Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

This photo challenge gave me an insight into the way I take pictures.

I’m a short person – only five feet tall.  I can squeeze out an extra 1/4″ on a good day, but the fact remains that I shoot from a five-foot-tall person’s perspective.  When I can’t get an eye-level photograph that I want, my first instinct is not to get higher than the subject and shoot down, but to get even lower and shoot up.

I started looking through my photo archives, and I have A WHOLE LOT of pictures from eye-level on downward.  I have lain in the street to get a picture.  It never occurs to me to get higher, borrow a ladder or something, and take photos from that level.  I don’t see life that way.  From my perspective, I’m looking up at things all the time – even things that are at eye-level for most people.  So, I suppose it’s natural to just exaggerate that point of view and get lower and lower to take my pictures.

Once I realized that I’m constantly shooting from below, I wanted to challenge myself to find a place where I would be shooting down on something, for once.  I drove around the neighborhood to find a high spot, but didn’t like anything I saw.  I considered standing on top of our playground in the backyard.  Then I realized that showing a picture of our backyard would blow my cover as a normal, middle-class person.  (It looks like a white trash paradise back there – I think we treat it like an exterior closet that no one can see.)  I drove to a local park where I know there’s a tall magnolia tree to climb, but as luck would have it, two families with kids were picnicking under its boughs.

So, I came home and poured through my archives again.  And I did find a few shots that I took from a height above the subjects, while chaperoning a trip to Canada two years ago:

DSC04572

DSC04575

So, it turns out that I can turn the camera downwards, after all!

I’ll have to integrate more of this perspective into my photography.  I’ll see the world in a whole new way…

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

    • We certainly do see the world from a different angle than most! I used to joke with my friends that I only cleaned my house from 5′ down – anything above my head did not get so much as a dusting!

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