One of the most effective ways to make your digital images more interesting to the eye is to change the angle that you’re shooting from.
Let me use an illustration of a couple of pictures I took of a big pineapple (don’t ask – it’s an Australian thing).
In my opinion the first picture is more interesting than the second. While the second one might be good for putting the big pineapple in context of it’s surroundings and giving an accurate picture of ‘how big’ it is – I’m much more likely to get a ‘wow’ factor using the first one (although it’s by no means a brilliant shot for other reasons).
There are a number of differences between these pictures in terms of composition. For starters the first is closer and fills the frame (I’ll write about this in a future post) but for the purposes of this composition tip I want to talk about the angle that I shot the two shots from.
The second shot is taken by me standing some distance from the pineapple as I approached it. In the first shot I got much closer and crouched down to accentuate my smallness and the pineapple’s bigness. I could have gone a step further and lay down on the ground to shoot it for even greater impact.
Not only does changing the angle that you shoot from impact the feeling of size of your subject but it can have a real effect upon the light and shade and patterns on it. You can see in the picture on the left that the patterns on the pineapple are more pronounced as a result of the angle I shot it from.
Ideas for New Angles
The variety of perspectives that you can shoot images from is only limited by your imagination. In addition to standing in front of your subject you might like to try:
- lying or crouching in front of it
- climbing above it
- putting the camera on the ground and chancing it (some cameras with swing out LCD displays make this particularly easy as you can frame your shots rather than chancing it)
I’m not finished yet with this topic – in the days ahead I’ll post about finding new angles to shoot portraits from and then one on photographing children. Stay tuned for more.