Sun, May

Photo and video assignment: Perspective

Photo by Amanda Scurlock

Camera Club

 Shooting from different angles can lead to better images.


The simplest way to take a photo is to just stand in front of the subject, point the camera in the direction of the subject, and push the shutter button.  That is a point and shoot photo, or a snap shop.  Neither of which are very interesting in many cases.  Taking photos at eye level is probably the most common angle that people use, and in certain cases it actually works.  But a photographer cannot be limited to that one angle and expect to get the best possible photograph.  Moving around and taking the photo from different angles can produce dramatically better pictures.

A person can change the angle by kneeling lower than the subject and shooter upwards; by moving the camera above the subject (standing on stairs or on a higher level) and shooting down on the subject; or simply by moving to the left or right.  When shooting a subject, don’t just capture the image or video from one angle.  Capture it from several angles.  That greatly enhancing the chance of producing a great image or video.

Below are YouTube tutorials that explain perspective.  





Click the link below for more articles on perspective.




 In this photo, the person taking the picture held the camera at eye level and just hit the button to take the photo.  This is an example of the typical snapshot.

The perspective is changed for this photo.  The camera is much closer to the subjects, and it is held slightly below the person and statue.  At this angle, the subjects fill up the frame much better and appear much larger.  In movies and television shows, the actors usually look larger than life on that screen.  That's partly because the camera is typically set below eye level and pointed upwards. 

When shooting landmarks, like this one in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, many people stand at a distance to fit the entire structure in the frame.  Sometimes this works out to be a good shot, but in many cases, there can be a different angle that will produce a better image.


At this angle, the photo is dramatically different from the first angle.  Both the people and the structure fill up the frame, and there is a good use of negative space with the sky as the background.  Also, switching from shooting horizontal to vertical can change the perspective.

Many people take photos from a distances that do not produce a pleasing image.  In the photo above, it appears that the dancers are the subject, but at this perspective, they are small in the frame.  It is difficult to see their emotions.  Also, the other people in the frame can be distracting.  The photographer could have moved in closer and captured this scene at a different perspective.

In this photo, the photographer is sitting on the ground, only a few feet away from the drummer.  The drummer fills up the frame, there are no distracting people or objects in the image, and it also captures the emotions of this moment.  The difference in perspective between this photo and the photo of the dances is that the photographer moved in much closer to the subject, and shot from a lower angle.  

 This is a very good photo of the Eiffel Tower, and it's the typical photo that most people will take.

 The perseptive is at this angle produces a much different photo.  When taking pictures of a subject, it's good to chose several different angles to have a varity of shots to chose from. 

It's simple to bend down and shoot upwards, and it's a really affective way to change the perspective.  But the photo can also be taken by shooting at a downward from above.

 This photo of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway could have easily been taken at ground level, but taking it from above with the canyon in the background gives the viewer more of a sense of the type of experience that a person can have during this activity. 

When taking pictures of people seated, it's good to bend down to their level, instead of standing taller than them while taking the photo.  Photo by Amanda Scurlock

Typically photos are taken at a horizontal and vertical angle.  But in the case of this photo, Leroy Hamilton tilted the camera inbetween the two angles.