Photo-technique [Individual Subject section]07 Taking Photographs from a Different Viewpoint06 Beautiful sky photography05 Enjoy photography on a golf course04 Taking pictures of dishes so that they look delicious, Part 203 Taking snapshots on streets02 Taking pictures of dishes so that they look delicious, Part 101 World Heritage sites photographed in a fantastic atmosphere
Photo-technique [Individual Subject section] 07 Simply changing the camera angle can spice things up. Try taking photographs from your own viewpoint instead of leaving it up to the camera

Advanced technique 1

Aspect Ratio

Just changing the aspect ratio will change how you see things.

The standard aspect ratio for compact digital cameras is 4:3. The standard size for film cameras is 3:2. Medium film cameras enable taking photos that are sized 6 x 6, also called the “square size” and has an aspect ratio of 1:1. And there is also the 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the same as the size of a LCD television screen. You can select whichever size you like, but just using a different aspect ratio will change how the subject looks in the viewfinder even if the subject is the same.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/440sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 4:3

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/440sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 3:2

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/500sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/440sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 16:9

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/540sec. ●F8.7 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 16:9

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/620sec. ●F8.7 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 4:3

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/810sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 3:2

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/470sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1

Aspect Ratio “1:1” + Image Settings “Black & White”

During the film camera era, I liked taking photographs using a TLR camera loaded with black-and-white film. TLR cameras use the 6 x 6 size format, commonly called the “square size”. The style of taking photographs while looking through a focusing screen at waist level is very similar to taking photos with a digital camera while viewing the LCD monitor. Instead of converting color photos to black-and-white photos, try taking a photograph with “Black & White” set as the image setting. A fresh new world will unfold before your eyes.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/620sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White

I stopped walking and found myself completely absorbed in the bewitching girl’s portrait displayed in the shop window. The 1:1 aspect ratio is excellent for portraits.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/48sec. ●F4.8 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White

The children playing in a circular pool in a skyscraper condominium could be seen from a pedestrian bridge somewhere in the city. I zoomed in on the scene and released the shutter while watching the children’s movement.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/500sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White

The volume of the metal and the metallic shine was overwhelmingly irresistible to me as a photographer. Taking photos is simple using the 1:1 aspect ratio since the subject can be taken regardless of the horizontal or vertical position.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO100 ●1/200sec. ●F3.2 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White

I took a photo of a water puddle with the reflection of the Sky Tree currently being constructed. I feel that once you get used to using the 1:1 aspect ratio, the other sizes seem to become a thing of the past.

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+GR LENS A12 50mm ●ISO200 ●1/400sec. ●F5.6 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White ●MF ●VF-2

With the VF-2 installed, I aimed my GXR at the objects decorating the shop window while holding up a TLR camera focusing screen as I would a magnifying glass and slowly released the shutter.

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+GR LENS A12 50mm ●ISO200 ●1/1000sec. ●F8.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto ●Aspect ratio 1:1 ●Image Setting:Black & White ●MF ●VF-2

The view of the city is very beautiful. I looked into the VF-2 viewfinder at eye level, carefully framed the photograph, and released the shutter as if infusing life into the photograph.

Shooting Angle

Of the different art forms, photography allows the most freedom in perception. And the compact digital camera will most likely increase this freedom of perception, increasing, in other words, the freedom of shooting angle and further expand the range of shooting. The shooting angle is the photographer’s eyes as well as his or her soul. It is an important element and means of expressing what you are feeling.

Thinking about possible shooting angles in all directions (360 degrees).

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+RICOH LENS P10 28-300mm ●ISO100 ●1/320sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto

I saw a beautiful African lily planted on the side of the sidewalk and so I stopped and took a photograph at eye level. However, the African lily got lost in the chaotic background and the photograph didn’t turn out as well as I had expected.

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+RICOH LENS P10 28-300mm ●ISO100 ●1/800sec. ●F7.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto

I completely changed my viewpoint and placed the camera directly under the African lily, to get a shooting angle facing up at the sky. Shooting from an angle underneath the flower was very radical and the resulting image was innovative and unexpected.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO100 ●1/16sec. ●F9.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto

A cat was contently lying on the side of the street, so I first set the white balance to Incandescent light to get the look of early morning even though it was midday and took the shot from eye level, looking down.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO100 ●1/16sec. ●F9.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●A Auto

I sensed that the cat was not scared of me (from when I took the first photo), so I slowly squat down and placed my camera close to the ground to take a photo at the cat’s eye level. In this way, I was able to transform the photo into one with a depth much different from the one taken from my eye level.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO64 ●1/500sec. ●F5.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I took a photograph of a familiar road near my house, first at eye level, standing. The linear perspective can clearly be seen and the photo looks good, but is quite common and unimaginative.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO64 ●1/640sec. ●F5.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

Therefore, I placed my camera as low and close to the road as I could and released the shutter. The resulting photograph included things I normally do not see, such as the cover to the sewer and short weeds. It was definitely a new, innovative shooting angle.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/930sec. ●F7.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I wonder if she’s tired. I immediately took a photo when I saw the girl in a cute dress with red shoes, sitting on the ground. But I got the feeling I was almost forced to take the photograph.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/660sec. ●F10.8 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

So, I walked passed her and took a shot from behind, framing the red shoes (which originally first caught my eye) in the center of the photograph, leaving out the body and lowering the camera to waist level. With a much stronger “peeping” feel to it, the second shot turned out to be a stronger photo than the one taken facing the subject.

