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Friday 23 August 2013

Photography, Down and Dirty

Get your mind out of the gutter! The down and dirty of photography is really all about how we photographers kneel, crawl, hike, climb, and really get into all sorts of nasty positions just for that one great shot.

We see photos everyday that are taken at the same old boring run-of-the-mill position. Subject standing, probably a little sideways to the camera, Photographer standing at eye level with the subject. Boring!

How about doing something a little different, like getting above your subject?

Take a look at these two examples and see how dramatically the mood changes just with viewpoint alone. The photo to the left (a straight-on shot) is just your average snap shot, but the photo to the right (taken from above, as my sore and craning neck will gladly tell you) relays more emotion and energy.

That's above, but why not also try tackling a subject from below?

This baby portrait shot was taken with me flat on my back while the child was flown over me by an uncle. Great family memory.

Finally here's a shot one of my bemused family members snapped of me while I was setting up to shoot an exhibit at Hell's Gate. It's not an attractive view of me but that's why I'm a photographer and not a model. More importantly, I got exactly the shot I was looking for, and it's probably not one that the thousands of other visitors took away from the same exhibit.

The result was great -- although it's worth noting that I was only able to, ahem, spread out because I was there early in the day. I encourage you to to take up any weird position necessary to get a shot, but make sure you're not a nuisance to any one else trying to see the same sights!

There is more to shooting pictures than standing and firing off hundreds of frames. You need to be ready to get down and dirty with your photography. Seize the moment, and don't worry about looking like an idiot. You'll have the last laugh when everyone wishes they thought to take the photo you were sweating for.

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