31+ Days Of Photography Experiments – Get Low

Friday’s Topic was Different Times Of Day = Different Light = Different Photos.

Already at day 12 of 31+ Days Of Photography Experiments and it’s time to get down low. Really low.

For today’s experiment you might get a little dirty, but that’s okay. If you have a camera like the Canon 60D or the Nikon Coolpix P510, you will soon love your flip screen and ‘live view’ shooting capabilities.

Here’s the experiment you can run:

1) Set your camera on Aperture Mode or Manual Mode if you are feeling up to it. Choose an f-stop around 6.3. ISO to suit your lighting. As these experiments go on, I’ll be giving you less instruction in this regard, so practice, practice, practice!

2) For the next 24 hours you are officially BANNED from taking a photo at a height about your knees.

3) Subject matter is up to you, but make sure you get 10 shots in today.


Shooting from a low angle will give you a different view of the world. Everyday scenes take on a different feel from a low angle.

So often pictures are taken from a comfortable height (by the way, if you have trouble getting low to the ground, you can practice by simply holding the camera down to a low height and firing off a bunch of shots while changing the angle of the camera slightly. Please don’t force yourself onto the ground if it is painful. Another idea is to use a monopod and set your camera on self-timer, then hold the camera upside down and low to get your shot. It’s digital and each shot is essentially free, so play around and see what happens. Am I still in a parenthetical phrase?).

Let’s start that over. So often pictures are taken from a comfortable height and this is a good way to take pictures like everyone else, never standing out from the pack. If you want something different, be different and try a new angle.

Things To Consider

  • Instead of keeping your camera level to the ground, change angles.
  • Vary your focus point for different effects.
  • Pan up slightly.
  • Did you know your tripod might help with these photos? Many tripods have a center column that can invert and hold a camera upside down and close to the ground. I used the setup you see at right to shoot some time-lapse and regular video of leafcutter ants in the Amazon basin while keeping my clothes clean.
  • Shoot not only objects that are also down low, but shoot higher subjects you would have shot if standing up.
  • Pets and kids work well with this technique.


Below are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing. All were shot from knee height or below. Sometimes framing is hard to accomplish if you are not looking at the screen, that’s why I suggest using it when you can. Or the viewfinder.

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments - Get Low

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments - Get Low

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments - Get Low

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments - Get Low

If you have time, please post some results in the comments section below. I love to see what people come up with for this experiment.

Tomorrow’s topic is Making White, White.

31+ Days Of Photography Experiments is a series written by professional photographer Peter West Carey on The Carey Adventures.Com. The series is designed to unravel the mysteries of photography so you can take better pictures through practical experiments on the material found in 31+ Days To Better Photography. Subscribe here to receive all the updates and bonus material. Your comments are always welcome.

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