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9 Awesome Techniques For Adding Drama And Mystery To Your Images

Have you explored Flickr’s interestingness? It showcases unique, unusual and of course interesting photographs captured by enthusiasts, hobbyists and even pro photographers. Flickr’s interestingness is a hub of unique ideas and amazing photography techniques. Wide open aperture, motion blur, multiple exposures, creative overexposure, dramatic lighting, beautiful bokehs and the list goes on…

All these image effects and photography techniques contribute a lot in communicating drama, emotion and mood of the photograph. Just like simplicity and minimalism add elegance to the captures and noise makes one feel nostalgic, there are several methods you can use to add drama and mystery to your images.

So get ready to pack your bags with these awesome creative ideas; not just for taking the photographs but for making the photographs you want — expressive, impressive and dramatic.

  1. Add The Lens Flare Magic

    I am still not out of it — the lens flare magic. So, lets start with this one. The circular discs, streaming light, hazy dreamy look and early morning feel accomplished with lens flares does its good in adding drama to the otherwise flat pictures. Check out more about lens flare here.

  2. Create Mood With Smog, Fog, Mist, Smoke

    When you are into creating mood with your photographs, don’t forget to experiment with foggy, misty mornings. All the elements — smoke, fog, smog, mist, haze and dust offer strange evocative feel to the scene. Even though making an exposure can be little tricky with suspended droplets and particles in air, going manual can yield very compelling, moody, and dramatic results.

  3. Try Your Hands At Low-Key Photography

    Low key photography is an interplay of illumination and elimination. It is the style of photography that predominantly utilizes dark colors to convey atmosphere and mood. The dark tones and colors of low-key photography add seriousness to the air, making the captures more dramatic than usual. Check out Josh Johnson’s complete beginner’s guide to shooting low key to learn more about low key photography.

  4. Go Out Of Focus On Purpose

    Either selectively focus the subject (or scene) or simply leave your subject unfocused. The lack of focus on the main subject will induce incredibly dreamy and mysterious effect. This can be achieved by choosing a wide aperture and turning on the manual focus for delibrately focusing on anything else in the image except the main subject.

  5. Embrace The Overexposure Bliss

    Optimal exposure is for the technical satisfaction of the photographer. Perfectly exposed image ensures that the maximum details of the subject or scene have been captured. However looking at the creative side of the things, overexposure even though undesirable, can turn out to be a blessing for the photographer. Check out what Jim Richardson remarks about overexposure, “It turns out that overexposing a little looks bad, but overexposing a lot can look quite wonderful.” So the next time you are looking to try something new, get this on your list — Don’t shy of light, in fact, let there be light! Fill the frame with bright glowing light even at the stake of blowing the highlights.

  6. Use A Wide Aperture

    Narrow depth of field shots and the bokeh effect are perhaps the photographer’s best friends for achieving dreamy effect. This amazing technique of using fast lenses and smaller f-numbers help you in complimenting the subject with soothingly blurred backgrounds. Tack sharp, clear and sharp focus on the subject and out-of-focus background is perfect for creating mood.

  7. Strive For Lighting Effects

    Side lighting, edge lighting, back lighting, frontal lighting, angular lighting — it’s all about lighting in photography. Embrace the lighting effects to add glow, define shape, manipulate contrast and paint the subject with light. Check out 11 Tips And Examples To Add Drama With Side Lighting and 9 Special Effects That Can Be Achieved With Basic Lighting and get ready to employ lighting effects to your advantage.

  8. Introduce Movement

    Motion blur, ghostly effects, slower shutter speed and rear sync flash together can work amazingly; beyond your imagination. While the subject is in sharp focus, the image is well complimented with trails of the subject or lighting streaks following it; which adds a new dimension to your image.

  9. Capture Colors Or Go Black And White

    While classic black and whites are good at creating mood, bold, strong, captivating colors go a long way to make the photographs interesting, lively and evocative. It is the language of colors that makes the difference. While the language of grays is classy, timeless, moody, artistic and captivating, lively, warm & peppy colors intensify the emotions. Whatever the case may be, keep the best of both the worlds. Shoot in color and convert to black and white and thus retain the serenity of colors and visual beauty of mono-chromes both at the same time.

Now it’s time to add your techniques and ideas to the list! How do you add drama, mystery, interest and mood to your photographs?

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