Change Your Point of View To Change Your Photographs For Ever.

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Change Your Point of View To Change Your Photographs For Ever.

There are few things that will define your photographs, make them unique, than your Point Of View selection. Or POV as it is commonly called.

You see startling examples of POV in movies and TV shows. While rarely over done, they keep your interest.

For example rather than setting the camera at waist height the movie cameraman drops to the ground, angles up from a mouse perspective of a woman entering the door from a darkened alley way. The sense of danger and mystery is now ratcheted up.

What a point of view is is simple to explain. It is the viewpoint the photographer has chosen for the end photo viewer to see the scene or subject.

Getting one that tickles the mind of the viewer is the trickier part.

The vast majority of photographs are taken from a standing viewpoint, 4.5 feet to 5.8 feet up with a standard lens set for an average F-stop, (most stuff is in focus) with an average shutter speed. (most stuff is frozen) Unless the viewer recognizes someone/thing of interest in the image, they just skim over it. No mental tickles.

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Compounding that is the subject, if they are people or animals they are usually standing too.  The whole image seems mundane because it is how we see things in our everyday observance.

Changing that a little suddenly makes your image pop, becoming a little more interesting, Change it a lot and the image becomes WOW. Of course the POV must make some sort of sense to your story and subject. Just titling a camera for a crazy angle shot, no other reason, is just annoying.

Your interesting point of view can include more changes than just your camera height. There is a wide range of things you can do.

If you are changing your vantage point, go a little over the top. Get a ladder; lay on your belly. I saw a photo of an ant carrying a leaf. The bottom of the lens was level with the ant’s feet.

Change your depth of field dramatically, go super shallow depth of field.

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Change your lens choice. Use a long lens for a close up portrait; pick a background that magnifies the distance compression. I saw the work of a photographer who does beach portraits. She only uses a very wide-angle lens moving in close to her subjects but getting this dramatic sky water and sand effect that feels panoramic. Then she picks the time of day when the sunset works with the blue sky, it is novel.

Change your time of day or your light placement.

Change your processing approach. It does not need to be natural colours. You can push saturation; work with tonal palettes like they do in the movies.

It also does not need to be over the top. You can use subtle changes that feel different.

It comes down to what story you are telling? What can you do that makes that more impactful? That pushes the story line?

Of all the tools you have to make your images great, considering and changing your Point of View will be the most dramatic. In most cases it carries no extra cost, just a little more thought. Once you get in the practice of finding that unique POV it will become your habit, then your style then what you are sought after for.

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