* The Nature Photography Contest for Kids is now open and ready to accept entries! Find out more here.
This post is the first in a series designed to help budding photographers take better pictures. I am personally not a trained nor experienced photographer but have received several tips from those who are – and so I’m passing them along.
Last week at church we saw this amazing sight:
The sun was setting over our newly paved parking lot, which was covered in a veritable sea of corns. My Big Helper was excited about the shadows created by the sun – but how to photograph them?
Perspective is your point of view. It’s the way that you see things. Using a camera to take a picture of something allows you to show people your perspective – to show them how you see it. Standing in the parking lot, at my full-but-short height, this is how I saw the whole scene.
It’s a pretty scene, but it doesn’t really focus on any one part of it. If you wanted to focus in on the sheer number of acorns, then …
you might move down lower. Cut out some of the background, like the houses and the sunset, and focus on the acorns. This might be more from the perspective of a cat. It’s about that height and lets you see more about the number of the acorns in the lot.
What if I moved my camera even lower? What if I moved it almost directly above an acorn? This might be from the point of view, or perspective, of a butterfly. Butterflies might see the acorns looking like this.
But what if I wanted to show more than one acorn? What if I wanted to include the sunset but didn’t want to make it the focus?
This time I moved my camera so that it was nearly sitting on the pavement. I was sitting on the pavement, moving my camera around, trying to get a good angle. This would be more from the perspective of a really tall ant. You can see the acorns, lots and lots of acorns, and you get a bit of the sunset in one corner. I think that this is the most interesting picture.
When you go out to take pictures, think about perspective. Do you want to show the top of whatever you’re photographing? Is it more important to shoot from a tall angle or a shorter angle? How can you move your body to improve the angle – sitting down, laying down, standing on a chair (with permission)?
How can you use perspective to improve your photography?