting Tips.
2. Long Exposure Hand Holding Photography
I love long exposures, but usually I use them when photographing the sea, water, or if needed in my landscape photographies, so, basically with a tripod and a remote control . Last month I’ve met a photographer (Bones Tea) that uses long exposures hand holding his camera and takes urban photographies. I can say the result is really nice, people moving seem ghosts in a frenetic town. So, if you are tempted of trying this is a challenging technique as you really need to stay as still as possible keeping your breath when shooting. What do you need?:
- An SLR camera
- A neck strap
- Your Time, your creativity, your curiosity, your art :)
How do you do it? First of all choose a place where there are people passing by, try underground stations, stations’ platforms, streets, zebra crossing etc. choose a place where you can stand motionless and shoot. The challenge is to find a good balance between your aperture and shutter speed. If you have nice coloured dresses, saturate the colours in postproduction, they will pop up in the movement, or at the contrary you convert your image to a black& white one and you’ll also have a really awesome effect. Settings: There is not a magic formula, as usually in photography, but as the aim is to have as many “ghosts” as possible, you can try with first setting your ISO to 100, then set your shutter speed as low as you can (it’s easier in the evening or at night, but you can do it also during daylight), you can go to 1minute, but 30 seconds is a good start. Once set that, get your aperture as open as you can, at daylight is very difficult as your images will be fast over-exposed, but you can play with the +/- exposure adjustments button and try to compensate. Your pictures will be really bright,so, I know that it is not an easy technique, but once you have the right combination, the results worth the many attempts!
3. Birds Photography
Are you in Wildlife photography? I love all kind of animals but I don’t always have the possibility to travel and explore exotic regions where live colourful tropical birds, monkeys, bears, white bears, penguins etc. and sometimes it’s a kind of frustrating. However, it shouldn’t be, because if I ask my self today, “if you have now a tropical parrot in front of you, are you prepared and ready to take a beautiful shot?” The answer is: “Not really”, I think I would panic looking for the best settings not to screw my photo, and I’ll probably screw it. So, what can I do? Just get out and take fauna pictures in my region, where actually live different kind of birds, foxes, rabbits, roes/deers … What happens if I screw up? nothing because I can get go out and try again & again. And you know what? I feel that often we look into magazines and dream of far-off countries, and we don’t see the richness that we have just outside our door, we only need to open it, take a walk and observe. This is why I invite you to have a walk in your neighbourhood and look for birds, why in March? Because the trees are still without leaves ( at least here in Belgium) so, they are easier to be seen and to be taken in photos, and the temperatures are riding up, so, it’s less cold than the previous months. My Tips for this? Get well dressed because sometimes you have to stay in a place and wait for a long time, I mean that even if spring is coming you can get cold, and is really difficult to take pictures if you don’t feel confortable. What do you need:
- A SLR Camera
- A lot of patience
- Maybe crumbs of bread, or a little bit of birds food, ( I know this is a little cheating, but sometimes if you really want to take a photo of that bird and you tried and could not, you can always spread a little bit of food, and wait them to come)
4. Spring Early Flowers Photography
March is the first month of spring, and if we are talking of spring we can’t forget the snow drops & squills flowers that pop up during this month (here in Belgium) they can be white, or violet, and cover the ground with a perfumed flowered carpet. That’s can also be a good occasion to use macro photography and focus on their details, the vibration of their colours. Use your creativity and try to explore all the possible ways to photographs those delicate little spring flowers. My Tips for this? Go out as often as you can and check for them, because when they bloom they last 7-10 days and it’s better to photograph those beauty in their early days when they are at their best shapes and colours. What do you need:
- A camera
- All your creativity!
5. After Sunset City Photography We all love sunset, but look at this Bangkok Skyline here above, taken by Weerakarn Satitniramai, the camera catches colours that are invisible to our eyes with a fantastic blue sky. You can create amazing effects combining those blue colors with the city lights and passing cars. Pictures will be taken with a long exposure settings, and you’ll need a tripod to be sure you”ll have sharp beautiful images. My tips? Go scouting before, so you’ll be sure that you’ll be ready to take your picture at the right moment, without bothering people or traffic. Be there before the sunset, install your camera and maybe you’ll also have a nice sunset photo! Be patient and wait, because you have different stages of sunset:
- Late warm dramatic southing light sunset
- Civil twilight / Alpine Glow: Sunset when sun it’s 6 degrees below the horizon, it lasts about 30 min after sunset ( depend your location on the Globe)
- Nautical Twilight: It begins approximately 30 min after Sunset, and when the Sun is between 6 and 12 degrees below the horizon. It lasts t lasts about 30 min after sunset ( depend your location on the Globe) and planets & stars are visible. ( if you are taking urban pictures it will be difficult to see stars and planets because you have the city lights)
- Astronomical Twilight: It begins approximately 1 hour after Sunset, and when the Sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon. It lasts t lasts about 30 min after sunset ( depend your location on the Globe). The camera still show colours with long exposures settings, but the naked eye can’t see any colour in the sky only the stars.
So, as you can see, if you have time and patience, stay at least one hour after sunset and you’ll have beautiful pictures. If you are looking for more ideas you can check here: http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2015/03/01/9-creative-photo-ideas-try-march-2015/ Their ideas are really inspiring!
Share your pictures if you want, I’ll be happy to see them! Have a great creative March month!
You’ll be welcome if you want to see my photos you’ll fine them here.