Guide to Photographic Techniques (Master them and get the most spectacular images)

Which are the photographic techniques most used? How can they help you find a way to express yourself through your photographs? When you are learning photography it is very common to be overwhelmed by the amount of information on the subject, the amount of technical words, camera models, objectives, compatibilities and a thousand concepts in which it is very easy to get lost.

As all of us who are part of this team have been through this situation, I want to offer you a place to find in a summarized and orderly way, all those photographic techniques that you will experience throughout your photographic career. From the simplest to some slightly more complicated. Breathe, I’m going to make it as easy as possible for you.

I am going to ask you to save this guide on photographic techniques before continuing, since I know that it is very likely that you will want to refer to it another day. I want when you think “How did you get a black background in a photograph?” either “How did you get that cool silky effect on rivers?” or any technical question that crosses your mind, you can refer to this guide again and easily find the answer you were looking for.


Lighting-based photographic techniques

Most techniques are based to a certain extent on lighting, you know that photography is writing with light, without it we would not have photography or many of the most interesting photographic techniques on a visual level. So lighting or the lack of it is key when it comes to taking your images a step further.

high key

In this technique, priority is given to light and white backgrounds. It transmits purity, happiness or joy. You can read more about it and learn how to do it step by step in our article, find high-key inspiration here, and even get spectacular high-key photos with your mobile phone by following these tips.

We must not lose sight of the fact that one of the main parts of the process is developing, for this we also have an article dedicated to high key editing explained in a very simple way and with many tricks. You will love this technique, it gives a lot of play and gives you positive images, with a lot of narrative and super pleasing to the eye.

high key

low key

Low key is a photographic technique that is based on darkness, on black backgrounds and that transmits mystery and elegance. It is widely used in portrait, nude or product photography.

It’s not difficult at all to use and yet it provides us with spectacular images, you can see for yourself in this inspirational compilation of low key photography.

Did you like it? Well, learn to do low-key photography step by step with these tips, and to edit your photos in an accessible and easy way in this other one on low-key editing.

Right the histogram

This photographic technique is very simple and effective when it comes to getting rid of noise in the photographs caused by the lack of light.

The technique of right the histogramis based on taking the lights to the right of the histogram, but without leaving the graph (which would indicate that we are burning the lights and, therefore, running out of information).

Explained in a simple way, it is about slightly overexposing the image so that the shadow areas are not underexposed, because recovering underexposed areas is one of the reasons why noise is generated in the image.

I leave you with a complete article on righting the histogram that will surely help you.

infrared photography

To take your first infrared photo you simply need an infrared filter, a tripod and learning how to control the exposure settings with the filter.

Natural landscapes with trees, cloudy skies, reflections in the water, etc., are ideal settings to practice with infrared photography.

Infrared Photography Infrared Cactus

daytime long exposure

Many times, when we talk about long exposure, we think of night photography, but we forget that the day can also give us spectacular photographs of this style. Let’s see how.

silk effect water

It is perhaps the most widely used daytime long exposure photographic technique. Especially in landscapes where water is, at least in part, the protagonist of the image. Through very slow speeds, the water imprints its movement on the image, adding this silky visual effect to the photograph.

If you want to learn how to use it in your photographs of rivers, seas and even clouds, don’t miss our article especially dedicated to the silky effect of water.

silky water effect

motion sweep

Panning is achieved by adding slow speeds, moving objects or people, and camera movement. It is not strictly a daytime long exposure photographic technique since it can also be achieved at night with excellent results.

If you want to encourage yourself to practice it, do not miss these tips to achieve spectacular movement sweeps.

And if you want to delve into all the secrets about photographic lighting I prepared this super complete guide on the subject for you, I recommend you take a look at it.

night long exposure

The night already demands slow speeds from us due to the lack of light that it brings with it. That is why night long exposure photographic techniques are varied, from photographing stars to painting with light, all of this has a place in night photography. Let’s see the most common.

star photography

When capturing the stars, the lack of light forces you to shoot at slow speeds. A clear sky, a tripod and some patience can give you images like this:

Star photography

If it is the technique that interests you the most, grab a pen and paper and take a look at this article that will help you photograph a sky full of stars, or perhaps you are lucky enough to immortalize a shower of stars, in the link you will discover how to achieve it.

Photograph the Milky Way

The milky way photography It is another of the long night exposure techniques that I recommend you to know.

If you are a nature lover, given to planning, have a good dose of patience and want to get spectacular images, here is an article with all the tricks to photograph the Milky Way.

Milky Way

light painting

Another photographic technique based on long exposure is the technique of light painting or, what is the same, painting with light. Through slow speeds, a light source and a high dose of creativity you can create truly stunning photos like this one.

light painting

Know step by step how to achieve a photograph light painting with this starter guide and find the inspiration you need to carry it out with these 11 impressive photographs light painting.

Photograph light trails

With the long exposure, you can also get impressive images thanks to the lights of the cars. These create photogenic trails of light that are ideal for adding interest to your street photography images. Here you have how to capture, step by step, the light trails for a spectacular result and, if you are looking for inspiration, you will find it in this other article with some images that will leave you breathless 😉 .

High-speed photographic techniques

On the opposite side of the long exposure we have the high speed photography, in which you will photograph, as you imagine, at high speeds. With this type of images you will be able to capture and freeze the movement of a drop of water, a balloon exploding, a strawberry falling into a glass of milk, etc. The limit is in your creativity 😉 .

Water drop

An exercise that you can do at home with some patience, very few means, but with spectacular results is to photograph a drop of water.

One day I got down to work to document it and explain step by step how to photograph the falling drop and not die of despair. A tutorial that was very successful!

Water drop

Photographic techniques based on the aperture of the diaphragm

Through the diaphragm opening you control not only the entry of light but also the blur or depth of field. By playing around with this setting, you can delve into techniques like bokeh or hyperfocal. We see them below.


If you have ever been amazed by the blur of the points of light in the background of a portrait, or with those Christmas photos full of colored lights…, you should know that this photographic technique is called bokeh, a term that means blur. When working with large apertures, the blur increases and the highlights become those very photogenic soft spots.

You can wow your audience with stunning Bokeh photography by checking out this article, and you can also follow this article to get stunning Bokeh in 7 steps.



At the opposite point in terms of depth of field, we find the Hyperfocal. This technique achieves the maximum possible depth of field in an image, even more than closing the diaphragm opening to the maximum and with much better results.

Hyperfocal, with this ugly name, is a photographic technique widely used in landscape photography or street photography. I leave you our article where you will find the Hyperfocal technique explained as God intended, that is, in a simple way, to understand it easily 😉 . Once you get the hang of it, it’s not complicated at all and it is very useful.

Other photographic techniques

Beyond light or aperture, there is a wide variety of photographic techniques with which you can unleash your creativity.

You will see how you can play with the zoom of your lens, with the color of the background, get a perfect focus and many other tricks. Let’s see them.


This movement effect that you can see in the image can be achieved in two ways, by zooming with Photoshop, or by following the steps that we explain in this article to achieve manual zooming. Straight from camera. Which prefer?

Bracketing or bracketing

This technique is ideal for increasing focus, exposure, or ISO value. It is based on taking 3 or more identical images varying a single setting (if we want, for example, a bracketing of focus, we would vary the areas in focus in the image) and then join them in editing and thus “add” those adjustments.

Do not panic, in this article we explain to you with the simplicity to which we are accustomed what bracketing or bracketing is and how to achieve it.


It is similar to the previous one, since it is also based on “adding” several images to obtain more detail in both light and dark areas. Through HDR you will get…