Finding the right angle - SunStar

Finding the right angle

Albert PedrosaAlbert Pedrosa
Photo Mania

AFTER about four kilometers of walk in and around Singapore’s Garden by the Bay, I finally got some decent shots. Finding the right angle and composition is a challenge every photographer faces.

Sometimes, your subject is perfectly positioned in your frame but the other elements like foreground or background to support your subject is just not there to support the composition. You’re almost convinced that you can’t get any shot other than what you have but you push yourself further.

FOUND this view of the city of Singapore with a good water reflection foreground. When I look back from where I was standing, I saw the coconut tree, so I decided to put it in the foreground.
FOUND this view of the city of Singapore with a good water reflection foreground. When I look back from where I was standing, I saw the coconut tree, so I decided to put it in the foreground.

In my last workshop a few days ago, one attendee asked me how to find the right angle when shooting landscapes. It’s a question I often get and I always find the question easy and straightforward but at the same time quite difficult to answer.

I normally research about my destination. I try to find photos taken there in order for me to visualize and probably do some early planning. It’s important to know the weather condition and the position of the sun on particular time of the day.

Find the opportunity to ask questions about your destination from the locals like taxi driver, hotel attendant and the rest. Of course, not all their answers are encouraging, since you made a research already, you should know which ones to take in seriously.

THE iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is an impressive view. It’s so huge that it’s difficult to find a good foreground to add to the composition.
THE iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is an impressive view. It’s so huge that it’s difficult to find a good foreground to add to the composition.

Upon arriving in your destination, take your time and appreciate the place. Just like any other athlete, you need to warm up your photographic eye. Start focusing on the details and all the other possible subjects that can add to your frame.

As you walk around and spotting possible frames, add a timeline as to when would be the best time to shoot it especially that the skyline will go through different transitions: sunset, blue hour and dark. You don’t want to be in the wrong place when the right light comes in.

Try not to follow the regular foot path and don’t forget to look back. Sometimes, the right angle is just behind you. Look for elevated positions so you can get a better vantage point. Water means reflection.

Not that all wide angle shots are good, but note that the wider your focal length, the farther the background becomes. The smaller your opening will also not give you the sharpest. The play of light, shadow and reflection is about timing and in most cases, luck.

Keep on shooting, everyone!

photomania.sunstar@gmail.com / www.grp.ph

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