Low angle photography gives a different view
In this post I will speak about why I consider low angle photography to be essential for all nature photographers. Low angle photography is not a well-kept secret and I think it should be included in everyone’s repertoire.
So what is the secret to low angle photography? Well it is all about distance and depth of field.
Low angle photography gives you the possibility include objects in the foreground creating a perspective in the picture. This is not possible with a high angle photo as the background will be some much closer.
You can create both a blurry background and foreground when you do low angle photography and that is something that excites me. You want a good distance between the subject and the background so you get the smooth bokeh and if you at the same time includes objects in the foreground you will get the perspective that brings that little extra to the picture.
So are there any negatives with this type of photography you might ask?
I must answer yes to that question.
The obvious part is that you most often need to be on the ground, particularly if you take photos of small animals, and that means getting dirty. It also means you need to consider the foreground all the time making it a little harder for you especially if you take photos at a place like this, a field with lot of twigs .
The twigs to the right of the Black Grouse might not ruin the picture, but they do bring down the effect of the low angle photography. If you look closely you can see twigs in the background to the left, but here the bokeh has made them smooth. This is one of the benefits with low angle photography as the twigs in the background doesn´t pop out as much as they would have if the picture had been taken at a higher angle.
Low angle photography also means you will be in an awkward position, one that you can´t cope with for extended periods. It is hard on your body and you need to be flexible especially when you take pictures of animals. For landscape photography you could use the Live View on your camera, but I wouldn´t consider using it if you take pictures of animals. You could also use a Right Angle Viewfinders, but I am not sure how good they would work when you take photos of animals as they tend to move around.
You most certainly need a stable platform which means having your camera on a sturdy tripod taking away the heavy toll that low angle photography means if you do it hand-held with a long telephoto lens
Now this might seem to be a lot of negatives so why should you even consider low angle photography?
Well just look at this picture in which I have used the low angle photography technique including objects in the foreground creating the perspective while still having a good distance between the Black Grouse and the background giving us the smooth bokeh.
I think this picture show you why I accept the burden that low angle photography means as photos turn out this spectacular when you nail them. It is not the easiest technique to master, but it will bring you forward as a photographer when you start using it. Getting a good grasp of how to work with this technique takes some time, but let us start now by getting low and dirty next time you are out taking photos in nature.