Picking the best viewpoint.

Hints and tips from Philip Grosset

Muddled photo
Here, on the left, is a very unsuccessful photo! The cameraman had snapped away without positioning himself where he could see his subjects properly. Contrast this with the two pictures below:
Close up boy
These photos of the same scene are much more successful because I had:
  • decided exactly what I wanted to show. Here it was not only the children's faces, but what they were doing.

  • got in really close. The most common fault of all the photos sent me for criticism is that they are taken from too far away!

So, once you've decided exactly why you want to take a photo, the next job is to search around for the very best position from which to take it:

Here, I knew what I wanted to photograph: the peacock. But is this really the best view I could have got of it? You can't see its tail, and the peacock doesn't stand out from the background. Compare it with the picture below ....

Better view of peacock
....where I had selected a better angle to show off the the tail, and had waited until there was a background that contrasted with it. As always, it's a matter of deciding what most interests you in a scene, then making sure that you show it really clearly.

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