View Full Version : I'm short and having problems
I am quite short at 5' 6" and having problems in my photography, particularly in my framing of shots where I am getting far too much sky in my pics and can't frame the subject, mainly people.
Can anyone help me with getting the right shot from my lower angle?
Never thought of this one, the only thing I can think of is the positioning of either yourself or the subject and perhaps using a longer focal length lens which would tend to show less sky.
A few ideas off the top of my head:
Get closer! Either use a longer focal length as Mike suggests, or walk in to make the subject bigger in the frame. Or make a feature of a lower view point by crouching or lying down and shooting at an upwards angle. Look around your venue for elevated stances for a high viewpoint. (Some professionals take stepladders for this.) Play with silhouettes against the sky.
There's all sorts of solutions - it's only a problem if you let it get in the way!
This might sound obvious but, concentrate on what you are seeing through hte viewfinder before you press the button. Take your time to really look at what is there rather than "press and hope". If there's too much sky, then tilt the camera down a bit. If the people look distant, get in closer.
It's all too easy to see what you want to see rather than what's really there. Look around the whole frame and really think about the composition before you press the button. Your attention will naturally be drawn to the parts of the image that you are interested in, it's difficult at the time to look at the bits you'll see afterwards.
I second Ducan's comments. I'm a 5 foot something short ar$e and I've never suffered from that problem.
I am 5'2" and do not have this issue. With that said, I will sometimes have to use a tripod to help!
If it is possible, take a small step with you, however as the others have said, use a longer length or get closer to the subject and crop what's left in your photo editing software :)
Don't worry, just remember a rule of composition: 'If it's taken at eye level then it's boring.' A lot of photographers will crouch or kneel when composing. Your images will look more interesting to taller people.
Get closer and Get lower, you will create different creative shots this way :)
Do you remember when every camera had a waist level veiwfinder, it did not seem to be a problem then either. ;)
It sound more like your problem is using the centre focus point on the eyes/face and not reframing after locking focus. And I'm 5.6 and never had a problem.:)
My first camera had a waist level finder, a Ross Ensign TLR which I think was 126 film. Awful quality and only contact prints were made, any enlargement would have been diabolical. I was about 5 at the time in the early post war years with bomb sites and all to photograph except no one bothered. The naturally lower viewpoint of waist level finders give a refreshingly different view to the "norm" as most people shoot from eye hight without thinking. Fixed focal length too which concentrates the mind as well but that is a different subject.
I will echo Mike's post, in that many photographers will kneel or crouch for a better angle. I guess it really does depend on the subject matter, and the perspective you're after.
If it helps, I can offer my observations at perpective, and say it's not that great being 6'6" either!.... with the exception of press photographer ladders (maximising the likelyhood of a 'clean' shot without someone getting in the way....and to reserve your patch), quite often a lower perspective can add drama to a shot, but again depending on subject matter.
Sometimes I feel it might not be such a coincidence that so many of the great photographers stretching back to the early days of photography weren't exactly tall people, whether or not they used waist or eye level finders.
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