Taking a great shot often means finding the right angle to make whatever you’re shooting look the best that it possibly can. But if you’ve been shooting for a while, trying to get the typically aesthetically-pleasing shots can get repetitive and boring.

A way to inject fun and creativity into your photography is by mixing fantasy with reality. Creative reality is one of Adobe’s 2018 visual trends that encourages you to incorporate elements that challenge your creativity and achieve an almost fantasy-like effect.

Image Credit: @jooshengg

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Here are some ways creative reality can take your photography to a whole new level.

Create an out-of-this-world experience

Taking a scene and turning it on its head is one of the best ways to produce a creative reality. With the addition of an infrared filter, you can transform lush green fields of summer into a snowy landscape or make blue waters of the sea turn pink. It’s almost like the photo was taken on another planet!

Credit: @silent_art_photography

Canon EOS 450D | EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

The human eye can see all the colours in the visible light spectrum but beyond that it hits infrared, hence infrared photos often appear white. To achieve this effect and many other colours on the spectrum, you can place an infrared filter on your camera—fairly affordable and easy to do.

To make the most of your infrared photos, choose your subjects wisely and take photos in the daytime when the sun is bright. Trees stand out beautifully, and so do landscapes with water, blue skies with clouds and architecture.

Mash two images into one

Rather than producing a single image, taking two images and combining them can create a dynamic effect to a photograph. A technique called double exposure uses a subject and a background image taken separately and merges the two during post-processing.

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Canon EOS 77D Kit (EF S18-55 F/4-5.6 IS STM)

Use a model as your subject and set the model against the sky when it’s bright outside. This creates a blown out backdrop that eases the masking process during editing. Next, take a background shot that will be used to superimpose into the face of the model. Post-processing in Adobe helps you achieve the desired effect that’s dream-like and futuristic.

Zoom in

If you’ve looked through a microscope, you’ll know that things, when enlarged, project a different reality than what our eyes are used to seeing. In photography, don’t be afraid to zoom in on your subjects and pick out the intricate details of their texture and shape.

Image Credit: @airpig

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF16-35mm f/2.8L USM

Use a macro lens like the Canon EF-S60mm F/2.8 Macro USM to help you get up-close and personal. At this level, you are creating new, unlikely imagery where raindrops look like pearls, sugar sprinkled on food look like snow, and coral reefs in the ocean look like a collage.

Make the impossible possible

When creating a creative reality, forget what’s real and possible, and rely on your imagination. Using juxtaposition, bring to life scenes or items that don’t necessarily mix well together in our minds. This clash creates tension in the photograph, yet at the same time, injects the possibility of the impossible.

Image Credit: @tofurier

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Placing a beaker and straw into a plant may seem odd but it implies the drink is made from healthy, plant-based ingredients. A clever way to bring something different when taking product shots! When setting up the shot, it may help to think of your subjects in terms of their similarities, like colours and shapes, or mashing together their quirky differences for a unique point-of-view.

Change your perspective

Perspective is an important part of photography and involves the use of optical illusion to make an object appear different—smaller, larger, closer or further away than it really is. People see things in 3D but when this view is translated to a 2-dimensional space, this is where creative reality comes in.

Image Credit: @ryancheng80

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF400mm f/5.6L USM

Interpreting the subject’s height, depth or width in relation to another object in the frame helps to create illusions that seem out-of-this-world. For example, shooting the moon against an iconic building can make the photo seem like it is shot in outer-space. With the right angles, a thing far away like the moon can be a part of an existing landscape at ground level.

Pop with colour

Another way to blur the lines between reality and fantasy is to include colours that we don’t normally associate with a particular scene. The photo becomes more eye-catching, but also leaves the viewer intrigued and perplexed.

Image Credit: @27.agony

Canon EOS M100 Kit (EF-M15-45 IS STM)

This could be done through the use of incense sticks, body paint or hair dye to add a burst of colour. Alternatively, post-processing in Adobe Photoshop can make blue skies purple and green palm trees pink.

Experimenting with the possibilities of creative reality can be challenging but lots of fun. Share your photos by tagging us at #CanonSG, we’d love to see how you transform the real into surreal.