Seeing Differently

Ways to give an ordinary photo a new look

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By Bill Konway

For the average guy, our world or at least the way we see it, is about six feet off the ground. Not a bad height for most stuff, but after looking at almost every photograph in the world all taken at about six feet off the ground, it becomes a bit redundant, if not boring.

Want to give an ordinary photo a new look? Shoot that photo from a spot that most other hunters would not have already seen it from. Maybe try to get a bit higher up than normal or maybe a bit lower. Get the idea?

Think about this for a moment. Remember the last time you were lying in a goose field in a coffin blind? Remember how everything looked just a bit different? Heck, I'll bet that you even stared at the base of a nearby cornstalk and its exposed roots longer than you may have done previously.

Now you're getting the idea. What's preventing you from shooting photos while lying on your belly? Maybe holding that camera just above the surface of the water while you stand in the marsh in your waders? Let's go one step further. How about getting up and shooting photos from above the normal six feet? The tailgate of the truck perhaps, the bench in the blind. It does not have to be anything off the charts to make a huge difference in your perspective and a huge difference in the way people will react when they view the pictures in your album or personal Web page.

Again, as things looking different while in the coffin blind, people will notice something different in your photos.

Don't forget that you can turn the camera to a vertical orientation and still take photos. I have actually met people that thought that their camera only took horizontal photos. The camera is meant to be turned. Your digital SLR likely even has a vertical shutter button, which would be located on the bottom right side of the camera while holding it horizontally.

It doesn't take much to make your photos look a little different than everyone else. Usually just a desire to be different will be all the incentive you will need to become more "creative" in your photography. Basic photography composition rules state that you should mentally divide up the viewfinder of your camera into thirds, both vertically and horizontally.

What you will end up with is basically an elongated tic-tac-toe grid. The four intersection points then would become the spot where you would place your main subject. This sort of composition can give very pleasing result. Don't forget though that at times, rules are meant to be broken.

One thing I like to do is keep the horizon line either way at the top of the frame, or way at the bottom, rarely through the center of the frame.

When you consider the fact that there is no longer any additional cost involved in shooting more photos thanks to the digital era, why not take an extra moment to fire off a few more frames. The key here is to fire those frames of the same subject you were shooting anyhow, just from a different spot. As you view the photos later that day you will begin to see the difference that a small change in perspective can make. Obviously, some angles will not work, but others will scream out to be used again.