As photographers, it’s important that we don’t get caught in a rut or a slump. Taking photos that look the same makes us feel monotone in style and feels like we are running through quicksand in the race to photo mastery. But, fear not Roundtable Nation! There is a simple and easy solution to photo slumps.
Taking photos from different perspectives will give you the creative juices you need to take better photos. It will jolt your thinking and open a door to a whole new world of creative photos.
Photos that are taken at eye level are tiring because it’s exactly what people see when they are walking around. However, when you make the effort to get to different perspectives, you will start taking more interesting photographs. Let’s see what we can do to take photos from different perspectives.
Lower perspectives are great to use when you want to make the subject of your photo seem more grand than it is at eye level. When something is viewed from a low perspective, it makes it look larger and more important.
Using low perspectives is great for all fields of photography because of the effect it has on the subject itself. Remember, as the photographer, it is your job to create a sense of feeling about your photos. If you want to make the subject look grand, crouch or lay down to take the photo from a low perspective.
Taking photos at higher perspectives is a great way to get a better angle on a subject. Higher perspectives produce my favorite portrait photos, especially for my 1, 2, 3 look shots (read about them in this post).
High perspectives in landscapes are not always noticeable at first glance, however, when someone goes to a location you have photographed, they might notice it’s not completely like your photo. That’s because higher elevations look different than what is seen at eye level. It’s the different perspective that makes the photo great.
Here’s a video on recreating some of Ansel Adams photos that shows how Ansel built a platform on the roof of his station wagon to get off the ground for better angles.
Portraits are a great example of why you should be taking photos from different perspectives. Anyone can take a photo from the standing position, snapping an image at eye level. They’re all over Facebook! What sets great photos apart from average photos is composition and perspective.
Knowing when to use perspective is very important too. The angle at which you take a photo has a direct impact with how the photo is viewed. For portraits of men or athletes, you probably want to use a lower perspective. For portraits of women, I prefer to use perspectives higher than eye level.
As you can see from the video on Ansel Adams, the king of landscape photography, it’s important to get different angles and perspectives in your landscape photos. Have I thought about building a platform on top of my Jeep? Maybe. Have I stood on top of my Jeep to get a different perspective? Yes.
Higher perspectives are a great way to make an already vast landscape feel even more vast. They provide a view that is grander than if you were just standing on the ground, even if it is only four to five feet higher. For the example to the left, I got up on a roof to get a better angle of the mountain range and sunrise.
Lower perspectives are reserved for more intimate landscapes. If you’re shooting individual trees or waterfalls, low perspectives work great because they make the subject look larger. In landscape photography, you rarely want to make the subject look smaller.
Low perspectives were made for sports photography. We marvel at how amazing athletes are at what they do, so why would we take a high perspective of them to make them seem smaller. The photo should reflect the feeling of the environment, and most sports are all about being bigger.
Take football for example (American football). I would be crazy to try to get up higher to take a photo of a player diving into the end zone. I want to get the impact of the situation by taking a lower perspective so the photo reflects the force of the environment!
I can understand some situations for higher elevations: a diver jumping off a high dive would look great from a higher perspective, a gymnast doing a dismount, or some sort of mind-bending flip on a motorcycle. But, the majority of sports go hand-in-hand with low perspectives.
I hope you can incorporate new perspectives and angles next time you are out shooting. Keep in mind that you can get up to date posts and information on the Roundtable Nation Facebook page!