Getting low

Getting down and photographing from a bugs eye view of the world is a great way to create some interesting and creative photography. Exploring different perspectives can turn a common scene into something with a bit more interest and feeling. Looking for low perspective scenes is a great way to exercise your creative mind and maybe help us to get out of our photography comfort zones.

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Puddles!

Finding puddles of water to use in combination with getting low to the ground offers reflective photography that can be fun and creative. Photographing puddles is one way of composing using a low perspective in urban and street photography.

Pools of water left behind after a nice downpour gives us reflection opportunities that can change the scene completely.

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Going out after the rain and finding pools of rainwater can lead to some beautiful and visually pleasing photography. The fun of the puddle pursuit is further enhanced by how easy you can create images using a tabletop tripod and a cable or wireless release to compose and execute your shot.

My choice is a Joby GorillaPod Focus. It is rugged enough for outdoors and the design is perfect for my heaviest camera my Canon 6D with battery grip and my Tamron 24-70.

There are full-size tripod’s that have a removable center column or even no column at all. Some full-size systems allow the column to extend completely up and then lay on its side for low angle photography.

 

All system will help you get low but for myself, I prefer the Joby GorillaPod Focus because of its small size and ease of use in tight or small areas such as streets and sidewalks where having full-size tripod legs would bring unnecessary attention to me in the city.

Handhold it!

Yes, this is an option that you can absolutely pull off if you keep your shutter speed fast.

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ISO 800 F7.1 1/400 of a second handheld.
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ISO 800 F7.1 1/750 of a second handheld.

Another option provided you have enough light would be to handhold the shot using a fast shutter speed. Mirrorless cameras make this very easy to due to their smaller and lighter designs. Many mirrorless models have a flip out LCD screen that makes getting as close to the ground as easy as putting your camera on the ground.

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Many newer DSLR cameras are using a retractable screen on their camera bodies too.

How far you want to go with your low angle photography is up to you. But I have to admit I will lie down to get low with my subject if I can when I can.

 

Being on the same level as your subject creates a more intimate connection. Your surroundings take on an organic feel to them when our lens is low and closer to the ground.

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Exploring different perspectives is all part of the fun of photography. Creating images that convey a connection to the subject is what I set out to do when I am creating my own images.

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Finding a new idea or the next cool composition may be just a few feet from the ground waiting to be discovered.

As always, don’t just take a photo…make a photograph.

Ron Phillips

 

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