Compose an image with impact: 04 Shoot upwards for abstracts
Look to the sky for inspiration, and you’ll find familiar subjects start to look quite different
What’s the angle?
You will need to point the camera upwards, or even shoot straight up, for this style of shot to work well – typically with a wide-angle or fisheye lens, to get as much as possible in the frame.
When it works
Along with looking for simple, graphic shapes when you shoot upwards, you will also need an interesting sky to use as a backdrop – this could be a plain blue sky to emphasise the simplicity of the composition, or fluffy white clouds to add a little texture and interest.
Look for lines leading in from the corners of the frame and try to find a balance between all the different elements.
It’s also a good idea to check the edges of the frame for any unwanted distractions – mounting your camera on a tripod can be useful in this respect, even if it means having to lie down on the floor to peer through your viewfinder!
Why it works
Pointing your camera up towards the sky means that you can avoid including the sort of messy, cluttered foregrounds like you often find in woodlands or city streets, and the converging lines of trees or buildings often make for satisfying compositions.
Things to watch out for
If you only angle your camera slightly upwards it can look like the buildings or trees are falling backwards, so be bold, and make sure that it looks deliberate rather than accidental.
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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