A Different take on Shooting Angles and the Importance of Scouting your Locations.
While in Old San Juan, and looking down from the balcony of the residence I was staying at, I noticed something. I noticed a rather large group of what I can only assume was a photography meet up-type group or a class of some sort gathered across the street and take photos. They were all snapping away in different directions, but all had one thing in common. The group, for the duration of the several minutes they were there shooting, all took their shots standing at eye level.
I watched as they all rotated around taking the same shots at the same angles with no variation whatsoever. Now this might have been mandatory as, like I mentioned previously, it could have been some college class working on a particular assignment. My guess is though, that everyone taking the same type of shots was not part of this lesson plan.
If you think about it, most everyone taking photos takes them at eye level. No matter how grand a scene, a subject, a lake, a river, the ocean, etc., chances are, the shot someone just took at eye level has been taken 10,000 times before. Now that's not to say that it isn't a great shot, but let's think about these shots a little differently.
With certain shots, and when you have the option, really try and find vantage points other than eye level. Get down on the ground if it will make the shot unique. Find a tree to climb, a ladder if available, or a rock to stand on, (while always being cautious). Make use of anything you can find to give your shot something a little different. An angle that most people might not have thought to take or took the time and effort to capture.
The same can be said of finding a great location and scouting around it to see what it may have to offer. Explore a bit! Some of my favorite shots I've taken I've had to work a bit for. It's not always as easy as hopping out of my vehicle and snapping a photo on the side of the road as most may do. Sometimes, it takes a bit more effort and exploration to get a unique shot.
The main point here is to be adventurous with your shots! Climb that hill, stand on that structure, shoot a few shots from the ground, see what's around the bend, and try to really think outside of the common eye-level box!
One of the things I have always appreciated and admired about your work is the care you have taken to shoot at unusual angles. IT is what sets your work apart and inspires me to use different angles of view when shooting.
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