April Assignment: High/Low Perspectives Really Change the View

April 9, 2017

The point of “mindful” photography, is to present a subject in a way that the average person may not ever see it, or consider viewing it. It’s the lazy photographer who stands in front of a subject, living or inanimate, and just snaps the shutter from eye level. It’s a challenge to create a compelling image when it is from a perspective that everyone sees.

Your role as a serious photographer is to show the world from a different angle, and that means finding angles other than those taken from human eye level. If your subject is a pet, wild animal/bird, or a child, the compelling images will bring the viewer to the subject’s own eye level. Yes, you may have to bend or squat–or at least hold the camera lower. Or, you might have to get on tiptoes or a ladder.

But, I promise, you will like the image better, if you get the lens to the level of the subject. One of the reasons is that you are connecting on the subject’s level, but another key reason is that it is an unusual perspective.

Even still life scenes are better when the perspective is changed. The two images below I grabbed on our beach walk with Wilson and Wallace. Same subject, different angles. Which do you find more interesting? Sure the one from above shows more of the pieces that make up the scene, but everyone has seen similar scenes if they walk the beach. However, once I lowered the camera and shot it from a lower angle, the buoys became a better focal point, and the background offered more context. Now we see just what beach we were visiting, and the water provides some negative space, too. And look at the pretty clouds in the sky.

  

Another very useful purpose of the using a different perspective is to eliminate distracting elements. See below for two shots of mini daffodils that persistently bloom in the woods in our backyard. In one, there is a fence behind the flowers. Not bad, but certainly visually distracting. In the other, I shifted the angle a bit, and the daffodils are center stage. (That other shot? Wallace checking out the flowers was just too cute not to show off – forgive me for my proud pet parent moment. LOL)

  

What’s that you are thinking? How could Judy post images that are out of focus? Well that demonstrates another point–be careful when shooting with the camera held away from your eye–you can’t see exactly what it is focusing on–so check your focus before finishing your work with the subject.

I found two helpful articles about using different angles. Read more on Fodors and in Outdoor Photographer.

Your Mission for April: Shoot 2 shots of the same subject. One from a very low level, and one for a very high level. Name them HiLo 1 and HiLo 2 with your last name. Post them both in the Flickr group. Please remember–just two images!

Happy Shooting!

Previous post:

Next post: