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High Angle – 30 Day Photography Challenge Tips

Alrightyyy then, lets get to it, this is Day 5 in my 30 Day Photography Challenge, and today’s challenge is to tackle high angle photography. No real need to go into too much detail about what it exactly it is, it’s fairly self-explanatory — a high-angle shot is a photo taken from a higher angle than you would typically take a photo, looking down.
The greater the angle, the greater the effect.
Typically, you want to be somewhere high, and then you can vary the degree depending on how you want to photo to feel. Check out this photo, it’s basically about as drastic as you can make it.
He pretty much nails the high-angle shot, as you can’t really get a higher angle than looking straight down to the ground.
I chose to use a photo I took from the BT Tower in London for this experiment. It’s the 9th tallest building in the city, so works out pretty well. Of course, you could just hold your camera above your head and still produce a high-angle shot.

Horizon

Now, it’s pretty clear that if you’re using a photo with a horizon in it, then it’s not as high as it could be. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t work though, because it can, in fact, the I nearly used the photo below for this experiment.
So long as you keep the horizon at the top of the frame and make sure that the rest of the photo is interesting, it can work really well. Read more about using high horizons here.

Orientation

Whether you’re shooting in portrait or landscape, can make a big difference to the feel of your photo as it changes the balance and feeling of stability. We all know that a long flat bottom is going to be sturdier than the tall, skinny, precarious image. This is magnified when you look down because we start to lose our sense of balance. 
When there’s no horizon in particular, it’s hard to find a balance.

DOWN

This is the photo that I chose for day 5, because it meets the criteria: it looks down so that you can’t see a horizon at all, and views a familiar sight, from an unfamiliar angle.
This is what you’re looking for.
You can do this with anything, perhaps out of your apartment onto the street below, or looking down from a cliff to some people on the beach.
It doesn’t even have to be that high.
The reason I love this sort of shot is because it breaks free from the sort of photography that I’m personally used to. I take so many photos of people from my height, or from my hip, that I often forget about other possible angles. 
If you would like to keep track of the 30 Day Photography Challenge, come on over to my Facebook page, Twitter and/or Pinterest, and share your photos with me and the rest of the community. The best ones will be included in these posts. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below. (Note: if you’re linking from Facebook, be sure to ‘copy image address’).

Your Photos

Patrick Connolly
High Angle – 30 Day Photography Challenge Tips

5 comments
  1. Hey,
    Loving the 30 Day Photo Challenge, thanks for posting it and updating it. I know it’s probably fairly old now, but I’ve only just found it.
    I’m up to day 5, and this is my high angle shot, what do you think? https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t31.0-8/10983557_698985676866251_4065176667950710614_o.jpg
    Unfortunately up in Cumbria we don’t have many high rise buildings, so this was taken from the top of a multi-storey car park.
    All the best

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