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+RICOH LENS P10 28-300mm ●ISO100 ●1/320sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

When I was crossing the pedestrian crosswalk, I saw two twin girls each holding one of their mother’s hands. Their gestures were so adorable that I couldn’t help but take a photo. I released the shutter holding the camera at waist level, which was right about the eye level of the girls.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/660sec. ●F7.0 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

A boy energetically walked past me and the flowers he had in his left hand caught my eye. Since I had a camera on hand, I snapped this photo in the vertical position, slightly overlooking the boy. When I took the snapshot, I released the shutter with my arm stretched out at a slightly high angle. My CX3, however, responded more than adequately to create this spur-of-the-moment photo.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/470sec. ●F5.2 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I took this photo of a young man and woman who were pleasantly chatting while waiting for the train. I intentionally took the photograph in the vertical position and cut out the surroundings. The zoom was close to telephotographic, but to my delight, both the framing and the focus came out superbly even though I took the shot without looking through the viewfinder.

Out-of-focus and Blurred

Photographs taken by Daido Moriyama and Takuma Nakahira came to be known as “blurred, out-of-focus photos” (“bure boke shashin”). Although there was a time when some stated that the style was a bit perverse, nowadays this “blurred, out-of-focus” (“bure boke”) style is considered another photography technique and is accepted as an artistic style along with taking photos with insufficient ambient light (tunnel photography). I find this type of change in opinion to be an interesting phenomenon. Blurred, out-of-focus photos can be created relatively easily; all you have to do is modify the shutter speed and focus. However, blurred and out-of-focus photographs that are taken by chance are much richer and have more depth than those created deliberately. This is because the feelings of the photographer are embedded there.

Capturing out-of-focus blur that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/17sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

When I half-pressed the shutter and I looked at the exposure, the shutter speed was 1/17 seconds, close to the maximum on the camera I had with me. I somehow managed to take the shot by firmly holding my camera.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO100 ●1/13sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

A slow shutter speed means that even the slightest movement will cause camera shake. Use this to your advantage and gently slide the camera sideways right when you release the shutter. That’s all you need to do if you want to take a blurred photo. It’s that simple.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO400 ●1/20sec. ●F1.9 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

Around evening twilight, I released the shutter with my camera aimed at the scenery outside the bus window. Considering that the bus was moving and that the shutter speed was 1/20 seconds, it came out rather nicely.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO400 ●1/20sec. ●F1.9 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

Before I could take a photo with the scenery completely motionless, I debated whether or not I should use the autofocus since I was taking the shot through a glass window. However, while I was debating what to do, that is before the scene was in focus, I released the shutter. The result was a hazy, blurred photo. I wonder why it is that the photo that is out of focus seems more real than the one where the scenery has been motionlessly captured.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO400 ●1/12sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I increased the sensitivity to 400, but kept a slow shutter speed when I took this shot. Although the face of the woman in the center of the photograph is slightly blurred, you can tell that she is smiling from her expression and aura. It turned out to be an interesting photograph, as if the blur is showing us the flow of time that could not be completely stopped.

Sample photo

Taken with: GXR+RICOH LENS P10 28-300mm ●ISO200 ●1/250sec. ●F3.2 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

When I tried to take a photo of the scene outside from indoors as the sun was setting, the reflection of the light inside the room appeared on the window. I released the shutter right when I could not tell if the subject was in focus or not. The unexpected blurring effect added a nice flavor to this shot.

Sample photo

Taken with: GR DIGITAL III ●ISO100 ●1/125sec. ●F1.9 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I took this shot on a platform in some train station, close to the time for last trains. I released the shutter while walking, to capture the sight of people rushing to get home. The woman passing by with her hand on her chin left a strong impression on my mind.

Sample photo

Taken with: CX3 ●ISO400 ●1/2sec. ●F3.5 ●EV-0.3 ●WB:Outdoors ●P Auto

I found it so beautiful that I took a photograph of this weed growing on the side of the sidewalk. Even though the sensitivity was 400, I knew it was hopeless since the shutter speed was 1/2 seconds. Knowing it would come out blurred, I took the shot anyway without increasing the sensitivity.


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