It's a matter of PERSPECTIVE!

posted on 26th of august, 2007

As a 'self proclaimed' student of photography, I have made it a point to mentally critique every image I can reasonably take time to do so. One of the things I notice time and again that I think separates a good photograph from a great one is perspective. Sometimes it is as simple as using the proper focal length, like a wide angle shot to accentuate things that are close the camera. Sometimes it is making sure that your camera is level when you have obvious horizontal lines in a picture to make it aesthetically pleasing.

Most of the time it is a matter of NOT shooting while standing erect. If there is one thing I tell my fellow fledgling photographers, its: Don't just STAND there.
Get down on a knee (this also creates a more stable platform).

Stand up on a table. Climb a tree. Lay in the grass. Change YOUR perspective. Get so close to something that you think it may bite you! (OK, that may not be for some of you, just us adrenaline junkies.)

As photographers, I think it is our duty to do two things: 1) show people what we want them to see and 2) show people something they have never seen before.

This does not mean we have to bust open our piggy banks and scrape together the dough for a safari to the deepest reaches of a Brazillian Rainforest. We would be hard pressed to find locations of this earth that haven't been photographed in this day and age. But, if everyone else walks through a garden looking at flowers, then have they have seen them before if I photograph them laying down in the grass and looking UP at the flowers as they reach for that golden sun?

Well known photographers of the early 1900's such as Barbara Morgan, Alfred Stieglitz, and Yousuf Karsh traveled to far off lands to bring back images for their audiences to oooh and ahhh over.

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Famous photographers, such as Edward Steichen, who was a combat photographer in WWII, and Lewis Hine, who snuck into factories to photograph young laborers to help bring about child labor laws, risked danger to bring their unique perspective to their viewers.

Masters like Ansel Adams studied their subjects in such depth that their perspective was discovered through long hikes, hours of sitting and watching the light play across the landscape, and a genuine love of their subject.

Whatever your perspective is, make it your own. Submitting images that are rejected because their are too many of a certain subject should not be an issue if you pay attention to your perspective. Whatever you do, DON'T JUST STAND THERE!

Comments (1)

Posted by Denisebeverly on August 26, 2007
very good ideas jay. now can you tell me how to get my old bones off of the ground once i get down there?? just kidding, (sort of). i have always liked the "different angle" type of shots. a new way of seeing something ordinary or a common sight. making the viewer see something they never saw before. so it makes sense that i should take some shots that way as well.

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Photo credits: , Jason Schulz, Pavel Kapish, Retrodiva88, Willgame.

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I have deployed a few times to Afghanistan and Iraq so if you don't see images that you need in my portfolio, send me a request and I can search through my hundreds of images to see if I might have what you are looking for.

Greenville, US

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