Portraits – Perspective

In the field of Photography, the word perspective comes up every now and again, but what is it and how can it better my photos? Good questions! I will answer one at a time.

What is “Perspective”? For an example I would like to illustrate an a subject with an immovable object like a tree. For illustrative purposes say this tree is a sapling about your height with strong and well-formed branches. Now a practical explanation of “Perspective” is looking at the tree from the side, below, top or anywhere in-between. Please do not misunderstand, “Perspective” is not only speaking to the “X” or vertical axis (from top to bottom) but also the “Y” or horizontal axis (side to side).

Now a tree does not so well show good reason for taking a different perspective side to side, but what if this tree were replaced in your viewing frame with a human subject? A human is not symmetrical like a tree and because of this fact, moving to one side or another can add or subtract from the viewers interest.

This leads into the second question, “How can ‘Perspective’ better my photos?” Take as an example a simple, straight on portrait as compared to a portrait taken slightly from the side with their head turned toward you. Not that there is a problem with the straight on portrait, however the perspective change can be a useful addition to the photographer’s tool-box.

This is one of the reasons that photographers will have subjects sit at a funny angle to them and then have the subject turn their shoulders one direction and have the subject look toward them. Now perhaps the strange “contortions” or poses will make some more sense at your next portrait session. *Grin* Enjoy!

Spontaneity

You may have heard a photographer say “I never go anywhere without a camera!” Well, today was a day when a photographer who almost always has a decent camera with him, did not!

As I drove around town, I spotted a hawk in a tree. Yes! A hawk in town. I was elated because I have been waiting almost 3 years to get the “prefect” picture of a hawk and other birds of prey. Today may have been my day, but I left my camera at the studio! What a foolish move! So, on my way past the tree where sat the hawk, I turned used my phone camera to snap a picture. Here is what I ended up with for proof that I had seen a hawk.

Well I would like to say that I have learned my lesson, but this can only be proven next time I leave. “Someone please watch me to see if  I have my camera in hand!” *Chuckle*

I have painted a pretty dim picture. It was not all that bad. I drove off slowly so as not to upset the bird with any sudden moves and when I returned to the studio I ran inside, snatched up my camera and bag. When I got back to the place I spotted the bird it was still there! I do apologize for the pictures which I will post below. It was about mid day when I spotted the hawk and he was enjoying, what I assume he found to be tasty, a gray squirrel.

In my post production edits of the photos, so as not to draw attention to the meal (which was not my intended focus), sever crops were used to draw your attention to the magnificence of the bird.

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I am a bit of a naturalist. By that I mean, I enjoy observing natural things around me such as the hawk, every other bird, flora, fauna and insects. So as is my custom, I researched the family and genus of this hawk. The hawk I photographed today is specifically a juvenile “Red tailed hawk.” Scientific name: “Buteo jamaicensis”. Average measurements of the Red tailed hawks are 19 inches in length, 49 inch wing span and weighs about 2.4 pounds (1,080 grams).

Just as a side note, with an estimated 12 inch high wing and 49 inches wide (this is not exact) that would equate to 588 square inches of lift surface for 2.4 pounds. This translates to an average of 245 square inches of lift per pound. Comparing that to Boeing 767 estimated 936.5 (11,238 inches) square feet of lift surface, weighing (again estimated) 376,580 pounds. We come out with a rounded .03 square inches of lift surface per pound. That is an incredible difference, but shows the strength and ability of the creature! This also demonstrates the power of the bird’s Creator. Simply amazing!

I hope you enjoyed the post. Please leave your comments below. Thank you for stopping by the Foe-toss – LIGHT Photography blog!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!