Maximize vantage point to get “the shot”

JJWP349“One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level.  Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos.  Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place.” I love this opening salvo of Samuel Jeffery from his article Change Your Vantage Point/Travel Photography Tips. We’ve touched on the topic of  “point of view” from a previous post and this here is another one to emphasize its importance. I said in my previous post that people I’m with when out on vacation or travel don’t like my habit my wandering off and separating from them. I usually go to the “unbeaten path” and that’s the way of photographers. They search for other angles, for elevations, for vantage points. They will crouch, bend, go down low or stretch, tiptoe and peer above the crowd (if there’s any) or go up high and perch on something. The photographer will look at all possible positions to get that one shot that will not be the same from the throng of camera-toting, casual tourists. The above photo of the scenic Chocolate Hills, the main attraction in the tourist island province of Bohol in the Philippines, can only be taken with this vantage point – another hill. One of the roughly 1,200 similarly sized and shaped hills was converted into a viewing park and to reach the top you have to climb a stair or a pathway some 200 feet up. With an army of tourists with you at the top, all of you will have the same point of view. And all of them are snapping away. How do you get a different shot? No amount of body bending can make a distinct image. Here’s where patience came in handy. I eyed some dark clouds in the horizon and waited for them to move nearer. They did. The result is the shot above. The photographer will find ways. Ever since he held his first camera, it has always been a journey of finding ways to get “the shot.”

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