Get low. You will come across this command often in your development as a shooter. It is especially common for us plying our trade in the landscape photography niche. Get low. Get the shot. Get the viewer in. Throwing a quick and dirty best guess out into the universe, I would ballpark I make some 75% of my landscape photos at a camera height around two feet. So yeah, I follow conventional wisdom to get low.
Shooting on Dock Road a little over a week ago, about a minute or so after I made this shot, I decided to get low, all right. Hella low. The sunset was in max fire mode at a northwest exposure, which is in perfect perpendicular alignment with the west bound direction of the road itself. And so I used what my environment gave me—the asphalt. With careful placement of my camera on the road surface, spaced even between the yellow lines and using the road as a de facto tripod, I made seven brackets facing right into sunset supreme.
The low as you can go orientation brings us to the literal ground floor. Terrapin turtle crossing level. This shrinks the viewer down, in turn amplifying the magnitude and prominence of the road surface. We are so close to the action in this shot, we encounter farsighted focus leaving our immediate contact with the road blurred. This allows the viewer to climb into the frame and scan down the road, ultimately finding sharp focus on what was a potent sunset burn.
Leading lines help to further guide our vision. First and most obvious we have the center weighted double yellow lines. This sends us right down the frame. Added to that we have the converging lines of the two sides of the roads. Flanked by guardrails and power lines on the right side. This line work coupled with the smattering of houses along the horizon pulls everything to the vanishing point of the photograph. Here it all meets in the middle. Underneath the high drama of a sparkling sunset.
Remember to get low to get down with great photography.
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