Taking a good picture of a scene is often pretty simple. Just hold the camera properly, keep your hands still, select the appropriate mode (preferably auto), let the autofocus kick in and take that shot.

If you know how to use your camera’s manual controls no matter how limited they can be, you could potentially take even better pictures. Nice pictures will always impress but they won’t have the same impact as those creative and fancy-looking shots that look as if they have been edited.

Learning trick photography enables you to express your creativity more and you can make bland scenes look far livelier.

Engaging in trick photography also helps you realize the actual limitations of your camera. As you learn the various trick photography techniques, you also learn the importance of each and every feature of your camera.

You can then use your newly acquired knowledge of these features to handle specific situations that you never thought your camera could take care of. The next time you encounter a subject, you could still respond quickly by shooting in auto and then experiment with all the various settings and modes to come up with fresher shots of the same subject.

More knowledge in trick photography means less dependency on post-processing and image editing applications (although you could still use them to further improve your photos if you wish).

Step 1: The Camera

Many cameras nowadays allow you to set the shutter speed to a certain value in fractions of a second.

This value refers to the amount of time the shutter allows light to pass to the camera’s sensor through the lens. Basically, using a high shutter speed means that the camera captures a shorter time period resulting to very sharp and blur-free shots.

That sounds like the thing you need for many situations but introducing blur can result to some aesthetically pleasing shots as well.

Lower the shutter speed and try taking a picture of a waterfall and you could get a very nice blurry waterfall effect. It is that kind of effect you may see in postcard pictures.

Since this option should be easily found in the manual controls menu, the shutter speed is one of the most basic functions that you can use to appreciate the surface of trick photography.
So these are not your own photos?
You are correct. The photos used to illustrate my article were (mostly) taken by Evan Sharboneau, author of Trick Photography and Special Effects. Some photos were taken by his pupils. I am still studying the course and hope to be able to publish my own work, one day. It does, however, depend on my own creativity.

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Bio: Hello, my name is Paul and I am a semi retired engineer and educator. Now I have time to pursue my passion for photography and ... More »
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