Sunday, June 3, 2012

Changing Perspective

If you have been wondering how to take your photography to the next level and seem to be stuck perhaps you need a change in perspective, literally !!! This is something a lot of photographers are guilty of, including me. Let's say you are  photographing a monument and a tourist comes along ad shoots from the exact same perspective as you, then you need to reconsider if you are a photographer. (Unless the tourist happens to be Ami Vitale in which case you are in good company)

One of the simplest ways to change perspective is to simply move the camera angle slightly higher or lower than  your eye level. It's that simple. Everyone has seen the photograph of the building standing from the same spot as you have. You can bring in a new perspective by shooting looking up. Or you could climb on to building nearby and shoot from above looking down.

You can do the same while taking photos of people move the camera angle from eye level to say waste level or shoot from the ground looking or from stand on a chair and shoot looking down. However, If you are taking photos of people then moving the camera slightly higher is a better choice. Especially if they are plus size. Reason is simple, one it will clear the background and second is that it will make them look slimmer. Yes slimmer. Reason being anything which is closer to the lens looks bigger and what ever is further away from the lens looks smaller. Now if you put the person's head closer to the lens and the body away you will make the body look smaller compared to what it is. Another reason not to shoot from below is that it shows the double chin. It does not matter even if you are super fit. Unless your subject is blessed with razor sharp jaw lines. If you shoot from below you will show the flabby skin and make them look fatter than they are.

Here is an example of changing perspective. For the photograph below I lowered the  camera angle so I was almost level with the wheat field and then look the photograph looking straight rather than shooting from eye level. It creates a different perspective.

Wheat Fields and trees

Here is another one. The image below is of elephant grass, which, you can spot anywhere along the highway in the north of India. Just walk up to the grass and shoot looking up. It creates an interesting perspective.  

Elephant Grass

So the next time you are stuck with your composition just move the camera.