Changing Perspective

One of the hardest things to avoid in street photography is “same same” perspective. The nature of the activity – walking around and instant opportunities – results in the photographer mostly bringing the camera up to to the eye at head height.

We see the world around us, every day, at head height. We are used to seeing from a perspective that is roughly 5ft up from the ground. If your images have a sameness about them, consider the perspective that you have taken them from – have they all been taking from a standing position with the camera at head height?

One of the easiest and simplest things that can immediately create interest in images is changing up the perspective. Get higher or lower, move left or move right. Any vantage point that is not where you would normally see your subject from.

How can you change height easily?

  • Get down on one knee
  • Step up on some stairs in a doorway
  • Step up on a sitting bench
  • Look for stairs that are lower than a walking thoroughfare, and stand a couple of stairs down
  • Sit down on a bench, or a ledge

Changing the vantage point where the camera is shooting from also moves the horizon for impact.

Scan 1

Sorry about the sketchy sketches – I am not much of an illustrator.

Consider the two images below.

They are test shots for something else I have in mind, but you can see there is a subtle difference. The image on the right was shot from a low perspective – I knelt down on one knee and got the camera pointing slightly upwards.

The low perspective shot is more interesting and the eye is drawn more to it than the image on the left which was taken from head height in a standing position. The lower angle brings a more dynamic relationship to the subject and the signage in the background.

roll159 HP5+ G2 28mm625

The image above is also a good example of getting lower to increase the interest – this was taken from a kneeling position.

7 Responses to “Changing Perspective”

  1. Yes good advice Funny thing is I am part way through a blog post on the same subject with the enphasis being on the power inbalance that we can sometimes see for example with photographing a child or say a person rson who is sitting. Do you mind if I reference to youe post? (only because im not as skilled in illustration as you haha)

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] The single easiest thing you can do immediately to improve your street photography is to change your perspective. You can read more on this specifically here. […]

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    […] A great example of how changing your perspective can make an image more interesting. You can read more thoughts on changing perspective here. […]

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