Work the scene

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

Move around your subject

When you’re out making photographs, don’t forget to “work the scene”. Move around your subject and make photographs at different angles and different perspectives.

Don’t just take photos… make photos!

Instead of holding the camera up to your eye and taking a photograph, start moving around. Look up. Look down. Turn around. Change your position and walk around your subject. You’ll see things from a completely different perspective and your images will will start to stand out from the crowd.

When photographing kids or pets, simply getting down to their eye level will completely change the look of the photograph – as adults our normal point of view is looking down at the kids. By getting down to their level, you’re showing something that is out of the ordinary. It’s a simple thing to do, but it makes a huge difference.

Let sleeping dogs lie

An old dog sleeping on the footpath in London (Olympus OMD E-M5 + m.Zuiko 9-18/ƒ4-5.6, 1/320 sec, ƒ5.6, 18mm, ISO200)

It doesn’t matter what the subject of your photograph is, by simply moving around and changing the way you approach it, your photographs are bound to improve.

Can you get “the” shot on your first attempt? Of course you can, but you’ll often find yourself making images you hadn’t thought of that you end up liking more than the original image you had envisioned.

On a trip to Paris last year, we visited Le Bateau Ivre, on Rue Férou. It’s a great location for photographs with many great angles. All of the following images were made by simply walking around, changing the angle of view and moving closer or further away. The images all have a different look and feel, yet were all made within about 20 metres of each other using a Fujifilm X100S.

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

A wide shot that sets the scene at Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris (Fujifilm X100S, 1/220 sec, ƒ2, ISO200)

The first shot above was taken from the opposite side of the road. It’s a “wide” shot that sets the scene for the other images.

Then I moved in slightly closer to get a “medium” shot. Remember, these images were all made with the Fujifilm X100S, which has a fixed focal length lens equivalent to 34mm on a full-frame camera. The only way to “zoom” in or out is to move closer or further away from your subject.

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

A medium shot that still sets the scene at Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris (Fujifilm X100S, 1/125 sec, ƒ2, ISO200)

The following images were all made simply by moving around, getting closer and changing my angle of view. They all give a different perspective to the location.

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

A tight shot of the writing at Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris (Fujifilm X100S, 1/250 sec, ƒ2, ISO200)

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

A shot of the writing on the wall at Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris (Fujifilm X100S, 1/125 sec, ƒ2, ISO200)

Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris, France

A tight shot of part of the writing on the wall at Le Bateau Ivre, Rue Férou, Paris (Fujifilm X100S, 1/125 sec, ƒ2, ISO320)

Simply by moving around, you can show different angles and points of view of a simple scene. Don’t be afraid to change things up a little. Use different apertures to control depth of field; move further away or get in close to set the scene and show details.

“Le Bateau ivre” (“The Drunken Boat”) is a 100-line verse-poem written in 1871 by Arthur Rimbaud.

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Ken

Photography is about vision; I love making photographs that tell a location’s story – the place, the people and the culture. I'm a photographer with a relaxed approach. I'm an experienced traveller and love teaching others about photography. Images can be made anywhere - right in your back yard or in exotic overseas locations. I can teach you not only to look at your surroundings, but also to really "see" what's there. Photography is more than just pressing a button. It's also about vision. Let me show you how to look, see and capture your world.

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