How Low Can You Go? Ground Level Photography
My neighbor next door recently got a new puppy. Her name is Bailey and she is as adorable as can be when she cries for your attention through the fence. One afternoon while I was out playing with my camera, I snapped a few photos of her. I started thinking about how different the world must look to her than it does to me. Getting down on the ground and shooting again while laying on my belly gave a sense of perspective that was missing from the images that I took of her from above.
I decided to put this new point of view to the test. Over the next several weeks, each time I took a photograph I would intentionally take another one from ground level while laying on my belly just to compare the results. What I found was that this low-angle perspective was effective in many types of images, babies, pets, nature, landscapes, and macro photography just to name a few. The key is to experiment to see what result you like the best.
So many times when we are taking pictures, the first point of view that we choose is eye level with the camera horizontal, also known as the ‘default' point of view. This position mimics what we see with our own eyes, but it does not always result in images that grab the viewer's attention. Sometimes shooting from a different perspective allows you to surprise the viewer into seeing something that might otherwise be passed over. Photography is so much more than point and click. It is about making choices, from shutter speed to composition, and developing your eye to really looking at a scene differently. The further that you challenge yourself to move away from the ‘default' settings, the better photographer that you will become.
The next time that you are out with your camera and you find yourself shooting at eye level, take a moment to ask yourself if there is a better point of view. Would the image benefit from a lower angle perspective? Perhaps it will, perhaps it won't. But by opening your mind to the possibility, you just may surprise yourself at what you can create.