Photography Tips for Composition: Point of View

Thank you to all of you who left comments on the DSLR post. This post and a few to follow are about composition, or composing your photographs. These suggestions can help whether you’re shooting with a point-and-shoot, DSLR, phone camera, or any other type of camera.

You can drastically change the composition of your images just by simply changing your point of view. If you’re shooting kids (or animals), try getting down on their level to capture the most expression and/or what they are doing. It’s easy and tempting to just stand and shoot, but you miss so much when you’re several feet taller than your subject. Sit, kneel, lay, do whatever it takes to get on level with your subjects, and the difference is amazing.

Example: Below is a photograph I shot from a standing position. It’s not horrible, but it doesn’t make me feel like I’m right there with him when I look at the photograph.

Now, here are the photos I took from a sitting position. To me, these are much more engaging; I feel like I’m back in the moment with him. If you feel like you’re there with him, then I’ve done a good job of capturing the moment, which is my goal whenever I’m taking pictures.

Chubby, busy hands…

Those eyelashes kill me!

Can you hear his little wheels turning?

Another great thing about getting down on the ground is that I’m more likely to stop and stay a while–which means I’ll take the time to get more photos, more details—and hopefully that perfect capture. (I took over 60 pics to get the above edits).

There are lots of different tricks to adjusting your point of view to the most flattering angles for your subject, but I think the most important one is to change it up and not get stuck in a rut. For me, photographing food is the most challenging subject. I rarely get something great in the first few shots, and I usually have to try a lot of different angles and positions before I get a decent shot.

Sometimes standing on a chair, bed, or counter to shoot from above can give a fresh perspective.

And sometimes, just a small adjustment can make a big difference. You might remember the pics of Belinda’s Dream roses. I really like the photo on the right better, even though it was a small change in my point of view. For the better shot, I moved the cuttings farther away from the daffodil foliage, and I got down a few inches lower. The bokeh (blur) was infinitely better, and the sunlight was exactly what I was looking for–I love the sun’s reflection on the bottle.

I hope changing your point a view will give you some results your looking for in your photography. Let me know! Happy shooting! :)



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One Response to Photography Tips for Composition: Point of View

  1. M. K. Smith says:

    In a couple of the pic.s of Little Man, in his plaid shirt playing in the sand, he really looks like your dad. I saw your dad at lunch the other day, and I can really see him in some of these pictures. Handsome, Handsome!

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