5 ways to compose an image for supreme impact: easy tips to train your creative eye

Compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits

It’s all too easy to get into the habit of taking every shot from eye-level, and using the same type of lens. Here are five sure-fire ways to find a fresh perspective and compose an image with supreme impact.

5 ways to compose an image for supreme impact: simple tips to train your creative eye

We all do it: we see a scene we want to shoot, raise the camera up to our eye and take a shot. But if that’s how you take every shot, you’re missing out on a whole range of possible viewpoints and perspectives.

Why not try getting up higher, shooting from ground level or even just using a completely different focal length? Any one of these simple steps can help give you a whole new outlook on your subject, and that’s often the first step to making your shots stand out.

So, here are five great ways to get a new take on a familiar subject, and you don’t have to stop there – next time you get your camera out to take a shot, just ask yourself: what if I shot this from down on the ground or from higher up? You never know, you might just like what you find.

SEE MORE: Camera angles – 5 ways to add impact with unusual perspectives

Compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits

Compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits

Get a new perspective on your portrait shots by getting low and looking up at your subject

What’s the angle?

Rather than shoot at eye level, you need to get down low. This will normally mean that you’ll have to lie on the floor, unless you can find a vantage point such as steps or stairs where the model can get higher than you.

Angling the subject in the frame can also help make the portrait composition more dynamic – just make sure your subject is looking straight down into the camera lens or out to the horizon. Anything else is likely to look distinctly unflattering.

SEE MORE: The 10 Rules of Photo Composition (and why they work)

When it works

Your subject needs to look confident to carry off this style of portrait, but it can work really well for moody portraits. It’s also a great way to give your portraits a more dynamic, stylish look.

It works especially well for full-length portraits set against a dramatic background, as in our example image.

Why it works

A low viewpoint can give your portraits a fresh, vibrant feel, as it’s not one that you normally see.

It also makes your subject more dominant, as they appear much higher than the viewer, so can give them a much stronger look than shooting at eye level.

Things to watch out for
Using a low viewpoint and a wide-angle lens can lead to some distortion, which isn’t always the most flattering look.

How to compose an image with impact: 01 Shoot low for portraits
How to compose an image with impact: 02 Shoot high for cityscapes
How to compose an image with impact: 03 Shoot close for sports
How to compose an image with impact: 04 Shoot upwards for abstracts
How to compose an image with impact: 05 Shoot long for landscapes

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