Getting creative with your photography can keep you from falling into a rut. Below, are 5 ways to get creative by shooting through various objects. Some of them are even items you may already have in hand!

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The Lensball is a popular photography tool in the category of prisms. Prisms come in many different shapes but the Lensball is a perfect sphere. When you shoot through a Lensball the image inside the ball will be an upside-down, reflected image of your subject or landscape. It can be really fun to experiment with as you can see with the images below. Lensball | Accessories


A slinky may sound weird but they can make any photo fun. Shooting through a slinky creates depth and leads the viewer’s eye straight to the subject of the photo. So go on and riffle through your kids’ toys to find objects to shoot through. Rainbow slinky | Gold Slinky

Plastic Bag

This shoot-through item may seem ridiculous but it is my go-to when I am photographing a family in a non-ideal location. You will need a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Tear a smallish sized hole in the bottom of the bag. Put the bag over your lens and manipulate it so that you are shooting through the hole you made. Doing this allows you to create creative blur around your subject and this can hide unwanted stuff in your image. A bonus tip is to bring a small spray bottle with you and spray the inside of the bag before putting it on your lens. Doing this will create some pretty bokeh around your subject. This shoot-through technique may seem sketchy but I promise you will love it. ***I do not take any responsibility for damaged equipment due to water. Done properly your camera/lens will not be damaged.

Copper Pipe

Have you heard of the ring of fire in photography? It’s a beautiful technique that creates a ring-shaped lens flare in your images. The crazy thing about it, all you need is a 1-2 inch piece of copper pipe and some sun. To take a photo with this technique, hold the pipe up to your lens (not touching the lens so you don’t scratch it). Small manipulations of the pipe with the light will create different flare effects. In the image below you can see the ring around the subject that takes the photo from average to interesting. This technique takes practice and I don’t even feel I have fully mastered it.

Phone Reflection

Interestingly enough your cell phone can be used as a tool to take your DSLR photos up a notch. You would ideally need a cell phone that has an edge to edge screen and you will need to have it out of its protective case. By using your phone screen as a reflector under your lens you can create photos with cool reflections or even create photos that look like they have a puddle or lake in them. The trick to this technique is to make sure your phone is locked or off so the screen is not on. Then hold the phone up to your lens so the screen is pointing straight up and perpendicular to your lens. Look through the viewfinder and tilt the photo up and down until you get the desired image.

In the photo on the left it looks like there is a large puddle at the end of the fence but in reality I am using my phone to create the illusion. Go ahead and try it out, it’s a fun way to add drama to your photos.

So there are 5 different techniques to get creative with your photos by shooting through various objects. There are many other techniques you can try as well. One of my favorites is the Lens Baby Creative Filter system, which attaches to your lens. I will do a post on that soon!

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