Adorama Camera
Adorama Learning Center
Special Effects Photography

Special Effects Photography

Back to Adorama Learning Center page


Special Effects

Welcome to Adorama's school of visual wizardry

By Mason Resnick - March 9, 2009


You are about to enter another dimension, where time, space, color, and light itself can be manipulated at will. No, it's not the Twilight zone...it's Adorama's in-depth guide to Special Effects Photography!

 

We've devoted an entire area of the Adorama Learning Center to special effects photography because: 
a) it's fun; 
b) for aspiring pros, many techniques can be applied to jazz up your portfolio and assignments; 
c) transforming a normal subject into something that looks like it's from another planet can be a very creative, fulfilling activity; and 
d) it's fun 

Software? Not required 

Surprisingly, many special effects can be done in camera, and do not require any work in image-editing programs. Some techniques can only be done with film, although most can be done either in camera or after the fact using Photoshop or some other image-editing program. We'll show you both ways. 

While many of our staff of world-class photography experts have contributed to this section, none has provided as much useful information as Elinor Stecker-Orel, who has spent a lifetime collecting and writing about techniques to push your camera to its outer limits. We don't call her our Special Effects Diva for nothing! 

 

Dive in, and learn some magic!

 

28 Articles
RSS feed
Items per page
Showing 10 of 28 results
Page:
Lensbaby Fisheye Lens and Scout Product Review

Add a distortion field to your photos

ArticleLenses and Filters Gear Guides & Reviews - by Mason Resnick, June 18, 2012

view Comments (1)

Lensbaby's Scout lens body is sold with a Fisheye lens. Here's a look at both of them as a special-effects dynamic duo.

  Read more

TAGS: special effects photography,  special effects,  fisheye,  Lensbaby,  Lensbaby Scout,  Lensbaby Fisheye 

Tutorial: Creating Orbitals in Photoshop Elements 9

How to create a fun special effect in 5 easy steps

ArticleDigital Darkroom, Post-Processing & Printing Techniques and How-Tos - by Mason Resnick, December 30, 2010

view Comments (1)

How to do you create Orbitals, a special effect that flips, twirls and transforms images into round art objects? Let’s take a closer look at this fun effect.

  Read more

TAGS: photoshop,  adobe,  adobe photoshop,  Digital photography,  editing 

Fun with a Lensbaby

Optic swaps, sweet spots, and selective focus for in-camera effects

ArticleLenses and Filters Gear Guides & Reviews - by Diane Miller, September 1, 2010

In an earlier tutorial I showed how to create a faux Lensbaby effect in Photoshop.  But like many digital darkroom techniques, it can’t quite replace the real thing.

  Read more

TAGS: special effects photography,  special effects,  Lensbaby 

Five amazing camera and subject motion special effects

Slow down your shutter speed and do incredible things

ArticleSpecial Effects Photography Techniques and How-Tos - by Derek Doeffinger, July 4, 2010

view Comments (1)

Go ahead—move your camera, zoom your lens, encourage your subjects to move around, and even throw your camera...while the shutter is open. Welcome to the wonderful world of slow shutter speed and camera and subject motion!

  Read more

TAGS: special effects photography,  exposure,  shutter speed,  motion,  shutter 

Modify your your Digital Camera for Infrared Photography

Infrared photography is easier than ever, thanks to some clever, warranty-voiding customizations.

ArticleQuick Photography Tips Techniques and How-Tos - by Joe Farace, June 22, 2010

Because the imaging sensors in digital camera are sensitive to more than visible light, some manufacturers place an infrared cut-off filter in front of the chip to block IR light from striking it and causing color balance problems.

  Read more

TAGS: special effects photography,  DSLR,  infrared,  digital SLR,  conversion 

B&W Solarization in Photoshop Elements

Groovy "old school" darkroom effect goes digital

ArticleDigital Darkroom, Post-Processing & Printing Techniques and How-Tos - by Mason Resnick, August 31, 2009

"Oooh, you know how to solarize?" In the early 70s, my friends were impressed that not only had I mastered solarization—the special effect that transforms photos into wild, other-worldly images by combining positive and negative renderings on the same photo--by the tender age of 13

  Read more

TAGS: photoshop,  darkroom,  solarization 

3D Photography Grows Up

Get out your red-cyan glasses: We show you how to create 3D images in Adobe Photoshop

ArticleSpecial Effects Photography Techniques and How-Tos - by Peter Lipschutz, August 20, 2009

Remember reading comic books or going to the movies and donning those odd-looking cardboard eyeglasses with translucent red over one eye and cyan over the other so you could see the images in eye-popping stereo? You can create Anaglyph 3-D photos digitally!

  Read more

TAGS: digital,  3D,  special effects,  stereo 

Wiggle 3D: How To Make Animated 3D Images

Play with your brain’s depth perception using animated GIFs

ArticleSpecial Effects Photography Techniques and How-Tos - by David Fitsimmons, August 17, 2009

view Comments (2)

Put a funky new spin on stereoscopic digital photography, and have a ball with Wiggle 3D.

  Read more

TAGS: 3D,  sigma,  3-D,  Wiggle 3D,  Sigma DP1,  Sigma DP2,  David Fitzsimmons,  Harry Potter 

How to Build a Two-Camera Rig for Wiggle 3D

Create 3D images with this do-it-yourself two-camera rig

ArticleSpecial Effects Photography Techniques and How-Tos - by David Fitsimmons, August 17, 2009

When the action is moving and you ant to catch it in 3D, a single camera won't do. Here's how to create a support for two cameras that you can shoot simultaneously for 3D action photography!

  Read more

TAGS: special effects photography,  special effects,  Digital photography,  3-D 

How to make a digital pinhole camera

Low tech meets hi res!

ArticleSpecial Effects Photography Techniques and How-Tos - by Rich Legg, April 22, 2009

One of the advantages of film photography was that it was relatively easy to make a pinhole camera. You could learn a lot about how cameras work by making one, and it is still a great way to teach kids about the technical side of photography.

  Read more

TAGS: pinhole,  toy camera 

Items per page
Showing 10 of 28 results
Page:
Feedback
Adorama.com is top rated for customer service HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime. BBB Accredited Business