Get an ant’s-eye view of the world

Practical Photography (UK) - - The Big Feature -

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.

Shoot wide-an­gle

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.

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