• Sam Wilson

Creative Photography Ideas

Getting out of your comfort zone


Landscape photography is definitely my number one love in photography but over the years I have tried a few different types/genres.


When I first started this journey I started by photographing everything around me – beaches, trees, buildings, flowers, waterdrops, my cats – you name it, I photographed it. With no real idea what I was doing I bought everything in sight that I read about – all the gear and no idea!

After joining a local sunrise group I discovered it was landscape and nature that I really loved. There is just something about being out in nature watching the day come alive, being in front of a beautiful waterfall, or trekking through the bush – it just helps me to enjoy life and our beautiful world.





But that is not to say that’s all I photograph, I do actually enjoy other types of photography. This is one of the many things I love about photography is how versatile it can be - you can photograph practically anything!



Disclaimer: I still don't photograph things that talk


As I do shoot mostly landscapes, the camera settings I use can be fairly repetitive - low ISO, small aperture and then I adjust the shutter speed to suit. Of course I do change these settings depending on the situation, but mostly I follow a similar process.


This is why it’s good to get out and shoot different things - it gets you thinking and out of your comfort zone. Each different type needs its own type of skills, and not every photographer can excel at every type, but it’s excellent to mix it up and have a go.



boat on lake at sunrise
Sunrise truly is my favourite to photograph - always a great start to the day


These are some different things I have tried over the last few years - some obviously with more success than others -


  • Black and White

  • Birds/Animals

  • City/Architecture

  • Macro? Flowers/Bees

  • Getting Creative - not my strong suit (yet?) but definitely something I’m interested in pursuing.


Black & White

My upcoming challenge is to learn black and white photography. As someone who truly loves colour (in case you couldn’t tell), I do also love a good black and white photo also.


Even though I’m very early on in this challenge, already taking black and white images has helped me see other composition opportunities.


Instead of just looking for the colour in the sky I’m finding myself looking more at shapes and textures which will hopefully improve my composition along the way.




a number of bird cages hanging in a laneway near Wynyard in Sydney
The quite well known bird cages near Wynyard in Sydney


Birds and Animals


Photographing birds and animals is the most difficult genre of photography I’ve tried, and boy did it get me out of my comfort zone.


Deciding I was going to join a local bird photography group, I of course then had to buy a fancy new lens to do this.


The problem with this is this lens weighed almost 3kg just by itself! Walking around carrying that along with my camera was a challenge alone, and that’s without even trying to see a moving bird through the viewfinder then focussing!


Needless to say I came home from the first day with a lot of photos of sky and trees - and if I did actually manage to get a bird in the photo, it was ridiculously blurry.

The settings required are so very different and it was a steep learning curve. To be honest, it wasn’t a type of photography that spoke to my soul so my poor fancy lens spends most of its type sitting on a shelf at home.


It is still fun and I’ll definitely get out with it from time to time as it is very rewarding when you do capture something that’s moving at a high speed.




bird in flight carrying a stick - brahmini kite
My first bird in flight (that you can actually recognise) - I was informed it's a Brahmini Kite.


I’m sad to say I’ve not (yet) done any wildlife/safari tours, but with animals I have done several zoo tours and spent a wonderful morning at a local horse riding and outdoor adventure centre photographing the “running of the horses”.


It was a wonderful experience watching over 100 horses run out their paddocks where they’ve spent the night to the yards ready for their day. This venue also shows the reverse every afternoon, however I went with a photography group at sunrise. I found it incredibly difficult to photograph - low light, high speed movement and trying not to get trampled! On burst mode I took over 1000 photos, filled 2 memory cards but did manage to come home with a couple of photos that I’m more than happy with!





City/Architecture


Walking around a city or town can provide another never-ending source of photography opportunities. It’s also a great activity to do during the day or during inclement weather (think puddles).


This is a genre of photography that many specialise in and I’m not going to pretend I’ve pursued this, but I do enjoy wandering around and capturing what takes my eye.



Outside the Melbourne Post Office - this photo was taken during a walking tour I did back in 2018



QVB in between lockdowns in 2020. I've never seen Sydney so quiet



Macro - think flowers and insects


This is something I played with a lot when I first started out and definitely a genre on it’s own. I love taking photos like these when I’m out and about but wouldn’t strictly call them macro, more close ups.






Getting Creative


This can mean many different things, but for me it is something that I dabbled in during lockdown - putting elements from different photos together to make a new scene entirely. Something I’m also keen to continue learning. Definitely need to make more time for this type of play




Far from perfect I had a lot of (frustrating) fun making these!


And that doesn’t even touch the surface of the many different types of photography - no wonder I love it and want to continue sharing my experiences with you all - thanks so much for reading. I truly appreciate it!


That’s it for now -


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