Creativity Exercise: Look Down

This week's exercise is going to have you staring at your feet - literally. 

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It's time to put your camera to your face and point it down so that you can capture a bird's eye view. I find when I'm mentoring photographers, this is often a viewpoint that's missing from portfolios, which is too bad as it's an excellent way to tell a story. 

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Toss on a wider lens (I recommend 35mm or wider or you'll have to stand on a chair) and pay attention to what's happening on the floor. Think about how the light comes into your frame and how it casts shadows across your subjects and the floor (or the grass or the bed, etc). 

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A few things to keep in mind:

  • You'll really need to pay attention to your aperture and where your focus is falling. Choose to focus on the floor and your subject's heads will be out of focus....choose to focus on the tops of heads and you probably won't have the toys in focus. 
  • Watch your feet! It's easy to miss your own feet sneaking into the frame, unless of course it's your intent to have your feet in there. If you're standing on a bed/couch, also be conscious of the lines your feet are making in the covers/fabric. 
  • Don't be afraid to stand on something, but make sure your safe (yes, I've fallen off a kid's chair before while doing this!), and watch the shadow that object might cast. 
  • If you have a flip out screen it's going to be your best friend here. Flip it out so that you can see it and then lift your camera high above your head. 
  • If shooting against floor boards, keep in mind what angle they are at in your frame. If you aren't shooting straight down and you're angled slightly, the floor boards will make it glaringly obvious. 
  • If you shoot your kids or clients like this regularly try mixing it up by shooting food, plants or other still life. 
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As always, have fun with it. Play around and see what you like and what you don't. 

We'd love to see what you come up with! Jenny will be manning the @unscriptedmentoring account this week and would love to feature your images. Use #unscriptedmentoring so that we can find you!

- Kelly  

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