This week I went on a balloon ride. Up we went to around 4100ft and every one of them accompanied by a persuasive little voice which said I had no right to be so high in a dangling basket.
First of all you rise off a cold grass field and the land rover that transports the balloon is suddenly underneath you. A bit more and you can see over the fields’ tall hedges to reveal what is behind. A bit higher and suddenly its the whole village you can see. Then even that becomes small and your eyes are only interested in the horizon. Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight; the whole world.
As we got higher and higher though it reminded me how useful it is to think of perspective in photography. We tend to see most things in our daily lives from the height our eyes are and with the 55mm lenses in them. Nothing wrong with that, except how much more interesting it becomes to view subjects from different angles. Higher than usual, lower than usual. By varying the height of the camera and its angle to the scene we can reveal a myriad of new and exciting perspectives and open a serendipitous world of possibilities and thought provoking interpretations.
I like to think it is an approach, a way of seeing, an outlook, or point of view. I had a birds eye view in the balloon, but with it goes attitude, and frame of reference, a realisation that ‘point of view’ is very personal and how interesting to play around that with your camera just to see what happens. So next time you are taking photographs at a wedding or in the park, up you go on the climbing frame, shoot down. Down you go on your knees, shoot up. You may be surprised at the results….