A technique you can also make pictures stand out is to compose them from an unusually low viewpoint. However why is low-angle images so efficient?

Good images is difficult to outline, not least as a result of there’s at all times a component of subjectivity in judging it. Even when you could have agency concepts about what nice pictures seem like, there isn’t any assure you’ll create them steadily. In actual fact, the extra honed your tastes change into, the much less simply your personal pictures are more likely to fulfill you.

Low angle photography - gate shot from below

Taking pictures this Prague gate from under gave it extra visible impression and a cleaner composition.

Is there any secret to taking eye-catching footage? In that case, I want I may harness it. There’s one thought I strive to keep in mind: present folks issues in your footage they don’t see of their day-to-day lives. Which means wanting intently and seeing particulars, noticing the weird, emphasizing the focal point, holding issues easy, and understanding what to exclude. What’s it you could have seen and need to convey?

Low angle photography - statue looking downwardsLow angle photography - statue looking downwards

Statues shot from under typically work effectively when the topic appears to be like down on the digital camera.

Used creatively, low-angle images meets the factors of being uncommon and can typically make viewers look twice. Nonetheless, it wants a bit extra thought than simply pointing the digital camera upwards.

Getting low, aiming excessive

In fact, low-angle images isn’t a radical thought within the context of photographing structure or statues, as a result of they are going to typically rise above you anyway. Until you {photograph} these topics from distance, you’ll at all times be pointing the lens upwards. However even with these topics, it is advisable get the angle of the shot proper and take into account what qualities you’re aiming to intensify.

Low angle photography - St Dunstan's Hill in LondonLow angle photography - St Dunstan's Hill in London

On this barely eerie picture, the road identify on the proper provides additional curiosity and offers the image scale.

If you happen to’re photographing much less lofty topics corresponding to folks, animals or crops, you’ll must get very low to make the angle uncommon. This, in fact, may draw consideration to you as a photographer, so that you might need to shake off any inhibitions. Think about the shot and also you’ll quickly overlook about what different folks assume.

Structure & statues

Within the case of structure, extra ornate buildings (e.g. Gothic) aren’t at all times finest shot from instantly beneath, as a result of all their element turns into obscured or misplaced. You could possibly {photograph} them that manner and select a element corresponding to a gargoyle utilizing shallow depth of discipline. The identical could be performed with statues every now and then, whereby you concentrate on an attention-grabbing a part of the statue from under and isolate it.

Low angle photography - Canary Wharf in LondonLow angle photography - Canary Wharf in London

Three buildings add to the enclosed feeling of this picture, whereas the rigorously positioned clock lends it some scale.

Trendy buildings like workplace skyscrapers typically benefit from home windows and traces, which slim and converge should you {photograph} them from instantly under. That is an efficient manner of directing the attention in direction of the highest of the constructing. Use of diagonals is an outdated trick for main the attention into the image, however you would possibly want one thing else to make the shot an excellent one: maybe a dramatic sky or cloud above the constructing.

Low angle photography - statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in LondonLow angle photography - statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in London

Utilizing a shallow depth of discipline, I remoted the eyeglass within the hand of well-known suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, London.

Digital camera angle

There isn’t any obligation when standing underneath a constructing or every other topic to maintain it central or horizontal within the body. By rotating the digital camera, typically you’ll discover an angle that will increase the marginally giddy impression of towering top. This impact shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s a helpful trick in low-angle taking pictures to make the viewer really feel barely disorientated.

Low angle photography - architectureLow angle photography - architecture

Left: Silhouette of Rouen Cathedral. Proper: One Canada Sq. – the tallest constructing within the UK once I shot it. The presence of a second constructing provides to the giddying impact.

When pointing a digital camera upwards inside a church or cathedral, I keep away from together with small sections of element on the fringe of the body. As a substitute, I rotate the digital camera till every little thing within the image appears to be like intentional and never one thing I didn’t discover.

Low angle photography - Rouen CathedralLow angle photography - Rouen Cathedral

That is an apparent shot to take of the Crossing Tower in Rouen Cathedral. The principle trick lies in composition and discovering an efficient angle.


