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Perspective

From: Photography 101

Video: Perspective

Perspective is quite simply how we see the world. Another way to say, this point of view. The point of view or perspective which you look at the world, look at the objects around you. You make a huge difference in how they appear in your photograph. So let's take a simple example here of a little birdhouse. It's a beautiful birdhouse and I want to take a picutre of it. So let's start by taking just a plain old picture not changing my perspective at all. Now, as we can see here, it's really not that interesting. It's kind of cluttered with the background, and the angle of view, or the perspective, is basically the way that everybody sees the world all the time.

Perspective

Perspective is quite simply how we see the world. Another way to say, this point of view. The point of view or perspective which you look at the world, look at the objects around you. You make a huge difference in how they appear in your photograph. So let's take a simple example here of a little birdhouse. It's a beautiful birdhouse and I want to take a picutre of it. So let's start by taking just a plain old picture not changing my perspective at all. Now, as we can see here, it's really not that interesting. It's kind of cluttered with the background, and the angle of view, or the perspective, is basically the way that everybody sees the world all the time.

So what we want to do is change our perspective to make this a bit more interesting. The easiest way to do that is to simply drop down. So let's try it again. Now by dropping down to the ground we have shifted our perspective. And the photograph is much much more interesting. The idea is quite simple. Everybody sees the world from here. Right around this height is where we see the world everyday of our lives as we're walking around. By simply changing the perspective by getting low, or even getting high. You can make a much more dramatic difference in your photographs. Let's take a look at another example.

In the last shot we had a reasonably interesting object that was rendered boring by looking at it from a normal perspective. By changing perspective we made it more interesting. In this example, we're going to find a relatively boring object. And make it more interesting by once again changing the perspective. As you can see here, we have a stack of wood. Not the most exciting thing in the world. Let's take a picture of it. Now, as you can see, it really is not an interesting photo at all. But by simply changing our perspective, we're going to make this much more interesting. What I'm going to do is focus straight on to the wood. I'm going to make sure I fill the frame with it.

And get a bit of a wide angle on there as well, so let's try this again. (audio playing) Now as you can see, this is a much more interesting photo. There's a lot of really interesting texture, great shadow play, and the photo is just much more dynamic. So a tiny little change in perspective has made a huge difference. Now, the next example I want to talk about is framing. Utilyzing real world objects to frame your photos just like you would frame a picture hanging on your wall.

Let's have a look. (audio playing) Another part of perspective is framing. Again, it's how we see the world. You can just look at an object, or you can look at an object through another object and sometimes that framing can really make a big difference. For example the photograph that I just made of these buildings through here is a nice enough picture. But it doesn't really tell the whole story of the environment of the scene we're in. If we take a few more steps forward and take a look at the archway. If I utilize that archway in the shot, utilizing it as a frame the picture might be a lot more interesting.

Let's try it out. Now, by photographing this scene through the archway. We've done a better job of telling the story of the environment. The photograph made inside the arch of just the buildings was okay. But by photographing it from out here, we can see more of the environment that we're in. Now, these frames that you're looking for can be naturally occurring. They can be things like tree branches for example, or man made arches like this, for example. So whatever you're looking for, find a frame to put into your photo and it can really make a big difference in how good your photo looks. Now let's take all these ideas of perspective, and put them together. I want to photograph that green door over there.

But instead of just walking up to it and taking a picture. I want to find a different perspective. I want to frame it with some other objects in the scene. As you can see here, we have this interesting barn behind us. So let's see what we can get by shooting through the barn. Now, right away one of the problems I had is the barn is pretty tall so I need to up higher, once again changing my perspective. I need to get the camera up nice and high. Now I can't just shoot it from here, I'm going to have to get the camera up quite high. So if you have a camera that has a live view mode, you can turn that on and that'll help you shooting in environments like this quite a bit.

In fact, if you have a camera with a flip out LCD, it'll be even better. (audio playing) So as we can see, that photo's actually pretty good but I want to get even higher if I can. Now, I just happen to have a ladder sitting here. So let's try this. From here we can see that the angle and the perspective is even better, up high like this, it's a really nice shot. Now don't forget just because your looking through something looking through a frame doesn't mean you have to focus only on what's on the other side of the frame.

It might be interesting to focus on the frame itself, let's try that too. As you can see that's also an interesting shot. So once again changing your perspecive, changing your point of view is critical in photography. If every photograph that you make is from the exact same place standing up at full height. Would the way that the whole world sees the world, it's not going to be that interesting. Change your perspective, get down low, get up high look for things to shoot through naturally frame your photos and your going to find your photography looks much, much more interesting.

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Photography 101

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Joseph Linaschke
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