Playing with Perspective.

I wrote a bit about Aperture, which I think of as the most important thing to learn in photography. But another thing that must be played with is perspective. Do you sometimes see that weirdo who’s crouching down to get her photos, when everyone else is perfectly happy standing up? That weirdo is me. I was lying on the ground in the middle of the road to get these photos while the boys rode past (sometimes a little too close, I might add…)

Changing the perspective totally changes the mood and dynamics of your photo. Get down low and shoot up at your kids…they’ll look stronger, braver, more confident. Or get up high and shoot down on your kids…they’ll look smaller, more childlike, and more vulnerable. What mood do you want for your photo? Changing your position will help. At first, just experiment by taking the same photos from lots of different positions…don’t be afraid to kneel! I couldn’t figure out why my favorite jeans were getting a hole in the right leg…oh, that’s my photo kneeling knee. I use it often.

Or move in closer to your subject. For example, my mom’s knitting cabinet…

Boring, right? I love the rows of yarn but it doesn’t do anything for me to look at this photo. How about if I get a little closer? (Pros are always saying that you don’t need to capture the whole object, just a sense of the object…so move in!)

Better. At least it doesn’t include my dad’s kettle bells and the distracting orange shawl that did nothing for the picture. But still not the mood I wanted. How about if I change my perspective and shoot the cabinet from an angle, to include more of the yarn…

Now we’re getting closer. I’ve captured the age of the cabinet and the broader spectrum of yarn, but that light purple skein in the front is out of focus and distracts me. Option one is to move that purple yarn…oh yes, it’s okay to move things around for a better photograph! In fact, I recommend it (and I moved that orange shawl to capture these!)  But what if I just move forward a bit and up to the shelf above this one?

Now I’ve got it. This is the one. It captures the age of the cabinet by showing even more of the frame, and I took an even deeper angle to show the whole spectrum of her yarn collection.



The aperture is set at 1.4 on all of these, but you see how changing my position puts more of the photo out of focus…which I think makes the viewer feel a bit more mystery and gives the photo a dreamier quality.

There you go…move around! Change your perspective! You’ll be glad you did.


3 thoughts on “Playing with Perspective.

  1. Oooh, I love this. I must say I am learning a lot from you in the couple of visits I have made. I went out and played with my aperture last night for fun; next time I will need to take the manual our with me and really get serious. Do you have a feed or follow link? I would love to be able to keep up with your posts. Thanks, Heather (by way of artistic mothers)

  2. You are so right about perspective! I often find myself sitting on the floor or on a chair while taking pictures—though it is something I can definitely still work on!

  3. Hey, congrats on making Jessica Sprague’s creative team! And thanks for the comment on my blog. Sounds like we should get together sometime! I just moved to San Diego a couple of months ago, so I’m still getting to know the area…I’m originally from Utah. I absolutely love it here! 🙂

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