How to Shoot With Odd Camera Angles

Create Some Unique Looking Photos Using a Different Perspective

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If you’ve ever played on a sports team where you had a good coach or watched a successful coach at practice, one of the common themes you’ll hear, regardless of the sport, is the coach telling the athletes: “Move your feet!” Those athletes who are able to move their feet quickly enough to move into the proper position will be able to follow the proper techniques for the sport and will have the most success.

That theme applies to photography, too! One of the easiest ways to improve your photography results is by changing the angle at which you’re shooting by – you guessed it – moving your feet. Photographers with a large telephoto zoom lens on the camera sometimes end up in the habit of relying on the zoom lens too much, forgetting that they can greatly change the look of the scene by simply moving to a new location and aiming the camera at a completely different angle. Try these tips for improving your camera angles.

  • Changing the angle changes the perspective. One of the best reasons for changing your camera angles is to change the perspective of your photo. For example, shooting a tall building from a distance gives one look, but shooting that same building from the base looking upward gives a completely different look and perspective.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different perspectives in your photos. Don’t just stand in one place and use the zoom lens. Instead, move closer to the subject for one photo, then move far away for another. Lay on the ground and shoot upward. Climb a ladder and shoot downward. Different camera angles create a completely different perspective for the same subject. You may be surprised at how you can create a unique-looking photo of a common subject matter by simply changing your location and perspective to the subject.
  • Changing angles will change the lighting too. One thing you’ll notice as you change your camera angles is that the lighting and shadows on the subject will change, too. Take time to make sure you’re getting the exposure just right as you shoot from different camera angles. Depending on where you’re standing, you might need to use a fill flash. Just be certain that you’re remaining within the camera’s flash range if you end up needing the flash.
  • A different camera angle doesn’t have to be an extreme camera angle. When shooting portrait photos, you may not want to shoot at some of the extreme angles described above, but you can try a few different camera angles. For children, crouch down to their eye level. When shooting an adult with a “double chin,” shoot from slightly above him, causing him to tilt his head and minimizing the double chin.
  • Different compositions work well in portrait photos. Another idea to keep in mind when shooting photos of people is determining whether you’re going to shoot a close-up of the person’s face or whether you’re going to step back and include the person’s entire body, perhaps with a prop object in the photo. Each type of photo can create a vastly different look, so give this some thought. Move your feet and try some different compositions.
  • Keep an eye on your surroundings. As you try out some of these different camera angles, be careful! Balancing yourself on a ladder or retaining wall can be a little tricky if you’re staring at a camera’s LCD screen. Be aware of your surroundings by looking at the “real world” too. If you focus solely on the camera’s LCD screen, you’re going to run the risk of bumping into something or falling.

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