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Friday Photo Tip: Creating From the Ground Up
by Laura Hicks -  5/24/2013

We decided to start off this series with a different vantage point than one generally does when taking pictures...from the ground. Changing your vantage point can change the way you see the world. Post in our forum to ask questions and give us some of your ideas.

Time to try something new.
When you have been a photographer for a long time it's easy to get bored and fall into a creative slump. Or, if you are brand new at photography, you are continuously looking for ideas to make your images more creative and attractive. Giving your images a unique perspective will set you apart from others taking pictures of the same subject.

For this first Friday Photo Tip I decided to dig deep into my bag of tricks--creating images from the ground up! Of course, photographing a subject while laying on the ground may lead to some strange glances from onlookers and can bring on a sneezing fit if done during allergy season (true story). But I think the results are worth it.  

 

These first set of images were taken while I laid on my stomach. When photographing from the ground on my stomach I like to keep a shallow depth of field -- around f/4, f/2.8 or f/1.8. The way I do this is by setting my camera to the aperture priority mode and dialing it down to the smallest number my lens will allow (I also use the manual mode quite a bit). In most cases this is f/2.8, but I also have some lenses that have a wide open aperture of f/1.4. Opening the lens to f/1.4 can be a bit of a challenge to keep a sharp point of focus, so I suggest playing around with your aperture settings before committing to a minimum aperture that large. Some lenses are better than others with keeping a sharp focus at a shallow depth of field.

 

The image above was taken while laying on my back shooting up towards the sky while filling my frame with a small plant that is growing in my landscaping. The fist image is taken of the plant while laying on the ground and the next one shows what the plant looks like when standing erect. The difference in the perspective is so very different. I also ran the image through Lightroom and added a preset to give the image an ominous feel.

The next few images were taken on a trip to the Riviera Maya.

Creating interesting and unique images can be as simple as changing your perspective. Try it out this weekend and let us know how you did. Give us your feedback in our forum. We would love to see what you came up with, too. Have a great weekend and go grab that shot!

Additional Sample Images