Ansel Adams shot a lot of his landscape photos from a platform he built on top of his car. Can you guess why he did this?
He did it to add more depth to his landscapes and create a better overlook of the foreground.
We’re so accustomed to viewing a landscape at eye level, that sometimes when you raise that point of view just a little bit, you’ll get a new perspective and a new emotion.
Have you ever noticed how you always enjoy the view from a skyscraper, plane, or atop a wonderful mountain?
I think one of the reasons we love these views from above is because we’re simply not accustomed to it. But, I also think objects feel much less powerful when viewed from above (a feeling you might want to convey in your photograph).
When you reach the summit of a mountain peak, do you ever feel like you’ve conquered it? The key to capturing this feeling of conquest is to photograph landscapes from an elevated position.
This doesn’t just apply to photographing mountains, like the one pictured above. It applies to any kind of landscape, but works best when you feel like the foreground lacks depth or if your background object seems to abruptly come out of nowhere.
We see landscapes at eye-level everyday, so never stop exploring new perspectives. And, don’t be afraid to get on top of your car for a photograph, even if everyone around you will think you’re crazy 🙂
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, computer scientist, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains or the Mojave Desert, both located in the beautiful state of California.