Low-angle shots provide unique perspective

Basketball season is over and I’ve had a few days to look back on the photos I made in the last couple of months and it occurred to me that a couple of people have asked about the low-angle photos that have appeared in our papers.

It’s always a challenge to find a new angle to and different perspective, and this is just one more option I’ve come up with (actually, I stole the idea from a Sports Illustrated photographer) to provide a different look at a basketball game.

No, I don’t lay on the floor and look through the camera viewfinder waiting for a break away slam-dunk to gat these photos. I tape a piece of plastic (a colleague uses two burned out AA batteries for the same effect) under the bottom edge of an extra camera with a wide angle lens. I use a 16-35mm zoom, so that when the camera sits on the floor it points up at a 45 degree angle. Then I pre-focus the camera where I think the action while occur under the basket and set the camera's exposure manually.

Without moving my “floor camera," I sit next to it with another camera shooting the game the way I always do with a 70-200mm zoom and when there’s a breakaway or what I hope will be a large group of players leaping for the basket, all I have to do is reach down and press the shutter button on the camera sitting on the floor next to me….and hope for the best.

"Hope" is the key word as these are not high percentage pictures and I’m lucky to get one good photo per game, but it’s a different perspective showing picture that gives me another option at a story telling photo.

See ya on the sidelines,


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