Selecting a viewpoint to photograph can be likened to opinion-selecting. Differing opinions are available for most subjects in the world today. There aren’t ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ opinions, just different ones. The same is true about taking a picture. There aren’t any right or wrong viewpoints, just many different ones.
If you understand composition, you can take numerous shots of just one image. Looking at a landscape or a building or a model from different angles opens the door for variety and contrast in your pictures. This means you need to walk all around the focal point to see what’s available. You will want to check the use of different lenses or zoom levels, and different heights. Again, this is true for indoor and outdoor shots as well as people and things.
Experimenting and exploring with the position of your camera as well as your physical position in relation to the focal point allows you to discover many possible appealing angles. As you move and change your camera angle, both the subject and the background change. Some of the elements you look at include whether you want to compliment or contract focal point and background, what kinds of lines you want in your final picture, what if any frame you want within the picture boundaries themselves, reducing or increasing light to intensify and create interest, and how you can create interaction between focal point and background in your picture.
Using your zoom feature is another way to select a viewpoint without physically moving. Changing your zoom level may create a completely different picture of the same subject. Zooming out to a wide-angle creates a frame for the focal point; the frame can either be background or it can be foreground. Some detail is generally lost, but this kind of shot does not require detail. Again lighting becomes important since, for example, a dark foreground might add emphasis and frame to a focal point that is brighter in the distance. Moving to another position that removes the dark foreground, but stays with the same angle, creates an entirely different picture. Both positions, although different, can result in quality photographs.
Cropping a picture with a close-up zoom will make a radical difference in the shot. Generally speaking, if you want just one focal point in your frame, the close-up shot is most effective. Detail in landscapes or buildings can be defined in a closely zoomed shot. Zooming in on patterns, lines, contrasting features and spot-lit features can all create fascinating pictures. Likewise, the absolute beauty of a model’s face or body can be caught in a close-up.
Finally, some general rules of thumb apply.
1. Use a wide-angle lens in a close-up to eliminate distractions in the background.
2. Use height (or conversely, a low position) to shoot your subject to vary your angle; interesting foreground can be created from a low position looking up and perspective changes when a picture is shot looking down.
3. Always look for interesting foreground and frame, whether you are shooting indoors or outside.
Develop a sense of experimentation and vary your shots. You won’t regret the results.