Vantage Points: How to Give New Perspective to Routine Subjects
April 22, 2014
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Over time, some photography assignments and projects can become routine. From profile shots and baby portraits to news conferences and still-life arrangements on a table, there are only so many ways to photograph everyday subjects. But by using a variety of uncommon vantage points, you can breathe new life into your photography and capture more interesting shots.
Instead of aiming your camera at a comfortable height from a standing position, get down low. Lay on your belly, crouch or sit on a pillow. Then, tilt the camera upward to capture the subject from a new perspective.
This vantage point is a fresh way to photograph a baby learning to crawl, or document the construction phases of a new skyscraper. You'll see the details at the bottom of the frame more clearly, such as pudgy baby fingers or construction workers milling around.
Sometimes the best view comes from above. Climb a ladder, a nearby hill or go to the top of a building and look down at the subject. This vantage point focuses on the top half of the subject matter, such as the smiling faces of a large group of people.
Looking at a subject from a high point can also eliminate undesirable backgrounds. For example, when photographing a senior portrait at a park, shooting from a step ladder makes it easier to have grass, leaves or flowers on the ground as the backdrop — not a car-filled parking lot or gray, overcast sky.
If you're covering an event, it can be difficult to safely and quickly get close to the action. This is when shooting above your head and trusting the autofocus feature on your camera becomes a great option. Simply hold the camera at arm's length above you, tilt the camera down toward the action and click away.
This technique is particularly useful when you're in the middle of a large group of people participating in a road race, when a basketball team crowds together to hoist a trophy mere inches from you, or when you get stuck in the middle of an audience during a news conference and still need to get clear pictures of a speaker at a podium.
Use uncommon vantage points to breathe new life into mundane subjects and make hard-to-get images easier to create. What's your favorite vantage point? Tell us in the comments below.
Photo credit: MorgueFile