point of view

Photo Tip #1: Vantage Points

I get a lot of friends who are initially disappointed with the purchase of their first dSLR.  They like the quality of the picture, but don’t think the pictures they’re taking are any better than with their point and shoot.  I always caution people when buying a nicer camera that it is not the camera that makes the photographer.  Sure, it helps, but it’s not everything.  One thing I’d like to accomplish through this blog is to try and give willing readers some tips for taking “better pictures”.  It’s impossible to quantify what exactly “better” means, but I figured I’d share some tips that have helped me.  I read a lot of nerdy techie blogs and stuff…most of it is stuff no one would care about here, but I did come across one site today I thought was worth sharing: http://www.geekosystem.com/tourist-photo-art/.  Artist Corrine Vionnet went through a bunch of photo sharing sites and layered hundreds of pictures of famous landmarks together.  What is immediately apparent in her work is most people take pictures of landmarks, historic sites, etc from more or less the same vantage point.  Sure, you can make the argument that this is simply due to public access to these areas….people take the picture from the same spot because that’s where tours and trails bring them.  The more important point I want to make is that regardless of the cause, the effect is still the same and more or less the same picture is taken by hundreds of people from the EXACT same spot.  This is because most people see the world from a singular perspective….this view of the world surprisingly doesn’t vary a whole lot from person to person.  One of the best, simplest tips I can give budding photographers to make pictures look more “interesting”: after you take a picture, retake the picture of the SAME subject from a different point of view.  Experiment with as many points of view as you can.  Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet….get on your knees, lay on the ground, climb trees (don’t hurt the trees though), wade in water (be careful with the camera), etc.  Try looking at your subject and taking a picture from an angle you don’t think anyone has ever done before.  Remember to stay safe when getting your shot and be mindful of trespassing signs and don’t break any laws, etc.  You will be amazed the results you can get simply by finding unique point of views for you subject.  Happy shooting!