How to Take Better Photographs : “Angles”

by Chris Sheppard,
Mashonaland Photographic Society

Making the ordinary extraordinary is a secret to better pictures. Without all the technical jargon about apertures, shutter speeds etc, by simply taking a picture of your subject from a different position other than eye level will make it more interesting.

Look at the two images that illustrate this article. Taken during the Zim Air Rally which is held every year in June, they are of simple compositions, but the impact comes from how different they are.

The three crew members of the green aircraft stand tall, almost larger than life; certainly, they look bigger than their aerial steed because of the angle. The story cries out to be told – who are they? What are they looking at? What kind of plane are they flying? Why are they dressed in “uniform?”These questions give the image impact. Strong colours, clear skies and simple arrangement all add up to something you will remember – and all the photographer had to do was lie on the grass thereby changing the perspective.

The other image of the various country teams is taken from the balcony of the Mashonaland Flying Club looking down onto the group. The expectant happy faces looking up at the camera add a dimension hard to reproduce at eye level. In addition, the aircraft in the background with the runway behind them fills in the storyline as to what the picture is all about. 

Because the camera is above the subject, something we do not always see, we have another look because it is “different”.  A bigger canvas also allows the group to be further identified with their country flag in front of them. We can see that the three countries were represented at that year’s rally.

Ndeipi Magazine, Issue 100 http://ndeipi.co.zw

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