Change your perspective for a better photo

by Earl J Posted on November 02, 2009

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Viewpoint, standpoint, outlook, point of view, angle.

All of these words are included in an explanation I found on the meaning of perspective. Another source told me that perspective is a different view of the matter.

A picture can be worth a thousand words, and a creative perspective can help you make this happen. I hope that the following photographs will illustrate this better than a lot of words.

In Sintra, Portugal, there is a beautiful and winding road connecting the Main Town with the Old Town. It is named the Volta do Duche and in July of every year about two dozen new statues or sculptures are placed along this wide and beautiful walkway. Photo ops abound, and my first picture is what I call a “straight on” shot of one of the sculptures, similar to the photo most people would probably take.

I suggest you change your perspective, zooming in and taking this sculpture at an angle, resulting in a more creative result. Thanks to digital, we can take a lot of photos of the same object, so you can take the straight on version too.

Belem is a beautiful neighborhood and part of the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. The monastery grounds in Belem have been converted into a beautiful park with many statues. One of those statues becomes my third photo, and again this illustrates a “straight on” version similar to what most passers-by might take.

In contrast, the fourth picture has been improved, I think, by featuring the horses alone, and framed by that beautiful blue sky. The different perspective results again in a more creative photograph and yes, the sky was really that blue.

If you have had the good fortune to visit Portugal, you know photo opportunities abound as the above are only four of the hundreds my wife, Diane, and I took on a trip earlier this year. I try to remain aware, though, that I can also try out new or different perspectives on objects and scenes within a few miles or less from where I live.

Bend – stretch – sit – turn – get on the ground. These motions or positions can help change and improve your perspective.

My hope is that you will try different perspectives as you continue to take your creative photos.

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  1. Earl J Says:

    What a difference a new angle can make! I have found that you don’t need to see the whole object to “get the picture”.

    Thank you for your help and suggestions and the next time I go out with camera in hand I will try and remember some of these points.

    Dee Jay – Florida

  2. Joey Says:

    This is a great article Earl. The difference between the two photos is amazing and quite fun. You get more details with the 2nd picture. I’ll have to give this a try next time.

    Thank you for this insightful article.

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    You sure see the difference between the before and after photos are dramatic. In addition, change the perspective made the subject the star of the photograph. I find myself doing a lot more crawling and climbing now just to change up the angle even just tilting the camera, itself can make a big difference. Thanks Earl for a great article.

more about Earl J

I'm a long-time film photographer, starting with a darkroom in my parents' fruit-cellar when a teen-ager. I fought the change to digital at first, but no longer. I've become a convert and Shutterfly has been my on-line provider since 2002. Since then I've placed (as I write this) 135 orders for prints, enlargements, calendars for every year and 42 photo books in different sizes. I'm very pleased with the top quality of all Shutterfly products.

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