We all have our “off-days” were we feel uninspired and it seems like nothing is happening that is worth photographing. To overcome such a low, it can be helpful to use some standard themes to get yourself on track again. Therefore I will present some methods and standard motives that you can try to recreate even on uneventful days.
1 – Reflections in Photography
For these kinds of pictures, all you need is a plain field that functions as a reflection. Best suited are shopping windows or any other kind of glass surface. Keep an eye that no column or other object interrupts the plane so that your illusion won’t be broken. Another important aspect is your background which shouldn’t be too packed and rather minimalistic.
2 – Mirrors
In the style of the first topic, you can also use mirrors to your advantage to create juxtapositions between the reflections of the mirror and its surroundings. Mirrors also create natural framings and can either be the full focus or an addition to your picture.
3 – Silhouettes
As a requirement for this task, we need a bright light source to create a high contrast between the figure and the background. Naturally, a sunny day is best suited for these kinds of photos, but other light sources, especially in night time photography, can work well too. When creating silhouettes we don’t want the subject to overlap with the background and the cleaner the background is, the easier it will be to create this effect. All you need to do now is to shoot in the direction of the bright light where the contrast is the highest. Normally you want to shoot in the direction of the sun, but like in the example below any high contrast between figure and ground can work.
4 – Through the Window
Outside pictures of the inside of a coffee shop or cafes are quite popular because they give insight into an environment where people are more natural and less aware of being in public space. Often times when shooting on the street, people will notice you early on and take on a staged pose, destroying the purpose of the picture.
5 – Framing
Instead of windows, you can also be on the lookout for other objects that serve as a frame for your photo. In this case, you are more creative to shoot through anything that fits your lense and can serve as a surrounding. You can also mix the framing with a slower shutter speed to add some blurriness and create a dynamic movement of the person entering the frame.
These were my 5 little tips for street photography that should make it possible to recreate in most areas. Even if you find yourself uninspired that certain day, searching for the right spots can still be a fun task and help you train your visual sense. Focusing on a single task for maybe one day, also helps you to implement these elements more naturally in your everyday photography.