Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Change Your Perspective

When you first arrive at a photo location what do you do? Do you immediately take out your tripod, fully extend the legs, and put your camera on the head in the landscape position? If you do all these things (and I am guilty too) then you are limiting your creativity. I would suggest that you take your camera and walk around just a bit to find different angles and heights. Find what you are looking for THEN get your tripod. Most of my landscapes are all taken from a height that allows me to look into the viewfinder without having to bend over. This is something that I am working to change.  Why?  Because everyone does just that.  Believe it or not but just the change of a few feet can make a difference.  If you are taking some portraits try extending the tripod all the way and then hold it way above your subjects. This may take a few times to get it right but the perspective will be unique.

If you are photographing wildlife remember that it is important to be at eye level or lower.  The reasoning behind this is that it gives the subject a sense of power.  The image below of a wild turkey would have had a different feel if I had been on my feet.  It would have seemed smaller than it was and not nearly as commanding of its environment.  I had the tripod collapsed as far down as I could get it and I was down on my knees in the wet grass. 

There was one morning that I was in the Foothill Parkway overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains. While I was there a van full of photographers enjoying a workshop showed up and started the tripod extending process. By this time I had climbed to the top of the Ford Explorer I was driving and set up my tripod. As these photographers walked by I heard several of them laughing at me for standing on top of the vehicle. As the sun started coming up they quickly realized that the underbrush directly in front of them blocked a magnificent sunrise. One of the photographers that laughed at me quickly looked up and said “well, I guess you do have the best seat in the house”. I just smiled.

With the advent of digital everyone is a photographer. If you want to be different start my changing your perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Jason,
    I try to do the same thing at a plein aire (outside) painting event: walk the area first!

    When I walk around first, like you, I find the more interesting spots. You had the best seat in the house on top of the van...I want the best place to park my easel (tripod) and paints.

    I never understand people who always photograph their dogs, children, etc. from above. Just not right! LOL It may give perspective from the camera viewer, but it does make a less interesting photo.

    Keep 'em coming! Keep changing OUR perceptives!