Creating Special Effects with Your Camera

It isn’t too hard to create special effects in photographs today. With several accessories and highly advanced image editing software available everywhere, trick photography is a thing of the past. However, nothing can beat the pure joy of creating something with your own camera and adding special effects the old school way is just too much fun. As an added advantage, it also helps build your creativity and strengthens your photographic skills.


Here are some of the fun tricks and special effects you can create with your camera:


Shooting reflections


An interesting special effect or trick you can try is taking close up shots of objects being reflected on shiny surfaces. This method creates a wide array of patterns which really stand out. The images can be edited or enhanced, later on, to be used as backgrounds for designs. Or, you can just add them to your special effects portfolio.


© Herzen Cortes

© Herzen Cortes

Distorted images


If you want to create distorted images, try taking shots with a translucent cloth or transparent containers such as cups or vases placed over your lens. This tends to distort images resulting in a very unique look. You can use colored or patterned containers over the lens, which will give it an even more interesting appearance.


Color alteration


Using the color alteration technique you can make beaches look like desolate wastelands. All you have to do is place a sheet of colored cellophane over the lens and shoot. The colored cellophane alters the real colors which can make the image look very different from what it originally was. Try using as different colored cellophane sheets to create a different effect with every image.


Miniature effect


The miniature effect is a common trick in photography and it’s done using a tilt-shift lens. All you have to do is attach the lens to your camera and adjust the tilt mechanism to the required degree or angle. The tilt mechanism allows the lens to literally tilt in front of the sensor enabling you to determine the perfect point of focus. The wide aperture of the lens creates a very low depth of focus, which means, only a small area of the picture stays in focus, while the rest becomes blurred, resulting in a miniature effect. The trick is more effective when the subject is shot from a height, as the height tends to enhance the miniature effect of the image.




A starburst is an interesting photography trick where you create a twinkling effect by shooting a light source, using a low aperture setting. The smaller the aperture, the more the light tends to get exaggerated, creating the signature burst effect. The starburst effect can be created for any subject as long as there is a prominent light source.

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