What is perspective exactly? As with all things I share on this blog, I want to keep this quite simple. There is only one real definition for this word. Perspective is simply a vantage point, a dimension. It is the point in which our reality is created. It is how we see and understand the world. The magical thing about perspective, is that it is limitless. It’s possibilities are endless. As soon as we notice one perspective, usually our own, we can immediately become aware of other perspectives as well.
In photography, perspective is the foundation of any visual story. By first becoming self-aware within our surroundings and know where we are in our story, we can then use perspective to understand and creatively control how we want to create our story. When we can instinctively know the perspective we are coming from, we have more confidence to begin to trust our instincts and discover new perspectives to tell our stories.
The standard visual perspective of most human beings is somewhere between four and seven feet off the ground. That is a very limited point of view. So one of the easiest ways to create an interesting image and an interesting life is to simply alter your perspective. To step out of your standard vantage point of reality.
If we are lower than something, looking up at it, do we not feel small? If we are higher than something looking down at it, don’t we feel big? If we are close to something, don’t we tend to focus on it more than if it is far away? When we can truly become aware of the relationship between not only the objects within our scene and elements that make up our story but with the relationships of our experience and our feelings within this moment in time, we can begin to see the endless possibilities that new perspectives offer us. We can enter a scene with heightened awareness and have an understanding of the diverse perspectives available.
The next time you pick up your camera, I dare you to explore new perspectives. Capture your story and then change perspectives to capture it again. Whether you simply tilt the camera or move your whole body, I urge you to step out of what you think is your comfort zone, what you have identified with as your personal perspective, and discover stories that are more more meaningful. You may be surprised. You may just discover something more about yourself. You may discover that you are limitless.