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The Camera in My Head - Photography Tips Series #3 - Angles and Perspective

Updated on February 11, 2015

Angles Provide Perspective

When I think of "angles" in photography, I think of these phrases:

  • Look up
  • Look down
  • Look sideways
  • Look through
  • Look inside
  • Look around

Photographers see the world in curious ways. Like marketers and musicians, photographers are peculiar creatures. They appreciate nature in a way that runs as deep as their souls. They see beauty in shadows and interesting geometric shapes.

They stop cars to capture the perfect shot. They squat down, climb up, and stretch to get the perfect angle. They carry a monopod instead of a walking stick.

Indeed, peculiar people.

Examples of Angles and Perspective in Photography

View from the top of the mountain trail of Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT
View from the top of the mountain trail of Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT | Source
Squatting to get just the right angle in a Cathedral in France.
Squatting to get just the right angle in a Cathedral in France. | Source
Kneeling to line up these crosses at the cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.
Kneeling to line up these crosses at the cemetery at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. | Source
Enjoying the curve of the crosses at this memorial cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France.
Enjoying the curve of the crosses at this memorial cemetery, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. | Source
Had to stop the car to get just the right angle for this rock formation in Southern Utah.
Had to stop the car to get just the right angle for this rock formation in Southern Utah. | Source
Practically sitting in order to get the low flowers in front of this arch in Bordeaux, France.
Practically sitting in order to get the low flowers in front of this arch in Bordeaux, France. | Source
Just the right angle shows the 6 foot arch within this rock formation in Arizona.
Just the right angle shows the 6 foot arch within this rock formation in Arizona. | Source
Kneeling slowly, so as to not disturb the Lady Butterfly on the Echinacea bloom in Hannibal, MO.
Kneeling slowly, so as to not disturb the Lady Butterfly on the Echinacea bloom in Hannibal, MO. | Source
I had to circle this statue a few times to get this great shot that captures the fun and emotion of the piece and include some foreground color in Nauvoo, IL
I had to circle this statue a few times to get this great shot that captures the fun and emotion of the piece and include some foreground color in Nauvoo, IL | Source
Anyone can take a picture of the Eiffel Tower from far away to get the entire structure, but I wanted something more interesting.
Anyone can take a picture of the Eiffel Tower from far away to get the entire structure, but I wanted something more interesting. | Source
This old wall bracket in Bordeaux, France would look fine straight on, but the angle provides a shadow that gives it more interest.
This old wall bracket in Bordeaux, France would look fine straight on, but the angle provides a shadow that gives it more interest. | Source
A camera setting of a faster shutter speed would have caught more water particles separately mid-air... but this is still a lovely shot. I had to get down low to make the angle more level.
A camera setting of a faster shutter speed would have caught more water particles separately mid-air... but this is still a lovely shot. I had to get down low to make the angle more level. | Source
It wasn't until I began walking around this Nativity in Oakland, CA that I noticed the star stencil of light on a nearby building. It pays to walk around a subject.
It wasn't until I began walking around this Nativity in Oakland, CA that I noticed the star stencil of light on a nearby building. It pays to walk around a subject. | Source
This artwork on a beach near San Jose was interesting to me. I let it be the side focus to include the great fence and view of the ocean.
This artwork on a beach near San Jose was interesting to me. I let it be the side focus to include the great fence and view of the ocean. | Source
This view of Point du Hoc in France is too large to capture from the beach, so this view from above that also shows remaining barbed wire helps tell the story of Normandy that happened there.
This view of Point du Hoc in France is too large to capture from the beach, so this view from above that also shows remaining barbed wire helps tell the story of Normandy that happened there. | Source
Zion's Waterfall and resulting river can only be seen from Artist's Point. Other angles are simply too close to capture the entire picture, even with a panoramic lens.
Zion's Waterfall and resulting river can only be seen from Artist's Point. Other angles are simply too close to capture the entire picture, even with a panoramic lens. | Source
This is an example of how a photographer cannot simply walk past interesting objects like this without squatting down and snapping a picture.
This is an example of how a photographer cannot simply walk past interesting objects like this without squatting down and snapping a picture. | Source
This is another example of how circling provides additional opportunities. This is the LDS Temple at Nauvoo, IL.
This is another example of how circling provides additional opportunities. This is the LDS Temple at Nauvoo, IL. | Source
Looking up is important. You can capture views and angles that would otherwise be missed, like with Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, NY
Looking up is important. You can capture views and angles that would otherwise be missed, like with Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, NY | Source
Looking up is fine, but be sure to include anything that might provide a reference to size. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you're looking up, just how tall an item is. This is the grainery in Salt Lake City, UT.
Looking up is fine, but be sure to include anything that might provide a reference to size. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you're looking up, just how tall an item is. This is the grainery in Salt Lake City, UT. | Source
Including people help communicate distance and angle. This is part of the trail to the top of the mountain at Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT.
Including people help communicate distance and angle. This is part of the trail to the top of the mountain at Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT. | Source
Be sure to look back at every opportunity. You may find delightful angles to capture. This is part of the trail up the mountain of Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT.
Be sure to look back at every opportunity. You may find delightful angles to capture. This is part of the trail up the mountain of Angel's Landing, Zion's National Park, UT. | Source
Looking closely at large objects like this Christmas Tree in the Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT can provide lovely photos of beauty and interest.
Looking closely at large objects like this Christmas Tree in the Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT can provide lovely photos of beauty and interest. | Source

This is the monopod I like to carry.

Dolica WT-1003 67-Inch Lightweight Monopod
Dolica WT-1003 67-Inch Lightweight Monopod

It extends to just the right height and is very lightweight.

 

Tips for Angles and Perspective in Photography

As you can see, the angle can provide interest and perspective. Lighting is affected, and scope and size are easier to see.

Don't forget to circle the subject, lean over, check out various heights. Look for lighting variations, framing, and foreground/background colors that add interest.

I'm interested in your thoughts...

Did you find this article to be helpful? Would you like to see more like this?

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Comments

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    • Prepper Gal profile imageAUTHOR

      Lurlynn Potter 

      3 years ago from Spring City, UT

      Thanks for the encouragement! I'm still learning, but I love to share with like-minded people!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Fabulous photo examples!

    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Adler 

      3 years ago from California

      I love your pictures. This hub is such a great reminder that perspective is everything in photography. A shot can go from completely boring to completely fascinating just by changing the angle. Great job!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      3 years ago from USA

      These are gorgeous photographs! Great job.

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