Illinois Outdoors at
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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Point of View

September 09, 2007 at 06:17 AM

Illinois Outdoors

Changing the point of view is one way to draw interest to an otherwise average scene. In this case, it is simply a picture of Canada geese flying over a partially frozen Illinois River last February. What is different is the camera positioned above the geese, a perspective we Earth-bound humans rarely see. The unusual perspective is provided by the overlook at Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois. The bluffs above the river provide an eye level or better view of waterfowl and especially eagles at certain times of year. All that is required is the patience to wait until the subjects fly close enough to the bluff for the picture to come together.

Consider looking at your subjects from a different angle or perspective. I usually start by urging photographers to “get off the sidewalk.” If your photos are all taken at eye level from the same place as casual viewers, there may not be enough added interest to make the photograph worthwhile.

One caveat though: The abuse of unusual camera angles has to be one of the most common mistakes photographers make. If a slightly lower angle is good, an extreme low angle must be better. Often times, a subtle change in camera angle is all that is needed. Flexing the knees a bit or stepping up on a picnic table for elevation probably are enough.

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