Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more openDalai Lama
But when you really start to take your photography more seriously, hopefully you learn to look up, and down.
By looking up or down, you see more things you might overlook. And you make the ordinary seem less ordinary by showing it from a new perspective. Look up at a building or tree, look down at a leaf on the ground. There are interesting subjects to be found everywhere if we just take the time to look.
Think about the sense of wonder of a small child. They are looking up at their surroundings from a low perspective. And they are closer to the ground and often spot things adults might miss, things that spark their curiosity.
Looking up in particular can make an image more dynamic. It introduces new angles, both literally and figuratively. And it makes the viewer seem smaller in relation to the subject. Meanwhile looking down will have the opposite effect, making the viewer feel like a giant! And it can help you focus on details.
For this week’s Lens Artists challenge James asks us to ‘go for the extremes of Looking Up, and Looking Down, to show the effects of what you can capture at these angles and get a different perspective on our view of the world’. As so often, I’ve selected some examples from my travels. Some you will have seen before but others, I hope, will be new. My feature photo is of a dome in the Grand Mosque in Salalah, Oman.
Note: I know there are a lot of photos here but believe me I did try to show some restraint! I have so many more I could have included. Do feel free to skim!
Columbus Circle, New York City
Looking up at skyscrapers from a close position emphasises their height; here I’ve included the monument at Columbus Circle too, to add some interest and place the buildings in their setting
The entrance to Binh Tay Market, HCMC (Saigon), Vietnam
Sometimes you have to look up to get a subject into your frame if it’s impossible to stand far enough back to take a face-on shot, for example in a busy city
In Patan’s Durbar Square, Nepal
Looking up at a building against a bright sky can create interesting silhouettes
The Juche Tower, Pyongyang, North Korea
Likewise with a monument
Ferris wheel, Seattle, Washington State
Looking up can often create interesting patterns, turning your subject into something a little more abstract
Cormorants on the Rio Nosara, Costa Rica
Looking up at these cormorants meant taking a risk, as our guide told us that they poop when scared (we made sure not to get directly underneath)!
Tree ferns in the cloud forest, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Looking up at this tree fern helps to emphasis the delicate pattern of its leaves, seen against the sky
Hanging bridge, Selvatura, Costa Rica
And finally in this section, seeing this bridge from below places it in its setting and shows how high it is from the ground