“Spencer at the Carnival,” by Elizabeth LePage
One of my favorite quotes by a photographer is by Ansel Adams: “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” It’s such a simple idea, and still rings true all these decades later. Even though he was born into a world of emulsion-coated glass plates and cameras over triple the size of the ones we use today, Adams knew that sometimes, all we need is to take a step back (or up, or down, or sideways!) and get a fresh perspective.
Sometimes, we get bogged down in a typical way of shooting. We are constantly sticking our cameras up to our own eye-level and surveying the world from a single vantage point. In the process, a lot can be missed – a beautifully crafted ceiling, the close up of a cat’s whiskers, how everything appears bigger when you shoot from foot-level, the depth of a landscape from a higher viewpoint, lacking focus to get a lovely bokeh of city lights. Many of our favorite photographs are unexpected, ones that break the mold of conventional photography and really get you wondering – how did they shoot that?
For the month of October, take your camera out and find a way to get a fresh perspective – on an old scene you’ve photographed before or a completely new idea that you’ve been antsy to try. Give your camera some new angles to try out, instead of just keeping it at eye-level. Crouch down and shoot from a lower vantage point than you’re used to. Climb up high and shoot from a bird’s eye view. Get up close and personal, instead of staying at arm’s length. Take a look above you, below you or behind you and shoot something you may have never glanced at. Try out a brand new lens that you might not be used to (fish-eyes can be fun!), blow the dust off that film camera and take a few chances with some one-shot wonders (they still develop film, including scanning it onto a CD for you!), come up with a conceptual image instead of just pointing and shooting (try creating a funky, home-made set).
“Through the Weeds,” by Elizabeth LePage
To participate in the October Photo Challenge, simply upload your image to either the PET Subscriber Gallery or the Elements Village Gallery between October 1st and November 1st. Remember that photos should be taken within the challenge month.
Please be sure to place the phrase “Photo-Challenge” exactly as shown (without the quotes) in the Keywords field if uploading to the Elements Village Gallery, or in the Caption field if uploading to the PET Gallery. This is how we identify images intended for the challenge. If you’re having trouble figuring out the process, check out our Contests page, which offers more detailed instructions, as well as screenshots.
The possibilities are truly endless, so get out there and shoot!