Camera Angles: Shoot High, Shoot Low

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The camera position from where you choose to photograph your subject can mean the difference between an ordinary, run of the mill image or an eye grabbing one with impact and intrigue. Moving to a different location is often necessary to create a better composition. But many photographers think that what constitutes changing their camera position is moving closer or farther away from their subject. While this can lead to potential improvement, it still doesn’t lend itself to giving the image a unique feel. To add drama to your photos, try shooting them from extreme vantage points. Look down from high camera positions or get on your belly and look up. The more unique the angle, the greater the possibility of creating a novel image.

Depending on the subject or lighting conditions, the elevation from which you choose to photograph your subject will need to be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you’re creating a portrait of a person, shooting from a low angle will create an awkward result as you’ll be looking up nostrils. But if you’re making full figure pictures of people, as in the accompanying image, more drastic changes in elevation can work successfully. The shot of the person with the umbrella was made on a snowy day from the roof of a three story garden apartment. The image of the turtle was made with the camera placed squarely on the ground at the same level as the turtle.



    I learned this concept in a digital class I took a year ago. It was referred to as the “bird’s” or the “”worm’s”” eye view. Because of the way it was stated then, I have never forgotten it; I use it all the time. I learned it from Russ Burden that day. I continue to learn from his tips and his enthusiasm.

    Thanks Russ.

    All of us want to create eye-catching images. The ideas Russ shares here should always be in mind when going out to shoot. The included images are great examples.

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