Regular readers of DPS will know of my love for shooting from down low to get an image that emphasizes the height of subjects.
I love the way shooting from ground level creates wonderful foregrounds and puts a completely new perspective of familiar scenes. In addition to this it’s great for photographing children, pets and wildlife as it really puts you on their level and helps you enter their world.
However photography is a wonderful thing because sometimes it’s when you go to extremes that you can get the best shots. While shooting from low down leads to interesting shots – so does getting up high and shooting down on your subject.
Here are six reasons why shooting from up high can be something worth considering:
flattens objects – shooting down on a scene tends to flatten it out. While this can mean depth of field doesn’t come into play as much it can highlight patterns, textures and shapes well.
no horizons – photographing a scene below you eliminates horizons and skies. This means less big empty blue spaces in your shots and hopefully more points of interest.
less distracting backgrounds – because most of your scene will be the same distance from your lens you might find yourself with less (or no) backgrounds to have to scan before you snap your shot.
group shots – if you’re photographing a large group of people, shooting from up high is a great way to fit everyone in as less space is filled up with legs and torsos and more filled up with faces.
shadows – I love shooting from up high at the start or end of a day when shadows are at their longest. When shooting from ground level at such times the light can be wonderful but it’s almost impossible to get a full shadow in frame. Shooting down captures the way light hits objects in ways that can give a whole new perspective on a subject.
new perspectives – sometimes it is difficult to photograph familiar objects in a way that keeps them looking fresh and interesting. I’m thinking of iconic buildings or structures for example. Shooting from up high can reveal things about those objects that no one may have seen before.
Do you use this technique? Got any tips to add on the topic?