Choose a different perspective

Taken from lower down gives the scene a different balance making the pathway larger and the focus of the image.

Images can be interesting for various reasons, sometimes the angles or the feel of an image, the capture of a moment or the expression on a face.  One way to add a bit of interest though to explore a slightly different viewpoint or perspective.  Changing the focal length of your lens also has an effect on perspective but I'll save that for another blog entry and look here just at camera position.

It's probably fair to say that the majority of photos taken are from about head height and straight on.  Although this provides a good visual record of how it looked as you walked round, it may not draw attention to what you saw. So what can we do to mix it up a bit?

There are a few things that can help.  Firstly remember things closer to the camera look bigger than things further away so you can use this to emphasis part of the image by getting higher or lower or closer in.  The second is that tilting the camera forward and backward makes lines converge or diverge.  We have all seen the images of large buildings that seem to fall backwards where the camera was pointing up to get the top of the building in.  In real life your brain compensates for that convergence but in a 2 dimensional image it becomes more obvious.

So experiment by playing with these things by getting down lower or higher and not keeping your camera level, tilt it up and down and shift the horizon up and down in the image.

Initially the eye see a level road before it spots the houses and then it flick back and forward trying to decide what is level.  Credit to Chris Marquardt whos idea I have used here.

The other form of tilt you can use is by making the horizon slope or taking the image at an angle.  I'm not a great lover of images that are framed at an angle just for the sake of it, it's a personal taste thing.  That is unless it adds to the image by creating an angle or new viewpoint that enhances the image.  The example here on the left uses that to fool the eye, it sees the image as level before it spots the angle in the houses.

As an exercise take the same scene from lots of different heights and angles then compare them later to see how each perspective change changes the image.

Snow = Exposure Compensation

Well it looks like we will be having a fair bit of snow in the UK this weekend.  So a quick reminder that when there is snow it's time to dial in a bit of exposure compensation to make sure that snow looks crispy white rather than murky grey.

Remember the camera doesn't know it's been snowing and that everything is white so it's going to exposure for that average middle grey.  The result being at least a stop of under exposure.  So let's keep that snow crispy white and override the cameras so called intelligence.  If you don't know how to set the exposure compensation it's time to dig out the manual and read up about it plus all the other options you haven't explored before.