8 Creative Tricks to Photograph the Elements

If you’re looking for new ways to punch up your photos a bit without having to spend a fortune, the COOPH team has some creative (and cheap) ideas for you. They’ve just released another video of inspiring photography tips. This time, photographer Leo Rosas shows us eight super cool, easy tricks to shoot the elements:

Gear Used:

  • Leica X-U
  • Sirui tripod
  • Holi powder
  • Bubble-blower
  • Steel wool
  • Egg whisk
  • Lighter fluid
  • Mirror
  • Ice

1. Powder

Take a handful of Holi powder (you know the stuff—the colorful powder thrown at the Hindu festival of love and at other festivals), and have your model throw it or blow it into the air just as you snap a photo.

holi powder portrait


2. Ice

What you’ll need:

  • Mirror
  • Ice
  • Some sort of toy doll

Take a mirror and lay it down on a flat surface—this is going to be your background. Put a waterproof camera with your toy doll standing behind it (or any object that you want to shoot, really) on top of the mirror and add ice around it all. Shoot from above the scene so you can see the reflection in the mirror.

photographing ice


3. Fire

What you’ll need:

  • Mirror
  • Lighter fluid
  • Lighter

Again, lay the mirror down on a flat surface, but this time, make sure it’s set up in a safe environment because you’re going to be adding fire. Pour lighter fluid over the mirror and light it on fire. Have your model stand at one end of the mirror and you photograph them from the other side, capturing the flames and the reflection in between.

how to photograph fire


4. Water

You could get away with not using a waterproof camera for some of the other tips, but you definitely need a good waterproof camera for this one. Find a puddle with cool scenery around it and dip the camera into the puddle to capture your model walking towards you or posing in front of it.

photographing water


5. Wind

All you need for this one is a merry-go-round and a tripod! Set up your tripod and model on the merry-go-round and spin away while snapping great motion shots.

photographing wind


6. Bubbles

To add a bit of dreaminess to your images, just have your model blow bubbles in front of the camera.

photographing bubbles


7. Sparks

What you’ll need:

  • Tripod
  • Steel wool
  • Egg whisk
  • Cable
  • Lighter

Stuff some steel wool into an egg whisk and loop the cable through the bottom of the handle. You’re going to use the cable to swing the whisk around while the steel wool is on fire, so find a safe, open place to do this.

Set your camera on a tripod, light the steel wool on fire, and shoot a long exposure while you swing the burning steel wool, unleashing sparks.

photographing sparks


8. Underwater Selfie

You’ll need an underwater camera and tripod for this one. Set the camera on the tripod at the bottom of a pool and set the timer. Swim away while taking great underwater shots.

underwater photography


These are just a few ideas to get you inspired. Any one of them can be changed up to make the images unique. Just play around with these to come up with your own style and tell a story. If you have some other creative ideas for photographing the elements, please share them with us in the comments below.

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