Worm’s Eye? Bird’s Eye? Eye Spy?

We have learned in class that it is difficult to take a picture of an everyday item, when you are not portraying it in a new way.  A great way to put a different spin on a photograph of something normal is to show it from a different angle or perspective.   A tweet from Professor Wolff brought me to the article,  “A collection of Low to the Ground Images” by Darlene Hildebrandt.  Taking photos from the ground or from high up in the air, gives a perspective that many do not get and it will allow the viewer to see the subject in a new way.

wrtf2   wrtf3

For example, these two pictures taken by my classmates are of the same bike stand.  Gianna’s picture on the right shows the bikes as we would see them as we walk up, along with the sidewalk underneath, the bench in front, and the building to the right.  We are able to see the whole side of the bicycle.  Katie’s photograph on the other hand, is taken from a lower angle.  She is closer to the bike rank and positioned lower so that it looks as if we are looking up at the bicycles.  The center of her photo is the front wheel of the first bike, instead of the whole bike.  This view also allows us to see the different lines and patterns created by the stand.

The following picture “Tube Mice” by Aaron Yeoman is included in the Hildebrandt collection:

 Tube Mice

It is very similar to the picture Christine tweeted:

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Both photographs were taken with the camera on the surface from a worm’s eye view.  Both photographers choose to photograph very public places where almost everyone (at least in our area) have been in their lifetime.  Subways and the boardwalk are things that I have grown up on, and could describe them well to almost anyone who asks.  These photographers give us a view of something we almost never see.   We see the texture of the surface very well.  So well we could probably describe how it feels.  Both photographs also have leading lines that force the viewers eyes to follow the lines and move towards the center of the picture.

wrtf5Eric Ashton did a great job showing the Rowan campus from a new perspective.  By getting on the ground to take this picture and putting himself in a position that must students never get on, Eric was able to show us campus in a way none of us have ever seen it.

My favorite photo in “A collection of Low to the Ground Images” is “Walking in a Snow Storm” by Tishan Baldeo.

wrtf7I love this picture because of the simplicity of it.  The focus is the (lower half of the) person walking, and in the background is the oncoming bus.  Because the photo is taken from the worm’s eye view, we clearly see the snow as the surface and the tracks being made in it.   We see the boots covered in snow and the headlight of the bus.   This photograph is of such a normal event, and could be taken of any person, in any northern state, any winter day.  It is the perspective that makes the photograph so beautiful.

So next time you go to take a picture of everyday life, like your coffee, your bestfriend, the sunset, or your new boots, try to take the picture from a different angle.  A new perspective can make something ordinary, extraordinary.

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12 thoughts on “Worm’s Eye? Bird’s Eye? Eye Spy?

  1. I like how you incorporated examples from our class into your blog. It’s definitely true, and something I hadn’t thought about before – that sometimes all it takes is a different perspective to create a whole new image. Comparing the bike racks for example, besides the color difference, the angle makes the image tell a different story in a way. I know that some of the images I wanted to use for my photo album assignment would be seen as “typical” in a sense, but now I’m definitely going to consider doing this as a way to portray something unique.

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  2. First of all, thanks for using my picture in your blog post! I completely agree with your point that perspective, no matter how small of a difference it may seem, can really give the viewer a completely new understanding of the image they are seeing. Most pictures I take are from eye level with no consideration to the lighting, angle, or any other aspect of photography. I guess that got the job done, but now that we’ve reviewed techniques I’m sure I’ll try a little harder to work on perspective.

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  3. I really loved your blog post! it really makes you think that just by adjusting the level at which you take the picture you can completely change the feel of the picture. Like you said in your post some of the pictures are so close and you can see the texture so well you can almost feel what is in the picture.

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  4. Isn’t it crazy how just changing the angle can alter a photograph completely? Like you mentioned, doing so puts the photographer in a position that most people wouldn’t normally be in. When we went outside during class to take pictures, I sat on the ground to get a photo of something. It’s something I never really thought about before; how the angle can change the entire perspective. I like this idea, as it gives the viewer the opportunity to experience the subject in a different light. My aunt is a photographer and she’s always getting on her knees or twisting around in strange ways to get a good photograph. Now that I’ve been behind the lens, I understand how those angles are so important.

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  5. It is indeed difficult to capture an ordinary image in a new way. While taking photos outside of robinson for class, I stumbled across an empty beer can on the grass. I tried to make the photo look artsy, but in the end it still only resembled a piece of trash. Using the rules of composition can really help enhance photos. For example, if I had used the rule of thirds, or the depth of field on the image, it may have looked like something more than just a piece of trash. Comparing the bike racks was a good example of your argument. Both photos carry different meaning just because of how they were taken.

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  6. Kelc, I really love this idea that we can make something totally ordinary, become extraordinary just by changing our perspective. I think that’s more than just great photography advice, I think that’s life advice. Often times we get so down in photography and life because we are used to looking at things the same way, if we could realize that life doesnt have to be cookie cutter and we can change our angle, or viewpoint then we can see some things a new way and really bring life to something as simple as a new pair of boots. I think moving forward in my photography I am going to start changing the angle, and gain a new perspective; and I think ill do the same in my life.

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  7. I also liked that you incorporated pictures from our classmates’ tweets to make this post. I love the idea of perspective when taking pictures and how they take something we see everyday and totally flip it into an image we actually have to look at for a few seconds to discern what it is. I think this was one of the most helpful rules of composition we learned for this photo essay.

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  8. I’m glad you liked my picture! It’s also very cool that you used our classmates pictures, because this helps show what we have learned about the rules and components of photography, and how much it truly makes a difference where you are when you are taking a picture.

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  9. Great blog post! I like how you compared the two pictures and their different angles. It looks like a whole different object! Its so cool how a different angle can give a complete new perspective. I love the low to the ground picture of the person walking in the snow. It gives it a calm feeling. If it was a high view the street signs and cars would have given it a different tone and mood.

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  10. I find it upsetting that I personally never thought of taking my pictures for my photo essay in this manner. It gives all of the photos a new and different perspective then it would if you took the picture head on.
    I found it funny to compare this to my friends pictures. Try to think of all of the different angles you see people take selfies. They are trying to put a different spin on the same picture and pose they probably do all of the time. Then when they get the perfect angle BAM! It’s up on social media the first chance they get. It is comical but true.
    I also love how you connected the two photos taken from two different classmates of the same bike rack. It really gives your two different perspectives on one common object.

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  11. Really interesting! I really liked the photos you used to show the comparisons. I usually just quickly take photos and not worry about angle so much, but it’s really cool how the photos turn out. The different angles with the bike picture made the pictures so completely different even though it was capturing the same thing. Very neat.

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  12. This was an interesting read! It makes me think that once you take a picture, no one can copy it to the T. The position in which the photographer is placed can change the entire picture and I think it’s so insane!

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