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How you can improve your photography by changing the perspective

The post How you can improve your photography by changing the perspective first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Simon Ringsmuth.

Sometimes I find myself stuck in a bit of a photographic rut, and it seems that whatever I do I just can't find really interesting subjects to take photos of or capture compelling scenes. Even worse, if I think I have come across something that would make a good photo, I will start to click away just to be disappointed with the results.

A trick I have learned over the years to dig myself out of these pits is to change my perspective. By looking at familiar subjects from a different angle or under a different light, I notice that I see it almost for the first time. It's a fun exercise and it doesn't take much effort. It can transform even the most boring scene or boring subject into something worth photographing and framing.

There are a number of ways you can change your perspective on things to get a good photo. I'm going to explore four of my favorite techniques and show you an example of each. Hopefully this gives you some ideas to try it out yourself and turn the everyday into something magical.

Look at the lighting

Not long ago I was walking around a pond near my work with my Fuji X100F when I came across the next scene. As you can see, it wasn't really much to look at. I saw two brown leaves among a sea of ​​dull green leaves, but nothing worthy of me fell as a photo.

A few minutes later, the sun was behind the clouds. I decided to view the same scene from a slightly different perspective, and with a little different lighting as well.

Instead of shooting the sun behind me from above, I shot the sun behind my subject from below.

That simple change made a big difference.

The result is one of my favorite sheet photos ' s I have ever taken.

One morning in May I used the same technique to take this picture of a butterfly.

I placed myself in such a position that the sun would stand behind this specific butterfly. Not only did it give an incredible glow to its wings, it made the dew glow on the grass and sparkle in a way that made the scene seem almost magical.

Normally I tend to take such photos with the sun behind me, not behind my subject. However, this was a good reminder that sometimes creative lighting choices produce amazing results.

You cannot exaggerate the effect of lighting on your photos. Even photographing the word itself means drawing with light. Yet I often think of lighting in terms of formal portraits or other artificial situations. It does not immediately seem to me to adjust the lighting when I want to take casual photos in an interesting way.

The next time you bump into each other, you look at everyday items and situations from a different perspective. A perspective where the light is changed and see how it changes everything in front of your eyes.

Another tip is to try to make your own lighting, as in the recording below. It is nothing more than a pot of pasta in my kitchen that I put on top of a flashlight. However, the result was something interesting and unexpected that put a big smile on my face.

On a similar note, this purple vortex was shot with almost the same principle. It may look like something from a movie or painting, but it's just a plastic bottle with some purple water that I lit with a flashlight.

The original setup is much less dramatic and rather boring – not the kind of scene that seems ideal for an interesting photo. With a little light manipulation, even scenes like this can produce a magical photo.

Come closer

When I started taking photos for the first time, I didn't realize how much I could change the impact of my photos by moving around a bit. Sometimes I would move to photograph a subject or scene from a different angle. However, the proverbial light bulb was really lit up when I realized that the closer I get to my subjects, such a dramatic result could have been achieved. This has come in to play when taking photos for customers – like this one I shot at 190 mm with an aperture of f / 4.

The photo is great in itself. However, as I got closer, I found the resulting image more intimate and personal. It was almost as if I had caught the two in a bit of a private moment. I photographed this photo at 150 mm with an f / 4 aperture. Although the focal length was shorter, the image felt more comfortable and natural because I was physically closer to the pair.

I don't zoom in to take this picture – I zoomed out. But I have come much closer to them. This not only gave me a more personal picture, but it also helped that the couple felt more at ease with me. Instead of being aloof and aloof, I could now talk and joke with them. This allowed them to leave their guard and smile a little more naturally.

Of course, the reverse is also true. Sometimes you notice that going farther gives you a better chance. The point is that a simple change in perspective can have a big impact on your photos. If you work with people, it can also change the entire mood and tone of the photo session.

Re-adjust your topic

If you don't want to move back and forth, but you want to kick your photos a few times, try moving your subject. Such that they are in a slightly different place with a slightly different environment. Take this photo from a maternity clinic as an example. The expectant mother is leaning against a brick in a garden.

Like the couple in the earlier example, this photo is great in itself, but it feels like it is missing something. By moving my subject to a nearby flowerbed and taking a similar photo, we were able to add a very different dimension to the photo. As a result, I have captured an image that feels much more personal and intimate despite a similar attitude and expression.

A simple outline of the subject, and even adding foreground and background elements, can have a huge impact on the resulting images and the story you want to tell or the emotions you are trying to convey. This works with more than just people, such as this image of the moon. It is not bad. The subject is sharp and in focus. However, the photo is not that attractive. It's just a big white circle against a black background. As a result, the image is somewhat lifeless and uninteresting.

Now contrast that image with another image that I captured months later just after sunset. This time I composed my photo, so that some branches would be in the foreground. This simple compositional decision made the final image much more attractive than just a shot of the moon in the sky with nothing else around it.

Above and below

There is one final tip that can help to make your photos much more interesting (or just more fun to look at). Examine your subject or scene from a vantage point that is much higher or lower than you may be used to. This may mean that you have to climb a ladder or squat to the floor. The more creative you can be, the more attractive your results can be.

These two shots are the same sleeping baby. However, I have taken one from a very low angle and the other directly from above. Neither is better or worse than the other, and that is not the point. Instead, both images present the same subject in different ways. As a result, they convey different meanings to the viewer.

The same scene from a different angle feels more personal and intimate, although almost nothing has changed about the baby.

In the same way, I recently did a photo session with a number of customers where they wanted a photo of their hands together. After we discussed some ways to achieve this, we decided to shoot our hands from above. It was a high ladder, and all family members pressed around a tree stump. They were enthusiastic about the result.

It all happened because I shifted my vantage point directly to the top instead of my normal tendency to take pictures from my eye level.

Finally, another example is nothing more than a washing machine my father had testified to run with the lid open. I held my camera directly above to get this photo of the turning cycle in action.

Although it may not be as special as a baby or three generations of hands at the same time, it is an interesting picture of a familiar situation made possible by shifting perspectives.

Hopefully these images will give you an idea of ​​what is possible by changing a few simple things with your photography. You don't need expensive stuff or fancy studio setups to achieve interesting results. Often you just have to adjust your point of view or find ways to use the light differently.

I would like to see some examples of you and read your tips about the same idea. If you have thoughts or images about this, share it in the comments below!

The post How you can improve your photography by changing the perspective first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Simon Ringsmuth.

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