Thursday, May 19, 2011

A mouse's-eye view

click photo to enlarge
It's said that 99% of photographs are taken from a height of between 5 feet and 6 feet above the ground; that is to say, eye-level. Moreover, in most of those photographs the camera was level, pointing neither up nor down to any great extent. That being the case, one of the easiest things for anyone to do, anyone that is who wants to make his or her photograph stand out from the crowd, is to get either down low, up high, or point the camera upwards or downwards. Of course many enthusiast and professional photographers do this on a reasonably regular basis, but surprisingly many frequently forget this basic strategy. Including me! Apart from the shot of the swan remants I can't think of any photographs I've taken from a low viewpoint (flowers excepted) in recent months.

So, when I came to take a photograph of my wife in what has become a characteristic pose over the past nine weeks - hosepipe in hand, water sprinkling the flower borders and vegetables - I wondered how to give the shot a "different" character. Then I remembered the low viewpoint: what I call the "mouse's-eye view". I set my compact camera to the 16:9 aspect ratio, positioned it above the hosepipe, and used the latter as the leading line taking the viewer's eye to the main subject: simple and reasonably effective. One day, perhaps, I'll have a camera with a tilting LCD and shots of this kind will be easier to compose. With the LX3 I had to lay prone! Fortunately (though unfortunately for farmers and gardeners) everywhere is dry as a bone and I rose from the lawn with trousers and shirt as clean as when I got down.

click photo to enlarge

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On