Photography Element of Composition: Bird’s Eye View

Changing your perspective can give you new insights and a deeper appreciation of your subject.

The most significant example of this is when astronauts go to space, and see the earth from above.

“As we got farther and farther away, the Earth diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagineā€¦ seeing this has to change a man.” — James Irwin, Apollo 15 astronaut

We may not be able to go into space, but we can certainly change our perspectives and open ourselves to experiencing a little bit of transformation.

In Day 2 we talked about the worm’s eye view, or looking at a subject from a low vantage point. Bird’s eye view is the opposite — looking at your subject from a higher vantage point. From this point of view, you may see new patterns or come to a more robust understanding of your subject.

#MindfulPhotoChallenge: Bird’s Eye View

Clearly, photography by a drone is an example of bird’s eye view. However, there are many other ways to accomplish bird’s eye view photography.

  1. You can simply stand above your subject and shoot down. You can photograph your feet this way, or your meals!
bird's eye view

2. You can elevate yourself (carefully) and shoot down. I used to stand on a stool to photograph some of my high school seniors.

3. You can shoot from a very high perspective (carefully), such as over a balcony or out of a window or bannister.

As you photograph your subject, try to show the viewer of the photograph what intrigued you about your subject from this vantage point.

Share your images on Instagram with #mindfulphotochallenge, tag me @ goodhartphotography and/or join my Facebook group.

Photo credit: AbsolutVision

If you enjoyed this article, you might like:

  • My full color 30-Day Photography Challenge Workbook here on Amazon.
  • My Photography Articles Listed and Sorted by Type here
  • My Mindful Photography Workshop here