ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Trick Photography Without Using Photoshop

Updated on May 28, 2014

Produce special effects using only your digital camera.

With new and advanced technologies in photo manipulation, photographers continue to rely more and more on post-production software to change their photographs and make abstract photographs or special effects.

But you don't need Photoshop to do it! A photographer can turn out illusions in his pictures using only the camera - and nothing else! - and skipping Photoshop altogether. Tricks such as changing a person's size, creating eye-catching light drawings, and even utilizing unusual shadows or shapes require only the right setting - and a healthy dose of imagination.

drawing with light photography
drawing with light photography

Drawing With Light

Create Cool 'Light Paintings'

To get these 'light drawings', a photographer can simply use a sparkler or other small light light and set the camera on a slow exposure. To know how long to set the exposure time, practice practice the photo first by drawing an image in the air or running around the areas through which you want to take the light drawing photo. Get a friend involved: Ask them to time you with a stopwatch using this time as a rough idea of how long for your exposure. Set your ISO to the lowest possible notch, and again take a few test pictures to see where and how much to adjust the exposure time. After this setup, draw an image through the air with the light and the camera will capture its path. Keep in mind: if the light comes out too faint to see, try moving faster or move around less as you draw with light.

shrinking people trick photography
shrinking people trick photography

Shrinking People

"Honey, I Shrunk--" name it!

One of the simplest tricks you can do using any type of camera changes the size of a person or other item in your picture. You can make small people who appear to make it look like they're in a balance in your hands or giant people who look like they're about to step on tiny, shrunken buildings. To get this effect, position yourself a good distance from the item or person you want to make really tiny and then ask the person in the picture move to the right distance away so when you're looking through the viewfinder he or she looks like they're the right size.

For example, you can position one person standing in the middle of a flat field holding one hand out flat. You can then have another person to go stand far enough behind them to make it look like he is tiny and standing on the first person's hand. To do this effect you'll need a lot of room and if you can find it, a large enough flat area to make the effect work.

Use your creativity with this perspective technique and the possibilities are endless... the photo illustrates just one of the many ways you can pull off this cool photo trick.

shadow trick photography
shadow trick photography

Playing with Shadow

Give Your Photography a Spooky Look

To get a really creepy photo, consider adding shapes made from shadows. For example, an innocent girl could be walking down the sidewalk and never realize a menacing shadow of another person or even a monster is following just behind her. But instead of putting the shadow in later using Photoshop, make a cutout, or even find find one of those life-size cutouts (supermarkets often throw them away when a promotion is over) of the item from which you want to cast the shadow. The trick lies in placing the item out of the camera's view. Add lighting behind the object to throw an ominous shadow onto the appropriate area and snap the picture. To avoid altering the shadow, you'll need to turn off the camera's flash. Cast a light on the person in the picture to illuminate them, but remember to keep it away from the light casting the shadow. When you're done you may have to examine the picture to see which areas to lighten and which areas to darken. Adjust your light and try again.

creative trick photography
creative trick photography

The Sky's the Limit

A Little Creativity Goes a Long Way - Remember to Have Fun

All that you need is imagination and a digital camera (not even an expensive one), you can get really cool 'trick photography' pictures without using any software. These are just a few cool ideas that will get you started - use your imagination and the sky's the limit!

Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mckinney Michael profile image

      Mckinney Michael 

      4 years ago

      Great stuff, I really enjoy this type of thing in photography

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      plz tell more about the shadow casting

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • ukprowriter profile image


      5 years ago

      Cool tricks. Gotta go and try them out

    • MoreBetterThings profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the shrinking people trick! Too funny!

    • ChuckDickens profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @Aunt-Mollie: thanks so much for the nice words! I have a hard time justifying what I write as useful... I'm glad you can use it. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You're so good at this! I hope you write more articles like this for novices like me.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      neat ideas...i'll have to give them a try.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)