Famous landmarks – the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Queen Elizabeth, have been photographed from the same angle – the same way, so many times you almost expect it. They are iconic. And when something is iconic it seems almost like sacrilege to view it any other way.
This is one of the reasons Annie Liebowitz wanted Queen Elizabeth to take off her crown.
Before you get off the bus and stop at that spot labeled “scenic view” convince your self you will do one better. Convince yourself of the power of perspective.
My greatest regret in taking pictures in Yellowstone National Park was not getting shots of the people acting like idiots around the animals. Sure I got some great wildlife shots. But how often do you see people interacting with large animals in the most memorable of ways? Grown men with children on their shoulders approaching bull elk of within distances of 8 feet in order to take a picture. Women and children running in and out of a group of cow elk with calves.
I missed the power of perspective. I was not thinking like a photo journalist.
Learn to look at your subject like you are telling a story. Sometimes you can accomplish this by simply switching lenses and zooming in or out. But the best way to tell the story of your subject is to shoot it all at different angles by moving around your subject.
Telling the story of your subject photographically is a lot like using point of view in writing:
First person (I or we)
Second person (you)
Third person (he/she/it/one or they)
Try to utilize all these points of view when you photograph a subject.
Approach the Eiffel Tower like a story:
We came to the tower before lunch. Approaching the chrome with some trepidation, we shut our eyes as the glass elevator hurtled to the top of the sky. Hungry for something they were not serving, you looked down. Lined like little ants, countless dots of people shifted along the concrete waiting to enter…
Did they enter? Or did they get fed up and leave?
What was at the top? What was at the bottom?
Show me with your pictures.
Photocredits: © Ellen Wilson