15 WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE DRAMATISM TO YOUR PHOTOS

When we talk about drama in photography we don’t mean social drama, or a dramatic or sad situation. With drama we refer to the impact or emotion that an image can cause. It will have happened to you many times that looking at a magazine or watching photos on the net, you have wondered how it is possible that those photographs you encounter have such an impressive effect while yours look so flat, as if they had no life. Most likely, that image has had subsequent processing (99% secure). But if you want your photographs to be impressive too, today I am going to show you some ways to bring drama to your images. You will see how some are very simple.

1. USE AN INFRARED FILTER.

The first way to provide drama to your images is very simple, place an infrared filter on your camera and you will achieve images like the one you see below. If you have no idea about filters, I recommend you read this post

If you do not have this filter and you do not intend to buy it, do not worry, there is the option to work your image in an editing program and apply the infrared filter effect. Here is the link to a video tutorial to apply this effect:

2. LOW KEY PHOTOGRAPHY.

Low key is a photography technique that manages to evoke a strong emotion in the viewer. The high key and low key technique is mainly based on light management. Look at the next image in which black predominates and the lighting subtly draws the contour of the nude. It is done in a low key and causes a huge impact.

 3. CONVERT TO BLACK AND WHITE

One of the fastest methods to provide drama to an image is to convert it to black and white and increase the contrast. It is more advisable to do it later in an editing program because that way you do not lose color information and you can adjust it to your liking, but if you prefer you can adjust your camera and shoot directly in black and white and with a high contrast. Here are some tips for better black and white photography.

4. ADD MOVEMENT TO THE SCENE

Adding movement to the scene brings extra drama or impact to your image. I will introduce a word in English, motion blur,  which is the effect caused by the relative movement between the camera and the captured objects. It can be done by moving the camera during shooting or increasing the exposure time (in the latter case a tripod would be necessary).

5. SILHOUETTES

Few things have to convey as much with as little as a silhouette. Its simple scheme provides a lot of information while leaving you with the intrigue of the missing details. Shoot backlight and highlight the silhouettes. They do not necessarily have to be those of people, you can also capture the silhouette of an animal, a building, an object …

6. CHANGE THE PERSPECTIVE

Another very simple way for which you don’t need any editing program is to change the perspective. Shooting from an angle other than the usual viewing angle, provides an extra impact. Move and find that angle that will give your photograph that different point.

7. USE THE LIGHT

Light is the magic tool of photography, the base, the principle, its reason for being … light is EVERYTHING in this art. Play with its angle of incidence, with intensity, with reflections or even with its color. Here is an impressive example.

8. SELECTIVE FOCUS

Selective focus is achieved by shooting with a small depth of field , so that the object you want to stand out is very focused while the rest appears out of focus. In this way all the attention is focused on the focused object causing a greater impact. In the photograph shown below you can see this effect combined with two others mentioned above.

9. VIGNETTING

We refer to halos or black borders that are blurred towards the center of the image. It can be produced by the type of lens or by a bad placement of parasols or the use of filters, but we can also intentionally create it with an editing program so that the look is inevitably directed to the center of the image, as in the following example.

10. NEGATIVE SPACE

The negative space in a photograph is the space that is empty inside the image. This manages, on the one hand, to focus attention on the object creating greater impact, and on the other hand it evokes a strong emotion creating feelings of loneliness, desolation, sadness … Look at this image in which it is further enhanced by the strong contrast and the white and black. As you see in this example and in the previous one of the musician, combining several of these tips further enhances the dramatic effect in an image.

11. PLAY WITH THE COLORS

You will wonder what I mean by this, well, with the following example you will see it better. Observe how the red color stands out against the gray of the sky, a color intentionally off to contrast with the field of flowers. If you read the article, What do you have in common with Almodovar, Van Gogh and Beethoven? , you will remember that the color red is the most associated with emotions and how you can use colors to cause an emotional impact on the viewer.

12. SHOOT AT SUNRISE AND SUNSET

On numerous occasions we have commented that the best light to photograph is first and last hour of the day. The result, especially in landscape photography, is spectacular. Golden hues, reflections and contrasts can be achieved without the need for filters or touch-ups, only with the magical sunlight.

13. HARD LIGHT

There are two types of light in photography in terms of quality, hard light and soft light. The first is the one that causes high contrasts and well-defined shadows. The smaller the source, the harder the light will be. Soft light, on the other hand, achieves much more blurred shadows. To achieve greater drama you must use hard light, check it by observing these two examples.

14. APPLY THE DRAMATIC FILTER

If you are lucky that your camera includes this filter within its range of creative filters you have it very easy, use it! In the image on the right you can see the difference between an image with a filter and without a filter.

15. EXPERIENCE

Although I am no expert in editing programs, I have decided to do a test for you. I have taken a photo that was very flat, lifeless and made some very basic adjustments. In less than five minutes I think I have achieved that the image has a greater impact. I tell you the steps.

Original photo
I modify the curve to increase the contrast
I select the plants, modify the tone and increase the saturation
Under the saturation of the sky
Final score

So far the tips to give more life to your photographs. They are not difficult at all, right? Well, now stop complaining because your photos are flat or because they don’t have much impact and put some of these ideas (or all) into practice. You already know that you can combine them and further enhance the dramatic effect.

I hope this article has been useful to you and that we see the results in the weekly challenges . If you liked it, don’t forget to like it or like it. Until next time!

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