When to Change Your Camera's Perspective

Sep 07, 2012

Shoot a picture from above and your pet will look tiny. Put the camera on the ground and aim up at him, your pet will look like a giant. It’s all a question of perspective, one of the oldest tricks in the photography book. Here’s how to make the most of it.

Understanding Perspective

Perspective is simply another approach to thinking about the way things appear to us, particularly how far away they are. In the world of photography, perspective is usually changed by simply moving the camera from one place to another or by using some of the tools built into cameras like the Samsung MultiView Digital Camera MV800.

You probably use perspective all the time without actually knowing it. If you’ve ever raced down a road so you can catch a perfect shot of a rainbow so that it’s “landing” on a building, you know how dramatically perspective can improve a picture. But it doesn’t have to be that involved: Simply moving your camera a few feet to the side, or positioning above or below your line of sight can create a more exciting shot.

5 Ways to Get the Right Perspective

•     Get as low to the ground as possible and shoot upwards. This gives a real sense of grandeur to monuments, buildings and other objects that you want to appear majestic. But you’ll get no thanks if you do this to a friend, because shooting upwards can make noses and other features look awfully large.
•     Get far away from your subject, and shoot from above if possible, to give more of a feeling for the subject in its environment. Shots like this can be very moody, expressing isolation or they can give a sense of space. Picture an abandoned toy in a weedy front yard or your toddler crawling along the beach. Just remember that the farther you are from it, the fewer details you’ll see in the subject.
•     Get as close as possible to your subject with your camera, then position the subject in front of something larger in the background. With the right perspective and a little planning, you can make your spouse look as tall as the Empire State Building, capturing a unique image and telling a fun story about where the shot was taken. Shots like this can take a lot of time to get just right, so don’t try it unless you have time and patience for fiddling around.
•     Use a zoom lens to get closer to your subject instead of physically moving closer to them. You can’t always move the subject, like Niagara Falls, but you can choose whether to shoot the entire thing, or just a select piece of it (like a boat in the mist), each telling a different story. These shots may not be as powerful as those where you can move around to get the perspective shot, but it’s a good second choice. And of course a zoom lens is great for snapping candid shots.
•     Experiment for the best results. Try unusual or unexpected angles and see what happens!

Using Your Camera to Make Perspective Shots Easy

Using perspective can be a bit tiring and even a little messy since getting the optimal angle typically means maneuvering into awkward positions. The good news: Samsung’s MultiView Digital Camera MV800 lets you capture awesome shots with less hassle.
Here’s how to put the MV800 to its best use:
•    Let the Camera Choose Perspective for You: The MV800’s Intelligent Portrait mode shoots three versions of the same shot simultaneously, offering slightly different orientations with each one. You pick your favourite back at home.
•    Rotate Your Display: Now you don’t have to lie on the ground to see what you’re shooting. The swiveling 3.0-inch LCD on the MV800 can rotate 180 degrees, letting you preview the image, even if the camera is lying on the ground, pointing straight up. Three separate shutter buttons make it easy to snap the shot when you’re ready.
•    Put Yourself in the Shot: The hinged LCD and the built-in timer let you get the rarest of perspective shots—one that includes yourself. The 5x optical zoom and 26mm wide-angle lens give you maximum flexibility.
•    Two Pics in One: Looking for a really fresh way to tell a story? Use the MV800’s built-in picture-in-picture (PIP) system to combine two shots into one, just like the PIP system on your TV. This is an excellent technique to show a subject in context. For example, your might take a closeup picture of a child on a ball field and then step back to show the rest of the team on the diamond. Place one picture inside the other using the PIP system and you’ve got a really unique record of the moment.
•    Panorama Simplified: The MV800’s panorama mode, which lets you capture a very wide field of view by rotating the camera, includes an automatic preview system, letting you know for sure whether you got the photo you wanted.

  • Screen images simulated. Appearance and actual performance of device may vary.