Old School Trick Photography Techniques

Trick Photography Photo Example

So I was reading through the morning newspaper the other day, not thinking about trick photography techniques at all, when I came across something really interesting. I have to admit I don’t know much about the history of trick photos, or how long photos have been manipulated to create images that look surreal and make people take a second look.

But there they were, right beside my morning coffee. So I figured I should make a post and share them with the rest of the world who don’t read Danish newspapers.

The photo above was sold by International News Photos in 1930.  Of course a zeppelin never came that close to the Empire State Building in New York, but maybe some poor readers were convinced that it actually happened.  I’m not sure about the level of journalistic integrity back in those days, but I’m sure a cover like that would have sold a lot of newspapers.

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Trick Photography Techniques – Transparent Screen

I first came across some transparent screen trick photography examples a couple of months ago and they definitely blew me away.  I have since looked at quite a few examples and have come up with some that I’d like to share with you.  There are different ways to set up this kind of picture, some things that can make it more or less interesting.  As is usually the case, attention to detail is really important for this kind of a photo to impress the way it has the potential to.

Trick Photography Examples Of The Transparent Screen Technique


I think it’s easier just to show you what I mean by transparent screen than to try to explain what it is, so here you go..

Trick Photography Examples

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Trick Photography With Photoshop – Is It Cheating?

Trick photography with photoshop or trick photography without photoshop?  That is the question.  While I can understand the argument that using photoshop is kinda like cheating when you’re making trick photos, at the same time it’s kinda like cheating with a huge bazooka when everyone else is using slingshots.  I mean of course there are some awesome photos done using forced perspective and other trick photography techniques, but the power of photoshop cannot be ignored.

Trick Photography With Photoshop – Why You Can’t Ignore It!

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be a purist when it comes to “cheating” with photoshop when doing trick photography.

1. Layers.  You see in some ways photoshop can be used to simplify the kind of shot that could also be done manually, so it is basically used as a time saver.  Take the image below:

Trick Photography With Photoshop

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Trick Photography Examples That Are Super Cool

Here’s a little collection of trick photography examples that I thought I would share with you all.  I really enjoy looking at a photo that makes me look twice, and that to me is exactly what trick photography is all about.  It’s that split second where your brain goes “Um.. how exactly did they do that?”.  Sometimes it’s photoshop, but I’m even more impressed when it’s done using other kinds of trick photography techniques.  Having said that some of the coolest looking pictures that I’ve even seen have been done using trick photography techniques with photoshop.

Disclaimer: Just to be up front, these trick photography examples are not my photos.  I’ve included the source of the photo when I’ve been able to find it cause I think it’s important that people who do cool work get credit for it. If you find your picture here and would rather I not share it with the world, then please let me know and I will happily remove it.

4 Amazing Trick Photography Examples

Ok, here’s the first one..

Trick Photography Examples Levitation

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Trick Photography Techniques – Simple Tips for High Speed Macro Photos

Here are a few quick simple trick photography techniques to help you get started with macro photography.  If you spend some time looking around online, you will find a bunch of info, but most of the stuff out there is pretty complicated and calls for special equipment.


What we’ll be taking pictures of is water droplets, so that will be the focus of these photography techniques, but the lessons you learn can be used as for general macro photo tips too.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


– A Digital SLR Camera

– An External Flash or Speedlite

– A Macro Lens or Lens with Decent Macro Abilities


A tripod would also be a really good thing to have, but it/s not essential.


Ok, let’s talk about the settings..


It’ll work fine to set your flash on ETTL and you camera on the automatic setting, but if you want more freedom you’ll want to try something else.  First put your flash into manual mode and then choose the lowest power you can (this will probably be 1/64).  I learnt when I started to learn photography that this makes the flash fire the shortest burst of light that it can, and this helps to freeze your subject better.


You should set your camera to aperture priority mode and select a moderate f-stop (say something around 5).


Now for the setup..  and this is where the real trick photography magic happens.  You want to set your camera as close to the subject as your lens will allow.  If you don’t have a real macro lens, you will have to set it a bit further back.  Since your subject (a water droplet) will be moving, but always in a  plane that is the same distance from the camera, using manual focus will be easier than automatic in this case.  You will of course want to focus so that the water drop is in focus.


If you have a tripod the setup will be much easier, but either way you will need to rig things up so that the camera is close to your water source, which will probably be in your sink.


The next thing to do is to turn on your continuos shooting mode.  Since you’re shooting a moving subject the timing will be pretty tough, so a lot of your shots won’t turn out, and that’s ok.


Once you have a result that you’re happy with you can play around with adding colours to the background.  Even things like post-it notes and plastic bags can give cool effects so feel free to experiment a bit and see what you can come up with.
Here’s an example of what your shot could look like..



Hope you enjoyed these trick photography ideas and can make use of the trick photography techniques.  Happy shooting.