VOXTIP#9 ….DON’T FOLLOW THE HERD, BE ONE OF THE 10%.

Now I have to admit, these figures are guesstimates,  but I’ve been looking at photographs and photographers for a long time so I don’t think I’m too far out. What am I talking about?

Well I reckon that some 90% of all the photographs taken in the world today are shot from eye level and/or with the camera in the ‘landscape’ orientation

So, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that if you hold the camera in the portrait orientation (or creatively at an angle) and/or take the shot from a higher or lower perspective, then you could have a photo which looks a bit different from the majority – no bad thing. Simple but effective.

Landscape oriented images are the norm – by turning your camera through 90 degrees you can create a totally different look even with the same subject matter. Try it – take the same picture with each orientation and look at the effect. Now, don’t go out and indiscriminately take loads of ‘portrait’ oriented photos – think about it. Some work better than others – it’s about choosing the best orientation. Try looking at your subject through the viewfinder in each orientation before taking the shot.

Look at these examples, I’m not saying portrait orientation will always give you a better shot but it will give you a different perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You could also try holding the camera at an angle which creates an unusual perspective BUT do watch out for ‘wonky horizons’ and ‘falling verticals’.

 

 

 

 

Now we come to shooting from heights other than eye level. Think about it – we spend most of our lives looking at the world from our eye level. It’s almost a subconscious act to put the camera to your eye, click the shutter and, hey presto, you get a picture of what you were looking at.

Don’t …….. stop, take a step back and imagine how the subject might look if you took the shot from closer to the ground or from a higher viewpoint. It’s well worth the effort – you get to see the world from a whole different perspective and you produce images which you didn’t realise were there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, street scenes look very different from either a high vantage point or literally from pavement level; flowers and animals often look far more interesting if you get down to their level rather than looking at them from your own.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I particularly like these two examples from members of the Voxtips Window Facebook Group. One from Ruthie Harvey showing an unusual way of looking at geraniums and the second, an absolutely stunning wildlife shot by Tom Coetzee. (Thanks to both of them for allowing me to use their photos.)

Both clearly illustrate the value of moving out of your comfort zone. One shows how looking at everyday objects in different ways can produce pleasing and surprising images. The other shows how important it is to photograph wildlife from the animal’s perspective.

 

 

 

So don’t be lazy, be prepared to climb the stairs to success or to ‘get down and dirty’ (don’t forget your bin liner to keep your clothes clean) – I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.

Don’t forget to post your results, comments and questions on VOXTIPS WINDOW http://www.facebook.com/groups/voxtipswindow

“I wish you good shooting.”

Next Friday we’ll be looking at ”Start Your Own Journey.”

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 7, 2013 at 10:36 am by Neil Brown | Permalink

    Wise words and very true. What a shame that even Canon compacts no longer have the flip out screen that made very high or very low viewpoints so much easier. We will just have to be less lazy.

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