Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Using Prospective to Capture the Moment

While visiting a sugar cane museum in Port Louis, on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, I learned a good photo tip.  At the museum there was the Beau Plan's historical chimney-stack, constructed in 1895 by A. Felix, an architect that stood 33 meters (over 100 feet) tall.

I wanted to take a photo of this very tall tower or smoke stack.   This presented a problem - how best to obtain this type of photo.  Normally buildings are so tall that one can't really get the entire building in the photo by looking up and snapping the photo.   Normally, one would step back to try and get an angle on the object that would work while photographing.  The area by the smoke stack was not conducive to backing up, as we were inside an enclosure which surrounded the tower.  So I attempted to just look up and snap the photo which did not work.

Then, I noticed that there was a mirror slanted along the wall of the enclosure that was tilted in such a way as to reflect the tower onto the mirror.  Cleverly, I decided to take a photo of the tower using the mirror.  My first attempt was not successful, as I failed to realize that I would be in the photo.  I ended up with the photo shown below (a self-portrait):

 Stepping further away from the mirror I was able to capture only the tower.  The results below:

Still not satisfied, I stepped to the side and took the best shot by angling the camera from a completely different prospective. See best photo below:

A valuable lesson in photography is to look up, look down and change your position to get the prospective you need on the object you are photographing.  You never know what you might see or capture.