A low angle shot is taken at the base of, or below, an object. These shots are often visually interesting because it forces a perspective that is outside the ordinary. They bring back the grandeur and wonder of childhood’s prospective, and allow the photographer to get creatively involved in their subject. There are several ways to improve the overall quality of low angle shots.
Taking low angle shots can be tricky because of the position the camera and photographer must be in to capture the angle. The viewfinder is not useful because often it is against the ground when a picture is actually captured, so the image cannot be viewed in advance. Be prepared to shoot blind, look at the captured image, make adjustments, and shoot again. Have a plan and a product already in mind, so that you know what you need to do to get the perfect shot.
Select the right lens
Wide angle lenses work best for low angle shots, because they can take more of the scene in. Typically, high-quality low angle shots are taken with a lens in the 10mm to 22mm range, but some really unique shots can also be captured with a fisheye lens. The fuller the image, the easier it will be to crop the perfect picture out of the frame.
Have a main object or focal point for the shot
Taking a picture from a low angle is not enough. Just like eye level shots, the picture should have a central object, or main focus. Selecting something small will make it look larger than life; selecting something large will exaggerate its features.
Photo by Fernando
Adjust for light
Often, when shooting low shots, the camera reads too much light and limits the amount of light coming in. The resulting picture is too dark at the bottom, but perfectly exposed at the top. You will have to choose between the two areas of the picture. If there is a cloud or object in the sky you want clearly defined, underexpose the image. If you want the main object to be clear, overexpose the image and expect the sky to be too light.
Choose an unexpected subject
Skyscrapers are a common subject for low angle pictures. Get away from this cliché, and use low angle photography to give new life to your normal niche. If you do wedding photography, use it to capture a unique view of the dress, beginning at the end of the train. If you take nature photos, find a natural vertical structure to photograph.
Use accessories to assist you in the process of capturing low angle images. Using a very small table-top style tripod can give you a more consistent image quality and make it easier to work through the necessary adjustments in your position and focus. It holds the camera both steady and at a consistent distance from the ground and the object. A remote control or time release setting can also prove key, because it allows the camera to be set at an angle that would otherwise be impossible because of button positioning.