Vantage Points and Frame

 

(Courtesy Daniel Solomon)
Daniel Solomon

Vantage Point and Frame are essential choices that must be made by photographers no matter what their ultimate goal for image making.

This act of choosing what to include and exclude, what is our central focus and what is on the periphery (outside the frame), as well as the vantage point and point of view of the camera provides context and meaning. The use of the photographic frame as constructed in the camera’s viewfinder is central to reflecting the intentional visual and conceptual concerns in how photographic meaning is considered.

Give particular attention to your use of the photographic frame and your vantage points

  1. Shoot From A Low Angle: Bug/Worm’s Eye View

Shooting from a low angle is probably the most popular alternative to eye-level perspective photography. It can be challenging because you may have to squat, sit, kneel or lie down to capture your image. It’s worth the effort because it provides an out-of-the-ordinary look at your subject and the results can be stunning.

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Saul Gonzalez
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Saturday, Juan Talavera, age 3, left, and his brother Carlos, age 2, right, try some cotton candy from the midway at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Daniel Solomon/The Eureka Reporter

 

Start by identifying your subject and find a low angle to shoot from. You might even want to place your camera or iPhone on the ground for additional support. You can use leading lines or anything in the foreground to draw the viewer into your image.

Focus on the interesting angles you find when your camera is really close to the ground or better yet, on the ground, level with or looking up at your subject. You could also experiment with flipping your iPhone so the camera lens is closer to the ground. This will provide an even stronger low-angle effect.

  1. Shoot From A High Angle: Bird’s Eye View

Looking down towards your subject is another way to get a new and unique angle with your perspective photography. You don’t necessarily need to climb to the top of a building to accomplish this, but that is one popular possibility. In fact, if you can gain access to the upper floors or the roof of a tall building, you can discover some amazing vantage points.

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Hannah Vega

There are other ways to get above your subject, whether you’re standing on something that gives you a little lift or if you’re just naturally taller than your subject. It could be as simple as looking down into the cup of coffee you’re holding, with your feet and the ground beneath them included for depth.

 

You could also try this technique with portraits by having your subject lie on the ground or sit and look up at the camera. Just be sure the angle flatters them and enhances their appearance.

Go above and beyond your typical habits and present your surroundings from top to bottom. The view you create might serve as an exciting new perspective that you can use again and again, improving your photography in the process.

camera-FRAME

GOAL: While paying attention to your FRAME complete 5 Bird’s Eye View and 5 Bug’s Eye View photographs and upload the best to your individual websites. Title the assignment VANTAGE POINT AND FRAME

BUG’S EYE VIEW and insert your 5 photos

BIRD’S EYE VIEW and insert your 5 photos

 

 

 

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