Using an Unexpected Angle

For photos of people, using direct eye contact is a good thing. It provides a sense of realism and makes the image more intimate and warm, pulling you into the photo. But for some subjects, using a front or eye level angle may not be the best. More of an extreme angle may provide a more interesting image.

Experiment by taking a photo from above (bird's eye view) or below (worm's eye view) the subject. Try changing your perspective on how you normally would look at the subject. Here are a few ways this can change the photograph:

i Unexpected angles can exaggerate the size of the subject. The subject may appear either larger or smaller than normal, as shown in Figure 19-7. Try this technique with scenic shots, which can tend to be rather static or even plain boring.

l Changing your viewpoint can change the mood of the image. If the shot of this cactus had been taken from a directly front angle, it would have been pretty dull. Taking from below, looking up, exaggerates the height and makes for a stronger and more exciting composition, making the cactus seem like nature's skyscraper.

Remember that children are not at the same eye level as adults. We so often shoot down at them, making them appear smaller than they really are. Try kneeling, or sitting on the floor and getting down to their level. Do the same for pets and other small creatures. You will also find that you get less distracting background in the frame, and the lighting from your flash will more evenly cover the face.

Figure 19-7:

Shooting subjects from extreme angles can exaggerate size, resulting in a more interesting shot.

Figure 19-7:

Shooting subjects from extreme angles can exaggerate size, resulting in a more interesting shot.

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