Photographing folks from a low angle produces some attention-grabbing results. If you happen to have a look at outdated “movie noir” film stills, you’ll see a number of photographs the place the digital camera is pointing upwards. This provides portraits a moody really feel and empowers the topic as a result of he/she towers above the photographer and, in the end, the viewer. The draw back of taking pictures from under is that it may be unflattering, typically making topics look broader within the physique and fatter within the face.

Low angle photography - casual portrait from a low perspectiveLow angle photography - casual portrait from a low perspective

A considerably moody low-angle portrait. You’ll see a number of low angles in addition to low-key lighting in outdated movie noir films.

You possibly can shoot from low angles in avenue images, too, whether or not from the hip or the bottom. Watch out when taking pictures from the bottom that you just’re not invading anybody’s privateness by pointing the digital camera upwards—keep conscious of your environment and watch who’s coming into the body and the way they’re dressed.

Low angle photography - Venice CarnivalLow angle photography - Venice Carnival

This shot on the Venice Carnival was taken from floor degree. With none prompting, the girl within the center obligingly leaned over in direction of the digital camera.

The mere act of taking avenue pictures from a low degree might not, in itself, create a profitable picture (if solely it have been that straightforward). You continue to must have seen one thing attention-grabbing or out of the strange and the composition have to be proper. You would possibly discover a element at floor degree and juxtapose it with the folks above it.

Animals & pets

Many individuals {photograph} their pets from above, however should you get all the way down to their degree you’ll be able to virtually humanize them. That’s to say, you’ll typically seize their character higher than from above. Like human topics, photographing a pet from flooring degree offers it extra energy. An instance of this is perhaps should you {photograph} a cat getting ready to pounce—you’ll put your self within the place of the cat’s prey.

Low angle photography - Birman catLow angle photography - Birman cat

Cats typically tackle that regal, aloof look when photographed from under.


Generally you’ll get good outcomes when taking pictures flowers from a low angle. One profit in good climate is that you just would possibly get a plain blue sky as a background. Blue goes effectively with crimson and yellow – the three collectively type a triadic colour scheme. It additionally blends effectively with orange (e.g. California Poppies), since blue and orange are complementary colours.

This low-angle shot from a few years in the past was utterly unsighted. I used to be aiming to distinction life (flowers and bumblebee) with the WW1 headstone and tragedy of conflict. I don’t know that I succeeded, however the thought nonetheless resonates.

In fact, it might not be colour that evokes you to {photograph} flowers from under. You would possibly need to emphasize a protracted stem or seize the translucent qualities of a flower’s petals in opposition to a vivid sky. You would possibly go for the dramatic impact of many flowers looming over the lens—a bit like a miniaturized forest.

Low angle photography - flowersLow angle photography - flowers

These flower photographs from under goal to indicate the sunlit semi-opaque petals in addition to colour and form. The truth that they’re tall flowers makes this remedy straightforward even with a cumbersome SLR.


Bushes are a main candidate for low-angle taking pictures, both individually or collectively. Like buildings, it is advisable stand instantly under them to make the shot even barely unconventional and maximize the impact. Such pictures aren’t at all times putting until there’s an attention-grabbing department formation or sample above, so it is best to take care in selecting a topic. Colourful foliage is an apparent factor to look out for, too, particularly throughout fall.

Low angle photographyLow angle photography

I shot this primarily for its bark sample and texture, utilizing the blue sky as a delightful backdrop. Fascinating department formations or foliage colours may additionally immediate you to take such footage.


You don’t want any particular gear to shoot from low angles, however clearly a flip-out LCD display screen is a helpful factor to have. If you happen to don’t have that, not less than digital images prices nothing to experiment with, so you’ll be able to shoot blind till you get what you need. This was how I first took low-angle pictures—with repeated unsighted exposures. A large-angle lens would possibly assist you to intensify top generally with its sweeping view of the world, however this isn’t a necessity.

I hope this text evokes you to shoot some nice low-angle pictures, regardless of the topic. Good luck, and please share with us within the feedback under!

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