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You’d be surprised how a simple change of perspective in photography can take your images from amateur to pro. Pay attention to any magazine, advertisement, exhibition, etc., and you’ll notice how almost none of the photographs were taken at eye-level.
Just by changing the point of view, you can completely transform an image. You can play with size, proportion, depth, and many other characteristics. One of the most important aspects, however, is that you are showing the viewer the subject from a point of view that is out of the ordinary.
There are many angles you can choose from, in this article I’m going to focus on positioning yourself above the subject. Now let’s see a couple of choices for you to get started.
As the name suggests, this shot means that you should be highly elevated and therefore watching your subject from a flying bird’s perspective. With small subjects or even a portrait, you can just climb on a chair or a tree. However, for landscapes, you can go up a building or tower. There are lots of touristic places that have high scenic viewpoints for you to practice.
You don’t need any specific gear for it but there are some things to consider regarding your settings:
A change of perspective in photography is not only a good practice to improve your skills, but it can also be used creatively. Here are some ideas for you to try using the bird’s eye perspective:
The top-down name is quite clear. It means that you’re looking down directly onto the subject. Of course, this is also a perspective a bird could have, however, it’s a camera angle in its own right. For this, your focal plane has to be parallel to the subject.
You don’t need special gear. You can achieve this with any camera – even with your smartphone – which is probably why it’s so popular for food and still-life photography on Instagram. It’s also very popular for drone photography.
However, there are some accessories that can be useful:
Flat lay is a very popular term for blogs and social media, especially Instagram. It refers to a composition of objects laid onto a flat surface. There are many contests and challenges online, look for them with the hashtag flat-lay. Join them and practice your top-down skills.
Because there’s almost no depth with the top-down perspective, you have to make the most out of the two dimensions you have to work with. Instead of it being a limitation, get creative and use composition, colors, and shapes to improve your designer skills.
A change of perspective in photography can give you lots of opportunities to improve and create fun and innovative images. You don’t need to buy any extra equipment or learn any new techniques, all you need to do is move around your subject. I hope you have fun and if you feel up to it keep on exploring with these extra articles: