Though the opportunity to photograph the landscape in a conventional manner brings some fantastic results, often discovering a different angle can provide opportunities that are otherwise overlooked.
Just by bending your knees and getting down low, you can find pictures that are usually missed at standing height. The results can be some outstanding images that you won’t want to let pass you by.
The best way to find the ideal vantage point is to get in to position yourself and find a unique way to frame the image you seek. Though this can look surreal to any passer by when they see you trying to contort your body into unusual and strange positions, the rewards can be phenomenal.
I remember one opportunity that came to me purely by chance when I was taking a country walk. There was a field which initially looked insignificant but would be ideal as the background for a collection I was putting together on environmentally friendly farm practices. Though traditional photography could not capture the image I sought, once I started looking at different angles for taking the photo the opportunities opened up immediately.
Using a wide angle, Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens positioned on the tripod at ground level, the shafts of wheat growing in the field took on the impression that they were stretching into the clouds and, by using a close manual focus, I was able to capture a dramatic image that would not have been possible from a traditional perspective. The quality of the lens provided sharpness even beyond the f5.6 and allowed a level of detail in the photo that you would not be able to capture with a traditional set up.
Using a 20″ reflector to highlight the natural beauty of the foreground and taking advantage of the shapes of the clouds to dilute the suns rays but still create a hue around the focus of the picture, I could incorporate all the elements I required from a ground level perspective, adding an entirely organic element to a sensational image.
All it takes to see your picture from a different angle is to take your body to a new height. Though you may have to stoop, crawl around, lie on your back or even balance upside down, the opportunities to reflect on your task and see the world from a new perspective are boundless.
A wide angle lens such as the Fisheye can work wonders when you are looking for a new and unique idea as it enables you to capture a depth of field and draw it in to one original image. And by bringing this lens down to ground level you can draw in so much to your photo that it is an ideal way to accentuate the environment around you.
Try lying under a wooded area and using this lens to accentuate the length of the trees around you and capture the way dense areas seem to wrap around the sun and block out the natural sky. Apply your own personal finishing touches in your Adobe Lightroom and you can create imagery that is captivating yet still completely natural.
The same process can be used for portrait photography as well to offer something more than the standard head and shoulders shot. In the same way that the unification of trees can be captured through a ground level perspective, asking a group of people to recreate that scene leaning over a photographer who is lying in the mud not only creates a fantastic image but also captures the smile on everyone’s faces when they realise the lengths a good photographer will go to to get the picture they want.
So when you next find yourself looking for that original and fresh image, put on your wide angle lens and get down in the mud. It may take a while to clean yourself up afterwards, but the rewards will definitely be worth it.