Theme: Point of View
In Photography ‘point of view’ refers something more than an opinion.
Photographers know POV to mean the angle from which the shot is taken and it is immensely important to how well you create meaning in your images.
Let's dive in…
Camera angles are used to create different visual cues that suggest different meanings to your audience.
For example, a high angle looking down makes the object or people appear smaller, suggesting they are of lesser significance.
The opposite is true of the reverse angle.
When the angle is low, looking up, the object or person appears much larger, suggesting dominance or importance.
When the angle remains low but looks to the horizon a completely different effect is achieved. If the object is in the foreground, it appears larger against the diminishing perspective of the horizon.
If a low angle is used to depict something that is usually smaller than us the result can be quite compelling. It suggests we want to see the world from the subject’s view and creates a more intimate image.
POV can also indicate a shot that shows how a subject might see something. Used in film and visual narratives where character context might be established, these shots give the audience an idea of the world as the character sees it.
OK so most of us are not shooting for the movies, but the point is that as a photographer, your are the observer- seen or unseen, your compositions will reflect this. The choices you make about point of view are part of your visual language.
Apart from the image ‘Little Girl’ above used for demonstration purposes, I don’t like to photograph children from above unless I have an intentional message to portray. Apart from it being disrespectful to them, why on earth wouldn’t you get down on their level and capture their beautiful faces? This ideal is part of my visual language.
Camera angle choices are incredibly important when creating meaning in compositions. Try these tips;
Make it a habit to try different angles, it’s amazing how something ordinary can be transformed with a clever angle.
This might sound silly, but girls, when you’re out shooting, don’t wear short skirts or clothes that- due to modesty- might restrict your willingness to get low or positioning yourself high -you don’t want to miss a great shot!
The angles you choose when shooting a subject suggest a variety of meanings, be sure of what you want to say and choose the best angle.