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Perspective Photography - Lie Down or Look Up

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Trees, woods, forest, perspective photography, Sweden, sunflare
Trees from the ground up

Let's dive straight into making photographs look interesting. This week I will look at perspective photography. Photographs are 2D and adding perspective allows a viewer to be drawn into an image by their brain perceiving a degree of 3D in it. There are five types of perspective photography, each with its own title and then several sub versions within each type. However, in my first blog post I promised no technical jargon or terminology. The aim is to keep it all simple. I do not think about the five types of perspective photography ever, as I need to keep things simple for myself too. I want to share two easy ways to instantly make images interesting and they just happen to fall into the category of perspective photography. Feel free to read more if your interest is piqued after reading this.

Have you ever considered getting down at ground level and looking along the ground? Or looking up towards the sky? Or combining both as we can see in my first image on this blog post. Let us look at "lie down" first. Of course you do not need to take this literally, although hikers have walked past me perplexed as I have been lying on my stomach in a pile of leaves! You can get some really interesting views and angles of the scenery around you. Here are some examples I have taken, and in this bog post these are all taken with my iPhone.

ground level, perspective photography, puddle, reflections, trees
Ground Level Puddle Reflection Perspective Photography

This image I snapped quickly to illustrate my point so it might not be the most scenic! Puddles offer us a variety of interesting ways to use reflections. especially if the image is taken from near the ground. I mainly take naturescapes, but this would work really well with buildings or people in the image as well. You can have a lot of fun turning the images upside down then as well to really get a brain thinking.

Sunset, winter, frost, jetty, perspective photography, Sweden, sea
Sunset Jetty with frost

Dandelion, nature, summer, sunset, grass, perspective photography
Dandelion sunset Summer

Sunset, woodland, fern, forest, Sweden, perspective photography
Woodland Fern Sunset

All these three images illustrate how, once I have got down at ground level, I have adjusted my cameras position to get a nice sun or sun flare in the image. This is a very easy effect to achieve once you move slowly looking for the best angle, and it is something I love to try and include in my images.

woodland, moss, forest, autumn, leaf, Sweden, Perspective photography
Woodland at Ground Level

Here I am looking along the woodland floor. The camera has focused on the soft lush green bed of moss, blurring out the background. I feel like I could actually be lying on the forest floor when I look at this image and the smells and sounds all come back to me.

Waterfall, river, mountains, bridge, perspective photography.
Waterfall River at Ground Level

By being at ground level for this gushing mountain river image I have captured the water as if it is rushing towards me and I am part of the waterfall. It also gives an interesting shape and perspective to the bridge over the river.

Summer, grass, jetty, planks, perspective photography
Summer Jetty

autumn, jetty, boardwalk, Sweden, perspective photography
Autumn Boardwalk

Looking along the planks in these next two images allows the photo to have more of the wood texture in detail, as well as giving an interesting view of the jetties.

Knife, autumn, reindeer meat, perspective photography, bushcraft
Autumn Knife and Reindeer meat

This one is not at ground level as the knife and reindeer meat are on a bench. But the concept is the same. I have got down to eye level with the subject of the photo, again, giving the wood items more texture and being drawn into the photograph as the lines disappear into the distance. To be honest it would have been a fairly boring image without some sort of interesting slant put on it!

Now let's look at "Look Up". This is actually a good motto for everyday life too. How often do you wander round looking where your feet are going or at your phone? There is so much up there happening in the treetops, rooftops, and skies.

Autumn, trees, look up, perspective photography
Look up Trees Autumn

Look up, blossom, spring, sun, perspective photography
Look up Spring Blossom

look up, autumn, foliage, leaves, trees, perspective photography
Look up, Tree trunk & autumn foliage

I love taking images of the autumn foliage this way, or the tree tops in a dense forest. They make such an interesting pattern. It is also a good way to get the feeling of dense blossom with the sun shining through on a beautiful spring day. In the last image I have set the camera right against the tree trunk, allowing for the detail to be shown and adding another laying of perspective to the image that draws you in and up the trunk of the tree.

Taking photos like this works just as well in built up areas. Often you do not realise the pattern the building rooftops are making all around you, but I have seen some stunning city images taken this way. People do not usually look up at the roof tops and it makes you realise there is beauty up there as well.

So, next time you are walking around with your phone, try and take a few shots at ground level, and a few looking up. You may well be surprised by what you see on your screen! Let me know how it goes in the comments below and if you have fun.

This is the image of the week I have chosen for this week:

sunset, long exposure, clouds, sea, seascape, island, Sweden, coast
Long exposure clouds at sunset

This image is a long exposure one, hence the clouds looking like they are being dragged across the sky. It is not so good, because the boat was moving. Due to the camera shutter being open for longer this then ends up becoming a little blurred in order to get the effect. But I love taking images of the clouds like this and the effect you get. The reason I have chosen this image is because in future posts I will be letting you know how you can achieve images like this with both your phone and a camera. The next blog post explains (amongst other things) how you can do long exposure shots with your phone. So make sure you subscribe so you do not miss future posts! Do you like the effect you get from long exposure?

The image I have chosen to put the spotlight on from my shop is this one.

Sticking with the theme of the blog post and perspective photography, this was taken from ground level. I built this rock stack for the purpose of the image, and I thought the fiery sunset sky would make the perfect backdrop. I have focused on the rock stack and deliberately made the background a blur, so the attention is not on the sky or the setting sun, but the colours and textures of the rocks which reflect the evening light.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and learning a little more about perspective photography, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I would love to hear from you in the comments, via email, or the contact form. If there are any topics you would like covered in the future, please leave suggestions in the comments. Please take a visit to my instagram page where there is a lot more to see. You can always request an order from there if you see an image you like that is not on my shop page. Lastly, it would be a huge favour if you could share this blog post for me. It would help my shop a lot! Subscribe on the blog page to never miss a blog post:-) Get notified when a new post is published.

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