The shooting angle means, in simple terms, where you stood in order to take the photograph.
For most people, most of the time, they were standing up, looking face-on to their subject when they pressed the shutter button.
And why not? That's how we saw the scene, and that's how we want to remember the scene. Nothing wrong with that at all.
In this digital photography tutorial I'll show you a few alternatives. And give you a gentle workout too!
The first thing to consider in this digital photography tutorial is how you look at the world. Start by looking at your computer monitor. Straight on. As you normally do.
Now stand up (seriously!). Even better, stand on your chair if it's sturdy enough (but not if, like mine, it's a rickety old thing that doubles as a set of decorating steps!).
Now look directly down onto your desk. Looks different, doesn't it. That coffee cup, the pens in the pot, the paper lying around (which I will sort out one day!). You've taken the first step in this digital photography tutorial – you've looked at the world from a different angle!
Now you've tried that, get down from your chair, and crouch down. Get down so that the top of your desk is at eye level. Now look at your monitor. Different perspective again. The keyboard seems huge in the foreground.
You've completed the second step in this digital photography tutorial – viewing the same scene from two different angles.
Ok, you can sit back down again now!
The next part of this digital photography tutorial is to put this into practice. There's no hard and fast rules on this. Once you have accepted that photographing a scene from a different angle is possible, just let your creativity flow.
This is so easy to do with digital photography because you don't waste any film, and you can check your shot straight away. If it really doesn't look good on your camera screen, try again from a slightly different angle.
To get you started, there's a few ideas below:
Digital photography tutorial – shooting angles tip 1
|This is a photo I took at the Taj Mahal in India (good tip – get there early, the crowds really build as the day goes on!).
I took the usual photos of the Taj Mahal – you have to – then started to look for something different.
One angle I like to try is shown here. Lie flat on your back, camera pointing directly upwards.
By this time visitors were beginning to arrive, and they all walked past me on their way down the steps.
All I needed to do was wait until one of them was in the shot, and . . . click!
|This second example was taken in an old monastery in Arequipa, Peru. Again, I had taken all the usual photos and was looking for something a little different.
So, I started looking for ways to get a different angle on things. I noticed a flight of small steps and wondered how things might look from the top of them.
The result is on the right here (that's my dearly beloved standing there!).
The important thing here is again to find a different way of looking at the world.
This last example for you is a classic way of photographing children, and shows perfectly the value in seeking out a different angle.
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The final tip is simply to practice. Try the angles in the examples I have shown above, but also try your own.
Remember that this is digital photography, so you can keep trying out new angles without wasting any film.
Your homework assignment for this digital photography tutorial then – take some pictures today, but don't take a single one from your normal shooting angle. Every photo must be from a perspective that you wouldn't normally use.
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Who are the frustrated
digital SLR owners?
"Taking photos has been my passion for decades.
I used to own a film SLR and loved the quality photos from it - better than anything a compact could produce.
And then I went digital (after saving up enough!).
The benefits of digital photography with the quality of a SLR - I was taking amazing pictures!
But other SLR owners I talked to were disappointed.
I soon found out the reason why - they'd bought a digital SLR because they wanted the quality, but never learned how to use it.
They were hopelessly bashing buttons trying to get great shots.
I realised they can't be alone and so I set about helping them.
The result? After a year's work I finished "The Digital SLR Guide"...
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