Get an ant’s-eye view of the world
GREAT CREATIVE photography isn’t just about what you shoot, but how you shoot it. In this first natural world project, we’re going to explore how a fresh point of view can produce really quirky and eye-catching results. The idea is to photograph a scene from ground-level, giving the viewer an ant’s-eye view of the world. Ideally you’ll want to choose a spot with some interesting plant life, such as a field of tulips, a meadow of wild flowers, or a fern-covered forest floor. Springtime is perfect for this technique, as there are lots of colourful flowers in bloom, including daffodils and tulips.
Once you’ve found a suitable location, attach your widest-angle lens to your camera. If you’re an APS-C user, you can get away with a kit lens at 18mm, although ideally you’ll want a landscape lens such as Canon’s 10-22mm or Nikon’s 10-24mm. This is because you need a very wide angle-of-view to get in as much of the scene as possible. Full-frame users will want to be shooting with a similar angle-of-view, so Tamron’s 15-30mm is a good option. You won’t need a tripod for this project, as you’ll be resting the camera on the ground, lens up. Without being able to look through the viewfinder, you’ll have to guess at composition, unless you have a flip-out screen
“DAFFODILS AND TULIPS ARE IDEAL SUBJECTS FOR THIS TECHNIQUE”
that you can angle to face forwards. Don’t worry if your hit rate isn’t very high – just keep taking shots and making adjustments to the camera angle until you get one you like.
Work on a crystal-clear day, as the sky is going to feature heavily. You might find the sky is so bright that foreground objects underexpose. If this is the case, open your image in Photoshop, go to Image>Adjustments>Shadow/
Highlight, then move the Shadows slider to the right. Shoot in RAW so there’s plenty of detail to work with.
In the set-up steps (right) we advise on how best to set up your camera, and show you how to use self-timer. Once you’re ready to start shooting, place the camera face up, adjust the composition and try a shot. Preview the image to check everything is in focus and the exposure is correct.