Today’s post isn’t so much intended to be cutesy, but more about photography itself. Hopefully, you’ll still find it interesting, even if you’re not a photography buff.
In photography, as in life, perspective matters. When we are faced with a challenge or setback in life, we can either let it get us down, get upset about it…or figure it was a learning activity and add that knowledge to our repertoire and move on to the next thing that crosses our path. We have choices in how we respond to things that changes the way we think about ourselves and the world around us.
Photography is no different. It’s really easy (believe me, I know ’cause I’ve done it way too many times!) to take the same old straight-on photo of someone’s face, or to pose people in the middle of the frame, to look and shoot downwards when photographing children or pets. And, you can get some great pictures that way. But you know what? If you do that all the time, you’re really missing out on a lot of the fun of photography!
Take for example a picture of a dog. You can shoot it from your towering vantage point, or you can get down at shoot it at the dog’s eye level, or even better, lay down on the floor and make the dog look like the second coming of Godzilla. Each way of shooting has a story it can tell. The question is: what story do YOU want to tell with the picture?
Human faces are another thing. We often want to get the entire head in the picture. But what if the think that really fascinates you is the eyes, or the lips? Why not zoom in and get a real close-up? Or, feel free to break the rules a bit and put the subject toward the far left or right in the image (there are rules for this – especially if motion is involved or the person is looking one way or the other). Or, shoot from various degrees of all the way from a straight-on face shot to a 90 degree angle (profile), or 180 degree (back) photo.
Try playing around a bit this weekend with perspective. If you don’t like the results you get to start with, keep playing! With digital photography it doesn’t cost you anything except a bit of time and you just may come up with something you really love!
Today’s picture is a different perspective from one I posted earlier this week. It’s the same Bliss Dance statue in Treasure Island, but shot from a different perspective than the typical front image. I rather liked it and I think it tells an entirely different story than the front shot where you can tell the sculpture is supposedly dancing. In this case, it almost creates the impression that the woman is trying to push someone or something away, to escape. That’s a far cry from a Bliss Dance. It is the same image, but a different story due to the different perspective.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1533, Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, died by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro’s Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the last free reigning emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.
High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. In 1532, Atahuallpa’s army defeated the forces of his half-brother Huascar in a battle near Cuzco. Atahuallpa was consolidating his rule when Pizarro and his 180 soldiers appeared.
Having just won one of the largest battles in Inca history, and with an army of 30,000 men at his disposal, Atahuallpa thought he had nothing to fear from the bearded white stranger and his 180 men. Pizarro, however, planned an ambush, setting up his artillery at the square of Cajamarca.
On November 16, Atahuallpa arrived at the meeting place with an escort of several thousand men, all apparently unarmed. Pizarro sent out a priest to exhort the emperor to accept the sovereignty of Christianity and Emperor Charles V., and Atahuallpa refused, flinging a Bible handed to him to the ground in disgust. Pizarro immediately ordered an attack. Buckling under an assault by the terrifying Spanish artillery, guns, and cavalry (all of which were alien to the Incas), thousands of Incas were slaughtered, and the emperor was captured.
Atahuallpa offered to fill a room with treasure as ransom for his release, and Pizarro accepted. Eventually, some 24 tons of gold and silver were brought to the Spanish from throughout the Inca empire. Although Atahuallpa had provided the richest ransom in the history of the world, Pizarro treacherously put him on trial for plotting to overthrow the Spanish, for having his half-brother Huascar murdered, and for several other lesser charges. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die. On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: The winds inside cumulonimbus clouds may reach a speed of 124 miles per hour, as fast as many express trains.