There are many rules in photography that we are taught to adapt to from the minute we start learning our way around our cameras. We are taught how to properly pose our subjects, how to frame them correctly in our viewfinders, and how to get our settings just right so they are exposed well and are sharp and in focus.
Once you learn the rules and can master a well put together “technically correct” image, you can begin to learn to think outside of the box and learn how to break a few rules. When you learn to capture images and see things from a different perspective, you can produce some really interesting beautiful images that will draw the viewer's eye in just by playing with a few different angles. This will most likely take you out of your comfort zone as far as positioning yourself and your camera, but when you begin to look at different objects, subjects, and the world in general on a totally different level, you can take your photography skills up a few notches.
Look Up Or Down
When you are walking along a path or city street, or just anywhere in general, it is usually just natural to look straight ahead. That is just how our minds are trained. But when we look up or down, we see things from a totally different perspective. Take advantage of this when you have your camera in hand. Instead of shooting straight ahead, point your lens up or down and capture subjects and objects from an angle that you normally wouldn’t view them from. I have found that the more you fill the frame with whatever you are shooting from this perspective, the more appealing the images will be.
Lie Down/Shoot From Ground Level
When you lie down on the ground and shoot from this angle, you are once again giving your viewers a new and interesting view of the way they see things in the world around us. This technique gives even better results when you use leading lines. Let the leading lines be the guide that leads your viewer's eyes to the center of your image. This could be your subject, an object, or anything in the image that you want to be the center of attention. Simply getting out of your usual shooting position and getting a little uncomfortable can really result in some intriguing images.
Shoot Through Objects
Another way to change up the perspective of an image is to shoot through objects. Let the object be what draws the eye to the focal point. Crystal balls, openings in fences, and even cell phones are a few fun ways to incorporate this technique. When you begin to look through things and use them as your frame for your subject, you can really start to see them in a new and interesting way.
Fill The Frame
When shooting things like trees, flowers, or unique shapes and patterns, fill the entire frame without including much of a background or any other objects. When you stand back and take a shot of tree that includes the entire trunk, branches, leaves, and some of the sky; you get an image showing a tree just as you would naturally see it. You would see the tree as a whole. But if you zoom in and focus on a specific area or pattern and completely fill the frame from that perspective, you get a completely different result. Give your viewers a whole new way of seeing ordinary every day things.
Place Something In The Foreground
We are typically taught to let the emphasis of our images be the object or subject in the foreground. Whatever is front and center and sharp and in focus is usually what we want our viewer's eyes to be drawn to. Try switching your view on this and let the foreground object(s) or subject be what guides the eye to the background. This flips the rules of what we are generally taught, but this change of perspective can give you and your viewers a different way of seeing things. The goal is to get them to look beyond the foreground of the image to see what is in the background. Depending on the background you are using, this can work by either blurring the background out a bit or keeping everything sharp and in focus.
You can really use things that give a reflection to your advantage when playing around with different perspectives. Mirrors, glass walls or buildings, windows, and even water are great things to incorporate when using this technique. Whether they are used to show off the clouds in the sky, people, or objects; reflections or mirrored images can give you a new way of capturing things in a whole new unique way.
Photography is an art. There are rules when it comes to composition and typical every day photos. However, if you start to explore and start seeing things from different angles and perspectives, you can really open up a whole new world to your viewers and yourself. It's okay to break a few rules from time to time. And by doing so, you can create interesting and beautiful images. This may take practice and a lot of trial and error. The goal is to train your eyes to see things differently than you normally would. And by doing so, you can train those who view your images to see things in a whole new way as well.