Learning to use composition techniques is the basis of photography. Rules teach you to observe and decompose the space you photograph. They help you understand the transition from a 3D space to a 2D photo and compose using lines, shapes, colors, and concepts. However, respecting the rules doesn’t mean that all your photos should be taken while standing, from your eye level, and according to the rule of thirds or the golden rule.
Unusual angles represent all that one can’t see at first sight. The concept doesn’t have a strict definition; instead, it includes any perspective that most people don’t see. Our normal position is vertical, and our normal framing is either in portrait or landscape format. Anything that escapes the normal may be considered an unusual angle.
Don’t get stuck in a position
The first thing you should know is that neither you nor the camera are supposed to be in the same position all the time. You’re allowed to move, kneel, lie down on the ground, and rotate the camera as much as you like. Photograph your subject from above or from below, from the left or the right. Each perspective brings something new, and you should be creative. A good photographer doesn’t always follow the rules. You need to know them, but, more than anything, you need to find your inner voice as a photographer and be truthful to your creative expression. Therefore, don’t be afraid to take risks, get dirty, or seem awkward. Art deserves it.
Experiment without a tripod
A good start for experimenting with unusual angles is to get rid of the tripod. Especially if you use a fixed tripod that limits your options in terms of camera angles. Use flexible tripods or hold your camera. Ensure you use fast shutter speeds and low ISO to avoid producing images that lack sharpness due to camera shake. You have so many more degrees of freedom when you hold the camera. Try dancing with the camera and move your arms freely in any direction. Look up and take pictures holding the camera above your head (it helps if you have a light camera such as a mirrorless camera or a smartphone). Endless possibilities will open up to you.
Get very close to your subject
Another good way to discover unusual angles is to get very close to a subject. Go beyond the general perspective and observe edges, textures, and shapes. This is a beneficial approach for minimalist photographs because your composition will be more abstract and open. You’ll have fewer colors and distractions. At the same time, you’ll get deeper meanings and more artful compositions.
Photography represents the world, and it’s your job to discover perspectives unseen until now. Make a statement with your photos and show us the world as you see it. It may be from beneath a daisy or from above the trees. It may reveal the unseen face of mundane objects or the extraordinary atmosphere of a wild place. Tell your story in amazing pictures. For other how-to articles, click here.