Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Picture Practice - Angle - From Below

Day 15 - Angle From Below

One great way to make your photos more interesting is to change the angle from which you shoot them.
Shooting from a low angle means to either shoot with your phone beneath the subject or with your phone positioned much lower than normal height. Shooting from below can exaggerate the size of the subject, making it appear larger than life.  It can also provide a very different perspective of the world, allow you to overcome distracting backgrounds or help you fit everything into the frame.

Back in October, I waited in line downtown to vote early since I would be gone on election day. There was a crowd of people, and I wanted to record the moment, so I took the most interesting view I could see at the time: a line of people waiting on the sidewalk.  It is not a terrible picture--it utilizes both leading lines the rule of thirds.

But look how different this view is. Taken from the exact same location, I just looked up to find a much more captivating view.

Getting down low can also exaggerate the perspective or lines in your photo. Foreground objects can really become the focus of the image. In the fall, I wanted to get a few pictures of the cotton fields north of town so that I could try my hand at painting them. After a long, wet summer, things had become really dry for a a couple of months and the cotton was almost done. I used my phone to take several pictures that looked like this--rather "blah".
Wanting something a little bit more interesting, I crouched down between one of the rows for a more interesting perspective.
Then I backed up a couple of steps and turned my phone upside down, so that the camera lens was closest to the ground. Doing this allowed me to capture not only the perspective of the row, but the parched ground in front.
One more set of photos to compare. The following photo shows a sweet moment of Ron helping Toddler D climb the playground pole, but the background is busy with lots of other children.
Within moments, however, he had boosted him up. I was able to squat down with my phone and get a really great picture with none of the distractions in the background.
One technique I want to practice is using a low angle to capture back light shining through leaves or flowers. Sometimes we are so busy looking straight ahead, that we neglect seeing what is right above us. Don't forget to look up and see what kind of amazing photographic opportunities are awaiting you.
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