Thursday, February 7, 2008

The high school formal

One of the tried-and-true methods of enhancing a photograph is to change the position of the photographer. Not the subject, the photographer.

Why? Well, the majority of images that we see repeat the usual perspective of a
standing photographer. For example, most portraits are taken with the camera at the eye level of the subject, because that's generally eye level for the photographer too. Most pictures of pets are taken from above, because pets are generally smaller than people.

To achieve something different as a photographer can therefore be as easy as standing on a ladder to create a higher viewpoint, or crouching down to find a lower one. It creates a whole new perspective. Many press photographers keep a small step-ladder in the boot of the car for just this reason. It helps with crowd shots too.

For the picture above, taken before a high school formal, I stood on a landing half-way up a staircase, and asked the excited young women to look up at me from below. The result is a different perspective on the standard group portrait. I eliminated some distracting background elements with some blur, and that also added a dreamy quality to the shot.

EXIF: Nikon D70; Nikkor 18-70 mm DX; ISO 200; 1/25 sec; f4.5.


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