More and more I find myself
laying down on the job taking photos from the ground. Taken from a higher angle, the shot above wouldn’t have the same impact so getting low was the way to go. I suppose I could have switched to Live-Preview and held the camera down or placed it on the ground but that wouldn’t have worked well. It would have been harder to compose and, being less stable, the resulting shot may have been soft. Besides the technical reasons, my camera is part of me when I shoot. I want to keep my obsessive personal connection with the camera as much as I want to maintain a connection with my subject(s). Holding the camera away is kind of a literal and figurative detachment from the process. There are, of course, good reasons to break this “rule” but no good reason to list them here.
Being below the main subject (Meghan) in this shot really helped separate her from the (two levels of) background. I was roughly 30 feet from her using my 70-200mm lens at 105mm. My aperture was a non extreme 9, which I felt kept the beautiful ladies in the back identifiable but out of focus enough to keep the Meghan nicely separated. The third layer is the HoF logo in the back which is nicely recognizable but not a distraction.
Not only can getting low bring out the best in your subjects it can also immensely clean up your background. Cars are often photographed low for a more dramatic look, in the photo to the left it was for more practical reasons. The background was cluttered with show attendees, orange barrels, etc. You wouldn’t get that sense from this angle. It certainly helped that the sky was pretty.
Perspective is everything and taking the opportunity to change yours and see differently can really make you a better photographer. Moving is a great habit to get into.