Perspective

Have you ever noticed how almost everything in our lives can occupy two spaces of reality simultaneously just based on perspective?

Seeing a person walking along a construction catwalk a couple of stories above you, you might think it doesn't appear very high. Only when you are in that same position yourself, looking down, does your perspective change and you see something completely different.

I didn't plan on low angle shooting becoming part of my photographic style, but there's something about this technique that adds some intense drama to an image. Each time I took a photo from eye-level, I was inclined to take the same shot from a lower angle, usually just a few inches off of the ground.

I discovered that doing this..changing my perspective..completely changed what the image was, and the story it told. 

Photography, just as in life, is about discovery. You don't need to be a photographer with a DSLR to do this; you just need to be someone who appreciates imagery and the desire to understand change.

Try this as an experiment the next time you whip out your iPhone or Android device to snap a picture. This could be taking a photo of a river or lake while you're out on a walk, or even your backyard while you're kids are enjoying the outdoors. 

Take a picture as you normally would, from eye-level. Then, standing in the same area and facing the same direction, crouch down and hold the camera a few inches from the ground, then tap and take the photo.

Even with a mobile phone's inability to produce a very shallow depth of field or much bokeh (the beautiful blurring effect we see from SLR cameras), you should see a much different scene altogether. It might appear almost alien to you, because people aren't used to seeing things as a dog or other small animal would. Because you have an infinite amount of solid depth at this level (in this case, the ground), you might see blurring of either foreground or distant elements, depending on where the shot was focused. Details of the ground will be much more apparent to you. Compare this to what you see when you took the eye-level photo.

There are many other perspectives to explore; but changing our view to a different level is the most dramatic way to change how you view the world around you.

If you'd like to read a bit more on perspective in photography, you can read an article I wrote on the subject in 2014 on Photodoto.com called How to Change your Photography by Simply Changing your Perspective.