When I'm exploring the world with my camera, there are two shots I try to capture. First, the standard composition. You know, the one that initially caught my eye. Many times, that's the image I like.
But then, I remind myself to compose a second version. This time with a low camera angle. And there are times when this is the image I love.
Low camera angles tend to increase drama with your foreground subject. My favorite versions have an object that I find visually interesting that I can work with, something to build the shot around. This can be particularly fun with a wide angle lens.
The background completely changes from this angle. In this shot, for example, I was able to include lots of morning sky and the moon. The standard framing had sand, ocean, and just a bit of sky - very different.
Cameras with flip-up LCDs make this task easier. That way I can get the framing as low as I want, compose the picture, and make adjustments without sacrificing my knees in the process.
Sometimes I use HDR to manage the wide tonal disparities. Other times I let the foreground subject go dark. It just depends on the mood I want.
Either way, remembering to add a few low angle compositions to the shoots has increased my keepers, and has often transformed ordinary subjects into something special.
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