As a photographer, you have the ability to portray a scene in a variety of perspectives. Taking the standard eye-level shot is expected and quite frankly, rather boring.
Being a photographer means more than taking a simple photograph; anybody can pick up a camera and click.
Like other artists, photographers are meant to tell stories through this visual medium and playing with different perspectives can help with this.
Different angles can inspire different emotions. It is the photographer’s decision to figure out what kind of story they are trying to tell.
Even in film, camera angles are used to create a mood to better tell the story. Here are four different points of view that can be used to a photographer’s advantage:
Shoot from below.
This angle works because it is a perspective not many experience in every day life. It is a small child’s point of view, looking up at this big world and feeling much smaller.
Taking a photograph from below will transform the main subject into a dominating feature of the image.
In response to this effect, the viewer will feel inferior and maybe, a little out of control. If you want take something powerful, like a tall tree, and make it even more commanding, consider shooting from below.
Shoot from above.
Take the picture from a bird’s eye point of view. Instead of the main subject appearing larger, it will appear smaller, giving the viewer a sense of superiority. This can also give the viewer a God-like point of view.
They may feel protective over the main subject, as if they are watching over the scene from above. Shoot from the main subject’s point of view.
This is especially useful when trying to photograph an action. For example, think about a chef. A photographer could easily capture the image as a bystander, watching the chef work their magic, but a better photograph could be of the chef’s hands from above, making the viewer feel like they themselves are preparing the food.
Shoot at eye-level.
Yes, it has previously been mentioned to steer away from this technique, but there are many subjects that are not normally at eye-level and can be.
Think of ants and birds, both are rarely seen at eye-level. This is why photographing them as such can help the viewer relate to their world. Getting up or down to the subject’s eye-level is in fact, another point of view that works.
Of course, point of view can go beyond levels. It can also work with distance, making the viewer feel farther or closer to the main subject.
Like every other aspect of photography, experimenting with composition is the trick to finding your art. Shooting at your own eye-level is still a great way to compose an image, but using different levels may help you find other elements that can be captured that you did not notice before.