[Author’s Note: Through the summer months Exploring with a Camera will be “Second Edition” postings of previous explorations with some new images. You will find a new link up at the end of this post to share your photos, and your photos are also welcome in the Flickr pool for the opportunity to be featured here on the blog. I hope that you will join in!]
Have you thought about the flower’s point of view before? What is the perspective, near to the ground, reaching for the sun? The answer is found in these photographs. I had a marvelous time, playing around with my camera from a flower’s point of view. I got a couple of amazing shots, like the one above and the one below. They are delightful because they are so unplanned, they are the results of experimentation and play. And digital photography is a WONDERFUL medium for this, because there is no cost to just play around!
There is creative power in exploration and play. I’m thinking to post some “Exploring with a Camera” ideas like this from time to time, let me know if you want to participate and I’ll create a Flickr group to share photos so that we can create a little community of explorers!
So here are some tips on how to explore from a flower’s point of view:
1. Hold the camera near the ground, pointing up toward the flower. You are not looking through the viewfinder, at the screen, anything. Depending on your camera/lens minimum focus requirements you will have to play with distance to hold the camera away from the flower.
2. Shoot, review, shoot, review. Move the camera, the angle. After a while you’ll get a better hang of what you are aiming for remotely.
3. If you’re not getting the focus you want (say, on the flower), switch to a manual focus point. For the second image above, I set the focus point for top middle point, then took a bunch of pics moving the camera around a bit to get the one flower in focus that I wanted.
4. Play around with aperture. Higher aperture will give you a better opportunity to get what you want in focus. Lower aperture will really help your flowers pop, but focus will be difficult.
During the whole process, delight in the randomness of the images. Laugh at the ones that came out totally awkward. Swoon over the ones you think that come out amazing. Enjoy the freedom that comes out from letting go of planning, composing, deciding with every shot.
Since writing the original post, I’ve come to enjoy using this technique on a regular basis. The lead-in image of this post is from the Scottish Highlands, near Loch Ness. I wouldn’t have chosen the framing or focus of this image with my eyes on the viewfinder, but I like it anyway! Here are a couple of other more shots I’ve captured, using the same principles to see things from a different point of view.