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Experiment with Photography-Change your Vantage Point

Updated on November 1, 2014

Challenge Yourself to Look at Things Differently

There are times as a photographer when I just get a block and I don't know what to photograph. For instance we go to the same place near the ocean each March. This is our eighth year and I found myself thinking that I had already photographed everything here and wondered what I could do that would be new and fresh.

I have photographed the flowers, the ocean, and the palms many times. Over the past 8 years I have taken hundreds of photographs and I really wanted to find something different. I have been taking an online photography class and one of lessons challenged us to look at things from different vantage points.

In this lens I will share with you the photos I took of one palm tree from a wide variety of vantage points. It is interesting how after looking at the same object I found different angles and different ways to present the subject.

all photos by myself, mbgphoto

My Challenge

To keep myself fresh as a photography and to enhance my skills, I try to take a photography class each year and read a book on photography. Kim Manley Ort is a photographer who offers online classes and I enjoy reading her blog and her lenses on photography tips. In one of her classes, she challenges the photographer to look at things from different vantage points.

In one particular exercise she challenges us to find an object and create 36 different images from different perspectives. That sounded like an easy exercise so I set out with my camera to a nearby beach park. One of the first things I came upon was a row of palm trees, so I decided to take 36 photos of one of the palms.

It was 7 pm in the evening and the light was perfect for photographing. I walked up to the palm and easily shot the first dozen or so photos. The photo here is the first one I took and then the next 5 you will see below. After those first shots I had to stop and think about what I would do next.

Choosing a Camera

I have several cameras that I use for different occasions. For this project I chose my Canon SX40. I picked this camera because it is easy to carry when I am hiking and it is very versatile.

Photos 2-6 - Obvious Shots

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A Wider View

After looking over the tree, I decided to walk a short distance away and take a wider view of the tree. These photos included two of the nearby trees too and gave the tree a different perspective. Here is a photo from that series.

Zooming In

Zooming in to photograph the fronds at a closer angle was my next tactic. I took several photos from this view but still, I didn't really have anything real different.

Next I walked around to the opposite side of the tree and took a series of photos with the setting sun in the background. You can see these photos below.

I was at 21 photos now and couldn't imagine what I would do to get 15 more photos of this tree. This was getting harder than I thought it would be.

Moving to the Other Side - Photos 17-21

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Closeup of Bark

I was now challenged to really try something different so I zoomed in even closer. I took this closeup of the bark of the tree first. Different, but still not exactly thrilling.

I then took the photos below, closer shots of the fronds, a shot of the base of the tree and several other photos of parts of the tree.

Finding Another Perspective

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Closeup of Palm Frond

I was at 32 shots now and really at a loss for what else I could do. I sat on the ground beneath the tree and zoomed in real close to the palm trees. Now I got something really different that I had not even noticed before. The dried parts of the palms took on a real white look in the early evening light.

This shot is my favorite. What do you think? Stop by and leave me a note in the comment section.

Editing Adds Interest

Here is the last photo that I took of the palm fronds after I applied some "Gritty High Contrast" filters in my Photoshop Lightroom program. I like the effect and the challenge of looking at the palm from a different vantage point gave me a photo I probably would not thought of taking otherwise.

I challenge you to try this photography challenge. I think you will enjoy the way it helps you to think differently about your photography.

Take the Photography Challenge - stop by and leave your comments

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      I am always intrigued and amazed by what I see through a camera lens. The close up shots are fabulous! I can see things in them that I never would have noticed with the naked eye.

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I love this post and your examples. I love taking photos of things like bark for the texture. But sometimes the angles I choose flatten the texture out.

      I love that you show so many examples. Thank you.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      very helpful - I picked up a tip from the weather channel about taking pictures a few years ago, lol - and I've used it; they mentioned to try and photograph the item off center (to the left or right) - and I've found even though I don't take many photos I just love being creative when taking them now! Your closeup photos are interesting, I'll have to try that. :)

    • profile image

      Namsak 3 years ago

      This is something I discovered by accident when trying out my new camera (Canon SX500IS). A different point of view literally gives you a different point of view!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Each photo outing is a challenge. I have to find a bird. And then I have to find an interesting way to photograph it.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      I'm more of an interested bystander and fan. I think these tips are very useful and well presented.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for the ideas, I haven't look at photography that way. Must try, I can improve my photos a lot more now you have given me these ideas. Thanks.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      Yes, I will take you up on this challenge. Thanks for posting.

    • mbgphoto profile image
      Author

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @yoursfoolie: Sent from my Kindle Fire

    • yoursfoolie profile image

      yoursfoolie 4 years ago

      I'm just about to get into some photography around promoting my lens series "The New Holocaust: Homelessness in America and What We Can Do About It." These well-illustrated tips are the kind even a camera-stoopit individual like yours foolie is going to be able to make use of them. Many thanks. Nicely presented!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Great tips and lens.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 4 years ago

      I love this tip (and from a wonderful photographer like kim!) Okay, Mary Beth, you will make a photographer out of me yet! Gonna try it!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      Isn't it fun to look at something so closely through the lens that we actually become fascinated by something we would never have noticed if we hadn't stop to photograph it. I really do enjoy experimenting with perspective and positions in photography

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Very clever. It's amazing to see that you can keep coming up with different photos depending upon your position and observations of various parts of the whole. Well done.

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 4 years ago from PA

      I will take you up on this challenge! I find myself doing a lot of the same shots repeatedly.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Very cool! Great idea to demonstrate how different the angles can be. I'll try it next time out!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      What a great lens, I am always finding that I am taking the same photos again and again. I start to wonder what else to shoot. This has given me the answer. Photography for me is only one of my minor interests and I do not have time for classes, etc, Thanks for presenting this lens

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I love your photos for the variety of textures, lighting, perspectives, colors, and filters you used creatively. I plan to take the challenge today. Thanks for stimulating me to try something new and different. Always appreciated.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      What fantastic views of the palm tree and all its beauty you have pictured for us here. Keep that camera of yours rolling!

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