Climbing up the Ladder

March 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

Climbing a ladder is symbolic of success in the corporate world. It can also literally represent success in photography.

Shooting your photos from a different angle will take you outside the box of the everyday shooter.

Groups especially require the ladder for simple math reasons.  Remembering that the objects closest to the camera will appear larger, if you line up people into several rows, the front row people will appear larger and the people at the back will appear smaller when shot from eye level position. But when you go up the ladder, if you measured everyone from their noses to the camera lens, you would find there are now less variances in the distance and so less distortion in the sizes. For really large groups, you can stack them, kneeling, sitting standing, standing on a riser and get a large number of people into a small space. Go up the ladder and suddenly you have a very balanced photo.

 

 

 

 

Since we view the world from eye level, using the ladder can make a photo more interesting just because of the change of perspective.

The opposite is also true.

When working with children or pets, I kneel down so that I am now at their eye level.

 

When shooting objects like a seashell on the beach, you will find me laying on the ground, so that once again I am viewing the object at its level. Ground level also works well for some landscapes, pet photos, and to get nice leading lines on roads and foot bridges.

While carrying the ladder around to shoot can raise some eyebrows, I have also had police officers stop in their cruisers while I am laying on the ground or getting up, to ask if I am “Okay?” I always assume they mean physically and assure them I am just fine.

 

 

Assignment:

This week you will literally change your perspective by going high or going low.

For high, you can also find elevated areas such a stairs. When shooting from elevations, it is good to have an assistant or spotter with you as there is a slight risk this may cause you a little vertigo. Also, my ladder of choice is a very sturdy aluminum paint ladder under 6 feet high and with that nice tray area for placing equipment (other than my camera).

Some photographers use knee pads for going low especially when shooting things like parades where they want to pop down and back up quickly on hard surfaces.


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