Get Low For a Unique Perspective

“Photographing a landscape from a low angle perspective helps me illustrate subjects in nature.”

When photographing the land, I shoot traditionally and also look for a unique perspective or point of view. Low vantage points are often overlooked, and are often truly rewarding. Before getting close with my camera to capture the details, I use my body position to try various ways I might view the subject. To the causal onlooker, I must look insane with my bending, squatting, squinting and even lying prone or upside down on the ground. 

Walking along the edge of a Whidbey Island wheat field, I was drawn to a small field to use as a backdrop for a montage on organic farming. There were so many great shots in that field waiting to be discovered. I envisioned a wide angle ground perspective that would dramatize the wheat stalks reaching for the sky.

I placed my tripod-mounted camera with Sigma fisheye lens attached right down to the ground facing upwards and set the lens to close focus. I knew I wanted the sun to be an element but not overwhelming, so I waited until a cloud obscured it.  I could not get my eye behind the camera, so I checked the sun’s position behind the grass by looking at the scene reflected on the glass lens. I adjusted the setup and got out of the way to shoot a few variations. The result is the exact ‘bug’s eye’ view that I had envisioned. I also used a silvered collapsible reflector to bounce skylight up into the wheat. Next time you are in the field, find the best position that speak to you through your subject, grab your wide angle and get low!

I have many ideas and techniques to share with fellow photographers. Join me in a hands-on Creative Photography workshops. Let me know what interests you most!


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