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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

POV photography

POV stands for Point of View. It's the kind of photograph taken from the eye of the participant. In other words rather than standing at the bottom of the slide and photographing somebody coming down it you actually get the person coming down the slide to photograph themselves.

There are lots of great gizmos and gadgets to help you do this. You can attach cameras to helmets, handlebars of bikes, outside the windscreens of cars. Or sometimes you can just do it the old-fashioned way. Go down the slide yourself and hold the camera over your head! No frills but lots of thrills.

I'd been watching my two boys slide down these big slides for half an hour or so, grabbing photos here and there, getting yelled at by park attendants for getting too close to the slides. You know how it is. And I thought that the photos were looking OK, I'd got some nice expressions on their faces that showed they were having fun. But I didn't really have anything that showed how quick the little guys were zooming down the slide.

Now I wasn't about to give my two year old my camera and get him to hold it over his head as he came down a concrete slide, so I decided to have a go with him on my lap. Thus the two sets of feet - one very little and one not so. I've used a nice wide-angle lens so you really get a good feel for the surroundings and the view all the way to the bottom. The wide-angle also ensures that most of my legs are in it, and the perspective distortion makes the bottom of the slide look a long way away.

The other little trick is to use a slow shutter speed. Instinct would tell you that because you're moving you should use a fast shutter speed to prevent camera shake, but in this case you actually want to slow things down. When you do that everything blurs except for our legs, which are moving at the same speed as the camera. You get an effect of really moving fast down the slide.

Then you hold the camera over your head and just click like crazy all the way down. Because it was such a twisty, windy slide some of the shots didn't have a very good view down to the bottom so they didn't work as well. Again it goes back to what I said about editing. Keep the good stuff and chuck the rest away.


SanjoG said...

Great Informaton,
I have also a travel related blog
Sicily tours and About Malta you will also find it interesting. Please view and post your comments

Paul Dymond said...

Thanks sanjoG, I'll make sure to check it out. I've never been to either Sicily or Malta.