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

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shooting from above

One of the things I always try to do is get up above the streets of a city. It allows me to look down on things and see juxtapositions that just aren't visible from street level.

The easiest way to do this is to get up on to the roof of your hotel. On this trip to Singapore I stayed in a hotel that had a pool and spa up on the roof. Needless to say my kids were in it as much as possible so I had plenty of time to photograph the street below while avoiding splashes!

My favourite lens for this kind of photography is a longer telephoto zoom - in this case a 70-200mm. It's still light enough to handhold and not so long that you get too close to everything. Having too much magnification often means that you can only see tiny details which don't give an overall sense of a place.

Anyway in this case I liked the way the washing hanging out to dry was so close to the one-way street in the background with a dirty roof in between. I took a couple of shots without a car but it just lacked that contrast I was looking for. So I just waited for a few minutes and sure enough a little car came into view.

I already had a few shots of the clean, pristine metropolis of Singapore so wanted a few shots to show that it's like any other city around the world and has it's more 'realistic' sides.

So the next time you find yourself in a high rise hotel see if you can't get up on to the roof for an overview of the city below.

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