Vary the view with inspired camera angles

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When taking photos, how often do you stand at full height? Let’s change the view. Drop down low, find a higher spot. Or move to an unexpected place to photograph from. The fresh perspectives will dramatically improve your images.

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Looking down, the cheerleader captures an unusual view of the bases and spotter during the game. Photo by Emma Martinez/Foster High School

Bird’s-eye view
From above, birds gain a wider and better viewpoint of everything below. Similarly, a bird’s-eye view can show more of the perimeter, providing an overall perspective. A higher angle can tell more of the story and set the scene for your viewer.

Try standing on a chair, table or ladder (clear it with the teacher first). The typical taking notes or computer shots become a fresh perspective from up above. Also, a slightly higher position can be flattering for portraits, eliminating double chins and sharpening jaw lines.

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Looking up at the musician allows the audience to see her concentration. Photo by Kel Lemons

Worm’s eye view
Down in the dirt provides a widely different perspective. From a bug or worm’s point of view, everything looms large. A similar effect happens when the photographer drops to the ground. Try kneeling, crouching down or laying on the floor. Objects in the foreground will blossom in size, especially with wide angle shots. It’s also a nice way to focus on faces when subjects are looking down.

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From the wings, the ballerina and the audience is visible. Photo by Danielle B/Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

Unusual vantage points
In addition to high and low angles, get creative in where you take photos. At a performance, head backstage for behind-the-scenes photos. Move to the wings and capture waiting performers and performances on stage from behind. During rehearsals, visit the tech crew in the sound and lighting booth, and if possible, the catwalk.

At sporting events, think about how to change up the scenery. Instead of standing on the sidelines, try climbing into the stands. With a wide angle, capture a band or dance member with the football game below. At a baseball game, try straight-on photos of the pitcher by photographing from behind home plate (stand outside the fence, but close to it to eliminate the metal wires).

The next time you set out with a camera, observe the scene and think about how you could approach the shot differently. Share your cool camera angles and unusual vantage points with us on social media (Tag @BalfourYB on Twitter and @balfouryearbooks on Instagram). Snap to it!

Angle_MoniqueEvans_AransasPassHSFrom the stand provides a different vantage point of the musician and the football game down below. Photo by Monique Evans/Aransas Pass High School
Main photo: Using creative framing, the photographer captures a stunning portrait of a Tech Theater student with a router. Photo by Eden Smith/Bridgeland High School

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