Notes on learning photography (Part 2)

Adopting awkward positions when taking photographs

When I was taking pictures of the clouds passing in the sky at Pasir Ris Park a few months ago, I was lying on the grass near the beach, flat on my back, and pointing my camera at the sky. I was a bit conscious of people near me, as they might think I’m lost in another world. But I have come to learn that it’s part and parcel of taking photographs, especially when we want to take photos of subjects from unconventional angles.

This photography discussion forum discusses some of the seemingly awkward positions that photographers may need to adopt when taking creative pictures. In the first example, it shows the wedding photographer lying on the ground and pointing his camera upwards at the wedding couple, and the second photo shows how the resultant photo looks like – an interesting view of the couple juxtapositioned against the building skywards.

Here’s sharing with you this interesting picture. It demonstrates how photographers can go to great lengths in order to take great pictures of their subjects. In this case, the photographer had to camouflage himself so as not to be seen by the kingfisher. I can imagine it took him much patience and luck in order to take a close-up photo of the bird without causing it to fly away. Usually birds such as kingfishers are very sharp-eyed and alert, and can detect intruders from afar. Maybe he was waiting quietly for the kingfisher to land on its favourite perch, not knowing that the “rock” next to its perch was a human being in disguise.

Taking photographs from below skywards

I believe many people find photos of the blue sky refreshing because most of the time, we city dwellers are used to go about our lives walking on roads and looking at buildings and signposts, and rarely look up in the sky. So, such photos can be uplifting because it reminds people how wonderful the world actually is – the big blue sky reminds them to adopt a heavenly perspective to life, so to speak, and life then seems to become lighter and easier when they change their perspectives.

I think you can probably relate to this photographer’s story which describes his own experience in taking pictures that show various perspectives that may be unique or interesting.

“When photographing the land, I shoot traditionally and also look for a unique perspective or point of view. Low vantage points are often overlooked, and are often truly rewarding. Before getting close with my camera to capture the details, I use my body position to try various ways I might view the subject. To the causal onlooker, I must look insane with my bending, squatting, squinting and even lying prone or upside down on the ground.”

Read more:

Yes, there are times I would feel a bit awkward or self-conscious too, especially when I was surrounded by people in urban areas, and I was pointing my camera at the sky or some trees. Earlier this afternoon, on my way to the bus stop, I noticed a group of plants along the way that captured my eye and I decided to pause and take photos of the plants – I was holding my iPhone camera with one hand, and holding my carrier bag with the other hand. I must have looked odd and awkward to passers-by. After taking the photos, I continued walking to the bus stop as if nothing had happened just now, and tried to look “normal” again. hehe Anyway, here’s sharing with you the photo of the plants I took earlier, which I then posted on my Flickr blog. While taking the photo, a double-decker bus happened to pass by, so I was lucky/fortunate to include the bus in the photo. Usually buses in photographs can be interesting and useful for historical purposes, because we can roughly tell the year or era or time period a photograph was taken by looking at the types of buses/cars shown in the photograph.


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