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Habit 2 for Amazing Photographs.
Habit 2: Change Your Perspective.
Changing your perspective is all about doing whatever it takes to create a great photograph. The photo above is of a Viceroy butterfly that I took one spring in my back yard. Although we get an occasional Viceroy in north central Texas they aren't common so I was thrilled when I noticed this one passing through.
Normally butterflies will land on either flowers or on trees or shrubs but this particular Viceroy chose to land on a small weed in the middle of my back yard. It would have been easy enough to take a photo while standing over the top of the butterfly but I knew it would not be a great photograph. In order to get an amazing photograph of this rare beauty I knew it would be necessary change my perspective. I decided the best perspective would be to place myself at the same level as the butterfly which meant that I would have to lay on my stomach in the middle of my back yard. By taking a photo from ground level it removed objects from the background that might take away from the butterfly itself. The result was the photograph you see above.
I am happy to report that the effort was well worth it. This particular photograph is one of the most popular photos I have ever posted on Flickr. I have had a number of groups contact me asking for permission to use the photo for various reasons including the Cincinnati Zoo which wanted to use it on a T-shirt.
Get Creative In Changing Your Perspective.
In my previous blog I included photos that I had taken of the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth Texas. The first set of photos I took that night were from the street level. Thanks to the amazing blue sky that evening I knew the street view would be a satisfactory perspective. However, since a beautiful night sky doesn't come along ever day I wanted to find other perspectives.
After trying to take a number of photos from street level I notice a six story parking garage across the street. Although I wasn't parked in the garage I discovered that I could easily take the stairway to the top level which would then allow me to take photos from the same height as the angels themselves. From the top of the parking garage I was able to capture a series of wonderful photos that continue to be favorites of mine to this day.
Standing in the River.
I mentioned in and earlier article that I post the majority of my photos on Flickr.com. The other reason I like Flickr is because I enjoy seeing the amazing photos posted by other photographers. I have also found that the majority of people posting on Flickr are incredibly nice people who are more than happy to share information regarding their images.
One of my favorite photographers is a gentleman who lives in West Virginia by the name of Randall (Randy) Sanger. Randy's specialty is taking photos of waterfalls in West Virginia. Although Randy's photography started out as a hobby I am happy to say that he now makes photography his full time profession. If you have time I highly recommend you visit Randy's account on Flickr.
Because Randy's waterfall photos are absolutely amazing it is very common for other photographers (especially those in the West Virginia area) to contact Randy on Flickr to ask for directions to a particular waterfall or to ask what camera or what settings he was using for a particular photo.
I remember reading a string of comments on one particular waterfall photo of Randy's where another photographer was commenting on the unique perspective within Randy's photo. The other individual commented that he had tried to take photos from both sides of the river but he was not able to capture the exact perspective that Randy was able to capture. Randy's reply was, "You must not have tried taking the photo while standing in the river".
I think Randy's statement is a perfect summary of what a great photographer is willing to do to change their perspective in order to create an amazing photograph - You must be willing to stand in the river.
Standing In The Middle of the Street.
Since Texas isn't known for its waterfalls, I have not had the opportunity to use Randy's suggestion of standing in the river. I have however used the same technique in capturing other types of photos.
I have always thought the Tarrant County Court House in Fort Worth Texas is a beautiful image - especially when driving into the city from the north on Main Street. I discovered however that in order to really create the best image of the Court House I would have to stand in the middle of Main Street. Although I do recommend doing what it takes to create a great image, I do want to stress that you shouldn't risk your life for a great photo. Since I wasn't sure that the drivers would notice me I had to time the traffic so that I could get into the street and catch the photo when there was no traffic. Although it took a lot longer than I had hoped, it was still worth the effort.
Change Perspective ~ Change Your Photo.
Because the background of a photo is just as important as the subject, by changing your perspective you can dramatically alter your image.
I noticed the female widow skimmer dragonfly in my yard one evening since the dragonfly was good enough to sit still for a few photos I decided to change my perspective slightly on a few photos to see what it would do to the image. On one photo I was kneeling down so that I could get a distant view of the horizon behind the dragonfly which blurred out any objects that might be in the background. For another set of photos I moved slightly so that I had trees in the background with provided dark shadows and spots of light in the background. As I moved around my subject the background changed several times.
The three photos are of the same dragonfly, sitting on the same stick, taken on the same day - yet by changing my perspective I was able to create three very different images.
Let The Camera Worry About The Setting.
Just to note, all of the photos on this page were taken with the camera set on Auto mode. I spent my time worrying about creating a great composition and I let the camera worry about setting the proper lighting.
There are going to be times where Auto mode will not work, but not very many. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers will help you create better photo composition resulting in better photographs.
Until next time ~ Enjoy.
You will find the link to my next article in this series just below - however if you just stumbled across this article and would like to learn more about all of the habits and techniques used to take amazing photographs the link at the bottom will take you to my first article in my series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers.
- Habit 3 for Amazing Photographs
The first step in creating an amazing photograph is successfully capturing a great subject with a great composition - the second step is editing your photo to maximize its effect.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Photographers.
Taking amazing photographs has very little to do with the cost of your camera or the number of Megapixels. Apply these habits/techniques used by great photographers and take amazing images instantly.
© 2014 Bron Praslicka