For the past week or so I seem to have spent a lot of my time lying face down in damp grass clutching my camera. And no, its not because I’ve been overcome with exhaustion after a trip to the pub, although my old mate John and I did a fair bit of that over the weekend.
No, I’ve been experimenting. I take loads of pictures of animals, including our pets and wildlife, and I’m often disappointed with the results. A lot of the time I’ve concluded the problem is with the point of view I take them from. More often than not I’m standing above the subject, photographing them from my viewpoint. What, I asked myself, if I photographed them from their level?
So, last week while I was out with Sally, our dog, I decided to get low down and dirty. We’ve got a lovely walk along the bank of the River Derwent in Old Malton and Sally and I go there at least once a week. Sally’s legs aren’t a strong as they used to be, but she loves ambling along the path at a stately pace, stopping to sniff at interesting tufts of grass as she goes. It was a lovely sunlit evening and the footpath is edged with trees and bushes: a perfect setting for a picture.
I walked in front of Sally and took a couple of shots of her from a standing position. As usual they were OK, but I was disappointed. So I took some pictures from a kneeling position: better, but not quite what I wanted. So, checking for anything objectionable on the floor, I lay down and took some pictures from there. I was much happier with these: I was down at Sally’s level, seeing the world from her point of view. Here’s one of the pictures I took.
It’s not often you see a fifty eight year old man lying on the floor taking pictures, and I’m not surprised. I love to be able to report that I just threw myself on the ground in a carefree way, and then sprang up after the pictures were taken. I’m afraid nowadays it’s a much more deliberate act and involves lots of creaky movements and strangled groaning noises. But I’m please with the results.
Which is rather good, because I put my new ‘eye-level’ technique to good use earlier this week. Sometime over the weekend, at our local pond, the swans finally hatched their brood of four cygnets. I spent a couple of sessions down there taking photographs of the cygnets while trying to keep a respectful distance from their protective parents. I’ve now got some many photographs that this week’s article just has to be a Cygnet Special.
See you on Friday, regards.