Point of View (POV)
The Rules and going beyond them:
When we were brand new to photography, chances are good we all did the same thing: raised the camera to eye level and pressed the shutter. Of all the countless photographs taken every day and everywhere, the majority of images are shot from the perspective of 5-6’. A great way to explore being a rebel photographer is to alter your point of view to lower or higher than what the overwhelming majority is doing.
Let’s take a look at a few simple examples of Point of View.
This photo of my granddaughter is taken from my eye level of just over five feet.
For this shot I crouched down, with the camera parallel to the middle of her body for a more interesting Point Of View.
I love to photograph forests and groves of trees. Over the years I’ve found my go-to point of view is usually a lower angle because it gives me images closer to what I want to express than when I shoot from a more straight-on POV.
Shot info: Late afternoon in autumn, 18-55mm (at 18mm), ISO 200, f7.1, 1/160th second
With apologies to any camera club judges, I believe strict adherence to rules can stifle the creative process. When we try out interesting angles and points of view we can capture images which are unique and beautiful…they may not always win prizes, but they often win the admiration of viewers who appreciate a fresh and original point of view.
Shot info: Early evening in spring, 50mm, ISO 280, f4, 1/100th second
Shot info: Mid afternoon, 18-55mm (at 18mm), ISO 320, f18, 1/250th second
Here’s a good exercise to explore Point Of View: choose a subject and a focal length, and with camera at eye level walk towards it, pausing to take a new shot every five feet or so. Then repeat the process, from your knees or a crouching position. Take a third set from ground level on your tummy. This fun exercise demonstrates how much creative possibility is available when we alter our camera’s point of view.
A good photograph is knowing where to stand. Ansel Adams
And, if you’re a rebel photographer, it also means knowing where to crouch down or to find a perch…
We love to hear from you – do you have a preferred point of view for your compositions? If you haven’t already joined our Facebook group Rebel Photographers, head on over to join the group, post your photos and connect with other photographers.
Next week’s topic: Leading lines, symmetry and patterns