How many time have you found yourself laying in the mud or standing on someone’s shoulders in order to capture a unique angle of your subject? I know I have more often than I would like to think, but a simple solution is to let Live View be the liaison to your eyes.
The problem when trying to capture extreme photographic angles, or even a little varied perspective, is that a person is either too short (for high angles) or too tall (for low angles). And, oftentimes, I have found that simply shooting high/low and hoping I got a good shot doesn’t really work.
“Why not just simply stand on your head to take the picture?” Well, apart from the blood rushing to your head and the additional unwanted attention you would undoubtedly be drawing to yourself, it’s just plain complicated. When I shoot I like to keep the viewfinder at my eye, making any necessary adjustments without pulling away. Try doing that with your camera set on the sidewalk!
The Solution: Use Live View
That’s pretty much it! Use live view mode to more easily enable you to capture those stunning perspectives. Leaning back to view what your camera will capture is much easier than “shooting and praying.”
One Step Further: Use a pocket mirror
“Okay, you dolt*, but I’m still gonna have to stand on my head!” This is not necessarily true. Unfortunately, my low-end Canon is not equipped with a flip-out LCD screen like some cameras on the market, so my only alternative to shooting blind was to hunker down to see the screen, which was, undoubtedly, better than face-planting the sidewalk. Then I thought of a simple solution…so simple, in fact, that I firmly planted my palm against my forehead. Why not simply carry a pocket mirror with me to reflect the screen, thereby forming the same basic principle that is inside the viewfinder and making it much easier to view and control from a comfortable distance. Just hold the mirror adjacent to your LCD screen at an angle of 90 degrees or less, and you’re good to go! So, I now carry a cheap, rectangular Goody cosmetic mirror with me to do the work that my head on the ground once did.
*DOLT: One who is clueless not only about current events but also has the IQ of a rock. “Dolt” may be the most sophisticated insult in the English language. Dolts commonly populate such stereotypes as jocks, nerds, fruits, bookworms, and dorks.
DOLTERGUIEST: A spirit who decides to haunt a REALLY stupid place, like a septic tank.
How about you?
Got any tips for capturing images at extreme angles or heights? Feel free to share in the comments!