All of us want to shoot photos that are different and exciting that others haven’t thought of before. Now that’s a tall order. Or is it? Most people shoot from traditional angles and never give a thought to experimenting with new and more exciting viewpoints.
So why is changing your angle or viewpoint so important? Everyone shoots images from straight in front of the subject and they all look the same. When you look at photo books or magazines, do the photos look like that? No, because the great photographers know that if you change your angle you will get a better photo.
So how do we change our angles? It’s very simple, but may be a little embarrassing at times. You need to decide how important getting the shot is.
1. Bend at the waist
By simply bending at the waist and reducing your height by half you change the angle of your shot. Try it. You’ll either be looking up towards your subject by reducing your height or with children getting to the level of their eyes. Both of these changes will make a more pleasant photograph and improve your photography dramatically.
How often do you kneel when taking a photograph? This not only gets you down to the level of children but also gives a new perspective on all other subjects. It’s not that embarrassing to do in public either.
3. Sit down
Now you are approaching embarrassing territory. Again it reduces your height and you start taking photos that others never take. How many people do you see sitting down in public? I don’t recall seeing many. Try doing this more frequently and looking up towards your subject. It works especially well when shooting a group shot.
4. Lie on your stomach
Talk about a unique angle, then this is it. I never see people lying down taking photos. So your images will definitely be unique if you choose this position. It may seem a little embarrassing and you’ll probably be self conscious on the first few occasions you try it. But, once you get used to it you’ll find that it will give you a most interesting angle. To get over the embarrassment factor choose times when there aren’t many people around and you’ll find out just how profitable it is.
5. Lie on your back
This is as embarrassing as lying on your stomach but just as profitable. Shooting up from this low definitely adds a unique aspect to your images. It works well with buildings and similar subjects.
To prove my point, try the following exercise in the comfort of your own home before trying it out in public. Find a good subject about 10 feet or three metres away from you. Now stand and take a photo. Move in a few feet and shoot another by bending at the waist. Do this again from a kneeling position and then sit down flat on you backside and shoot again. Then finally lie down on your stomach and shoot the final photo.
Compare all five photos and see if any one of the angles is more interesting than the one you took from the traditional angle, standing up straight. I can guarantee you that one of the angles will be far more interesting than the first upright shot. Finding new and interesting angles will always improve your photos. And, if at any stage you think of selling your images it will be these ones that will sell the most. People like photos that aren’t the same as everyone else’s. Don’t ever be afraid to try a new angle.