Rainy days often destroy our plans. But if we have to spend the day at home and to postpone arranged photo shooting, why not change one photographic plans for the other and have some fun?
I love the upside down trick. Glue all tableware to a wooden background (glue gun would be very useful) and turn it upside down. Then fill the syringe with coffee, milk, or any other liquid, point it up, and start spraying! If you make circular motions, you can get not only drops falling up, but a twisted splash.
Think about that would you like to see in your coffee cup, cut the figure out from paper (remember that you will not need the figure itself, but a cutout of it in the paper), put it between coffee cup and light source — and voila!
You can create a new reality for ordinary objects by simply transforming them with a couple of chalk lines. Turn one thing to another, or even create a whole new space.
It’s very interesting to watch how various objects (like flowers, toys, ink stains, tools, pens, anything) can turn into the letters. And even more interesting is when the material for letters is related to the content of the inscription. For example, you can make the words “Happy Birthday” from cakes and candles. There are two ways to do an inscription: The first way is to use objects to create letters directly. The second way is to place objects around the empty space in the form of letters. The results will be different, but you can have fun with both.
It’s honestly much easier than you think. The whole secret is to put the camera at the right angle or position, and then the illusion will work. Try to recreate Penrose Steps, or an M.C. Escher-inspired scene out of something ordinary. For example, take a chocolate cake and turn it into an infinite cake — what could be better than that?
Photos do not have to be realistic. If you need a dragon, you do not necessarily need to create a giant fire-breathing lizard, you can just cut it out of paper. You can make silhouettes or simple models of mountains, trees and little houses.
Smoke works best to create a mysterious and enigmatic atmosphere. Try to make it the hero of your photo’s story — cryptic, mystical, creepy — and it will serve you well. To get smoke, I usually use aroma sticks. They are cheaper then fog machine, more accessible than dry ice and safer then open flame. You just have to be careful with ashes and shoot in a well-ventilated room.
It’s not just a New Year’s Eve trinket — it’s a small fireball. Light the sparkler, set the slow shutter speed, and change the direction of sparks with a fan, or a sheet of cardboard to create a comet’s tail. Make the sparks bounce from objects in your still-life photo set up, or even from the body of the model. It does not hurt, but you have to be very careful around your model’s eyes. These little fiery trails—invisible to the human eye in reality—can really make a photo fascinating.
They are even better indoor, there is no wind and you can place every bubble directly where it should be. It’s great for still life photography. But you can try also a portrait: create a necklace from bubbles for your model or make her look through bubble glasses.
I have a phrase which describes me precisely: “My name is Dina and I tell animate stories about inanimate objects”. The rest is not important, I suppose. I’m a person with little paper cities, sugar cubes, moon from polymer clay, doll’s miniatures, broken cups, handmade Rube Goldberg machine, repainted puzzles, wire trees, cardboard dragons and spilled coffee. And with photo camera. That’s quite essential me 🙂 -Dina Belenko. See more of her work at her Behance or 500px profile.