Meeting Photo Challenges
Creative Image Processing
Nature & Outdoor
Creating Better Photographics
Night & Low Light Photography
Light & Exposure
Close-Up & Macro
Digital Black & White
Color & Design
Choosing & Using Lenses
Digital Photography Equipment
Unique Perspectives; Your Own Personal Point Of View
Compelling compositions can come in many forms, and they can also come from unique points of view. For example, aerial perspectives offer views that are completely different than when you are standing on the ground. This could be from a mountain looking straight down into a valley, or it could be from an airplane, a hot air balloon, or an ultralight. In addition, aerial perspectives from the tops of buildings, observation decks, lighthouses, and medieval clock towers (after you’ve climbed hundreds of steps) can often provide great compositions.
When I rent a plane, I always make sure that it’s a high-wing. This means that the wing is above the passenger window, giving me a clear view below. Only the strut that supports the wing is a problem, but I shoot behind it. When possible, I open the window so my images are as sharp as possible. Photographing through plastic windows degrades the image quality.
The graphic shadows (#4) weren’t taken from the top of a building. Instead, I shot from a third-story open hallway that looked down on the street. You don’t have to be 50 stories above the city to take advantage of an aerial view. Sometimes just 2-3 floors in height will enable you to compose a compelling image.
When I was shooting autumn colors in Vermont, I found a wonderful rocky promontory at Owl’s Head in the northern part of the state. From there, I could look straight down on the incredible multicolored forest and the nearby Groton reservoir (#5 and #6). In the early morning light, I was able to capture rich texture and golden colors on the trees. From this height, I used my telephoto lens to isolate sections of the vista below that had strong graphic design. With a similar aim in mind in Germany I climbed a mountain above the Rhine River to get a twilight shot of this beautiful castle (#7). Everybody shoots it from a trail at eye level, but the aerial perspective is much more exciting.
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