Friday, October 30, 2015
Lowering One's Self to "Their" Level - Behind the Shot
Have you ever heard something along the lines of, "don't lower yourself to his/her level"? Yes. We all have. Of course, this admonition had to do with guarding one's character in the face of a particular trial rather than having anything to do with photography. With photography it often helps to do exactly this because it causes the subject to be more appealing, interesting, intimate, revealing, etc.
Take the photo above. I was out on a cool, windy day and not seeing much at all concerning wildlife when I happened upon this grasshopper. It didn't move at all when approached so I considered this a prime target for using the tilt screen of Nikon D750. In the past I've tried taking photos of things from ground level with other cameras but was rarely successful because I couldn't get low enough to see thru the viewfinder and to use Live View was a neck breaker down there. This time I was able to set the camera on the ground, tilt the viewfinder up, turn on Live View and capture this creature without breaking a sweat (or my neck) with the added bonus of a very thin depth-of-field leaving nothing to distract from the subject of the photo.
Compare to this first photo attempt. I was squatting as low as possible for this shot but was not satisfied because the foreground and background were too busy and distracting. What a difference putting the camera on the ground made here. The camera settings were the same with an aperture of f/4 but the results are dramatically different. Another bonus of being able to shoot with the camera on the ground is the color incorporated in the background of the top photo. That color is basically grass and dandelion but is blurred to a cream as are all the pebbles fore and aft making for a very pleasing viewing experience - at least in my estimation.
So, go ahead and get down to "their" level. It won't harm your character at all. I promise.