All too often, when something or someone catches my eye, I don’t bother to do more than just placing the camera in front of my eyes and take a shot. Without moving closer. Without getting further away. Without kneeling down, walking around or trying to get a shot from above. All too often, I am just lazy and end up forgetting that the point of view is one of the most important aspects in image composition. Now is the time to change that and I invite you to learn with me!
There are a lot of good reasons to use a different point of view (POV). When photographing children or pets, it’s almost always better to get down to their eye level instead of showing them from the adult’s point of view.
Using an unusual POV also allows us to take unique pictures of well-known sights. The image below shows the German Bundestag in Berlin, for sure one of the most photographed buildings of the country. I used a very low POV to illustrate that what matters more to me than the building itself, is the space in front of it – it is used as a recreational area by tourists and (a few) Berliners and on sunny days, I am always tempted to sit down.
For a great example of a low POV follow this link to a photo that was submitted to Lucile’s Photo Rehab by Cardinal Guzman. The low POV gives me the impression of being a child trying to peek through the window.
Just as much as lying on the ground, seeking a higher POV can also help to transform your photos into more personal images. The Karst islands of Halong Bay are one of the very top sights of Vietnam. Like most visitors, we took a boat tour, and like most, we also took a lot of pictures during the cruise. Looking back at them, I am haunted by the fact that my pictures cannot compete with the postcards that are sold everywhere in Vietnam. An image that I do like however is one that I took from the top of a small island hill:
The elevated POV brings a fresh look to the image and relieves me from the competition with the millions of photos taken on the cruises. For an extreme take on an elevated POV follow this link to see images of clouds from above that Desley Jane submitted to the Photo Rehab.
We can also use the POV to select a background for our main subject. In this image from a previous post about the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, I chose a very low POV in order to use more of the ceiling instead of the walls as a backdrop for this shiny old car:
This month, remember that if you didn’t kneel on the ground, didn’t get up too close and didn’t climb a tree to get a good shot, you haven’t tried hard enough. To participate in the challenge, make a post with your image(s) and let us know about it by creating a pingback to this post or by leaving your link in the comments section. From this month on, we are partnering with Lucile De Godoy and she invites you to also submit your images to her Photo Rehab.
For this edition, we have received contributions from
The BeeSpeak: Low blossoms
Musings of a frequently flying scientist: Arterial Canopy
belgianstreets: tram (point of view)
Lucile De Godoy: Point of view: Photo101 Rehab
perelincolors: Modern architecture – Seoul city hall