From Every Angle

This week, photograph a stationary subject from three different angles.

Chef Paul Dubeau. Photo by Shane Francescut. All rights reserved.

We’re delighted to welcome Shane Francescut back as guest host of today’s photo challenge. You might know Shane from his excellent photoblog, The Weekly Minute or remember his first guest photo challenge, “Split-Second Story.”

We all take pictures of something or someone by standing directly in front of our subject, clicking the shutter, and calling it a day. It’s often the way we take photos when we first pick up a camera — though what if you were encouraged to try photographing your subject from every conceivable angle? Your results might just go from ordinary and uninteresting to original and inspiring. Sometimes the perfect image comes to life by simply changing your composition, and photographing your subject from a different angle.

My series of chef portraits offer a great study in shooting from different angles. Be sure to check them out!

While working on a portrait series of local chefs, I have learned that changing the angle at which I shoot often produces new and interesting results that I hadn’t previously thought about. Once I place my subject, I shoot him or her from every angle I can think of: high, low, wide, tight, left and right. By altering your angle, and not your subject’s, you begin to see the power in the story that you are aiming to capture.

Chef Paul Dubeau. Photo by Shane Francescut. All rights reserved.

Chef Paul Dubeau. Photo by Shane Francescut. All rights reserved.

For this week’s challenge, photograph a person, or a piece of fruit, or a toy — any stationary object — and experiment by photographing it from different angles. While there is no minimum — and you’re always welcome to adapt every photo challenge to meet your needs — I challenge you to choose three of your favorite shots and post them in a gallery on your blog.

Here are a few tips to help you alter your photographic composition:

  • Photograph a person by beginning from their left side and slowly moving around to their right. Always have them either look directly at you, or ask them to focus on a spot on the wall as you move.
  • Take wide angle shots and tight shots.
  • Photograph a plate of food from slightly above, from directly above, or making sure that part of the plate is cut out of the frame.
  • Photograph your child by getting down to his or her level or by standing just out of their reach as they swing on a swing.

Enjoy the process! I look forward to seeing your photos.

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