Following on from yesterday’s “Creative Christmas” discussion on composition, today we’re going to take a look at how different angles and viewpoints can dramatically change your photography.
I was always told the best piece of equipment in a photographer’s arsenal is their legs.
Obviously there are some glaring flaws in this statement, but it makes a good point. Too often we tend to just zoom in or out of a subject and pay little attention to how our subject is distorted in the process.
There are a few standard viewpoints which you should always have in your toolbox, which you can pull out should the subject demand it.
These include the medium shot, the close-up (or the extreme close-up should you feel that way inclined), the long shot, the dutch angle and variations in height such as a low and a high shot are all popular – but each angle comes with its own issues which can be compounded by your lens choice.
If you shoot a person from above with a mega wide angle they’re going to end up with the smallest feet you have ever seen. This could be your intention, but it’s important to be aware of it.
This distortion can be used to your advantage, for example, you have probably seen photographs of tiny little cars looking like big cars in the scene simply by putting them right in front of a wide angle lens and getting done really low.
That’s an extreme example, but try placing portrait subjects closer to your lens on a wider lens and you can make them look really powerful with very little effort.
Getting closer to someone or crawling on the floor can sometimes be a scary thought when you’re just starting out as more often than not you will get people looking at you and asking what you’re doing.
Don’t let this put you off though, as long as you’re not up to no good on the underground you’ll usually be ok.
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Tomorrow I’m going to cover the benefits of simply turning your camera on its side and the difference between landscape and portrait photographs. See you then.