Perspective: Change yours for better photos

This is not about changing ideas, or thinking about how your socioeconomic background and upbringing might affect the way you see things.  This is about literally moving your lazy butt off the couch and getting into your photography.  Or at least moving the camera so it doesn’t look like you were just sitting on the couch.  For example, this shot of Sequoia was taken while he was trying to figure out how to steal Angus’ new duck toy while they were both in between the couch and the coffee table:

Rather than just taking the shot by holding the camera eyepiece up to my face, I held the camera down on my lap, so the lens was more on the same plane as the dog.  This gives an image of the dog looking down, instead of an image of looking down on the dog looking down.  Perspective!  Another thing to note about perspective, is that like in the previous post about light, if you can move yourself between your light source and your subject, you don’t get the backlighting that occured by Sequoia’s head in the shot above.  While not always possible, it does help when you can do it, and is especially helpful in the case of photographing darker subjects.  Like a black Lab…

No way I could have gotten either of those shots with the dog being backlit by the bright outdoor scene in the previous shot.  The autofocus would see the black hole that is Mr Angus McFangus, and simply check out. Whirrrrr…. and nothing.  Also helped that he was playing with his mostly destroyed tyrannosaur chew-bone, which is white, and provided some contrast for the autofocus system to key in on.  Note that from the first image, I’ve migrated down onto the floor with the dogs.  Miss Mau was decidedly aloof, and mostly unpurrrturbed by this:

Of course my being interested in her made Angus take note, and she bugged out.  However, now being down in the floor, Sequoia thought he should share his toys with me, since I was there:

I didn’t notice her in the picture, but Kelly noted that the Mau had taken up residence behind me.  Most likely plotting my death for having clued Angus into her contented sunning by the door, she was hanging out by the cat-claw-whetstone of doom:

Not amused human, not amused.

Being on the ground, and NEAR the cat now, meant that I was vulnerable to sneak attack:

Noting the constant changes?  None of these shots were taken from the standard 5′ – 6′ from the ground (eye-level), while standing and holding the camera up to my face.  I did use the viewfinder on one of the above shots, the first one of the cat.  But for that shot, I was down in the floor.  Some of the best shots I’ve ever had involved getting into some strange, weird, or normally un-thought-of position where I knew I could get the shot.  One last example:  About 5 minutes after taking the above sequence, I was back on the couch, and the cat was back at her spot by the screen door.  Seeing an opportunity for one of the great “outdoor light reflected in an eyeball” shots, I crept into position and managed to get this shot:

With this post brewing in the back of my head, I asked Kelly to take a cellphone photo of where I had ended up in order to get the previous shot:

Don’t be afraid to get down in the environment to get those great shots.

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