Camera position: how to use perspective to improve your images


A mistake that many photographers make is shooting a subject from the wrong perspective. Or, more specifically, from the wrong height. It’s natural to take shots from a standing position, but it’s often not the best angle.

The typical problem is looking down on the subject rather than getting down low and making yourself level with it. This is usually an unflattering perspective, irrespective of the subject matter.

Not only that, but a high camera position also means that the background is much closer behind the subject, and consequently draws attention away from the main focal point of the picture.

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

Correct poor perspective – three ways to change your camera position

01 Level with your subject

If you’re photographing people or wildlife, the general rule is shoot at eye level with your subject. This camera position will produce the most flattering perspective and bring an intimate feel to the picture. Eye-level shooting will also create a more pleasing background so that the subject stands out well.


02 Get down low

For anything that resides close to the ground, get down low or even lie on the ground to get the best camera position. A tripod without a centre column is best for this; alternatively use a bean bag for ground-level shots. Apply the same principle to landscape shots to emphasise foreground interest.

SEE MORE: DIY Photography Hacks – how to reduce camera shake using a bag of lentils

03 Use Live View to compose

When shooting from a low camera position, it can be difficult to use the viewfinder to compose the shot that you want to capture. Instead, you need to switch to Live View mode, which will allow you to frame the shot accurately without getting a pain in your neck.


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