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One of A Kind Photos – Cell Phone Photography Lesson 2

These lessons will focus on taking great cell phone photos, so good that you can create one of a kind photos. Please read all our lessons as they are short and cover: FOCUSING, CAMERA POSITIONING, BACKGROUND, LIGHTING, FRAMING and more topics!


Get closer

Okay, in lesson one, we learned how we can affect the “story” we want to tell with camera focusing. Camera positioning is another way to change the story we want to tell. We have already stated in lesson one that simply by moving closer to an object, we make it the focus of the picture. 

Take this picture below of a man reading in a garden.  Notice how much space the man takes up in comparison to the garden.   He seems fully surrounded by the garden, happy to be enclosed in that space, yet the central story seems to be more about the garden and the plants in it  than the actual man himself. 

Now compare this to the second photo below. 


How does moving closer toward the man change your perspective on what is going on?  It’s the same man in the garden, but notice how your focus changes from the location of the shot to the man himself.  Now instead of staring at the man and his surroundings, we are primarily looking at details about the man, what he wearing, what he is reading and his expression/reaction to his situation.  The man and what he is doing becomes foregrounded, with the garden being demoted to secondary importance to the overall meaning of the photo. 

There are many ways to tell different stories with camera positioning, which dramatically change not only the overall picture composition, but how one comes to think about the object and its surroundings.  We could decide to take an even closer photo of the man or the flowers.  We might, for example, take an even closer photo of the man, perhaps focusing on one half of his face, or maybe even focusing in on a bug on his ear.     

Another way to use camera positioning is by using angles. Examine the picture of the woman below taken from a standing position. 


Now compare it to a photo of the woman wearing the same dress taken from a crouching position.

Notice how in the second photo there is less background and more sky.  Since her legs are closer to the photographer in the second picture, they look disproportionately larger, giving her a “leggier” look.     Had we photographed the woman from the tree, we would have had a different photo again with her body shape changing once more.  You can use this same technique with any object, person, building, etc, to produce entirely different looking objects.  You can take photos crouching, flat on the ground or underneath something. So the next time you are photographing something, trying shooting it from different angle, and compare the results. You might be surprised by what you find!

In the mean time, have fun taking your one of a kind photos!

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