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We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

muse university - from a flower's point of view

exploring with a camera
a repost by Kat from The Kat Eye View of the World

Have you thought about the flower's point of view before? What is the perspective, near to the ground, reaching for the sun? The answer is found in these photographs. I had a marvelous time this summer, playing around with my camera from a flower's point of view. I got a couple of amazing shots, like the one above and the one below. They are delightful because they are so unplanned, they are the results of experimentation and play. And digital photography is a WONDERFUL medium for this, because there is no cost to just play around!

There is creative power in exploration and play. Try it out and see for yourself!

So here are some tips on how to explore from a flower's point of view:

1. Hold the camera near the ground, pointing up toward the flower. You are not looking through the viewfinder, at the screen, anything. Depending on your camera/lens minimum focus requirements you will have to play with distance to hold the camera away from the flower.

2. Shoot, review, shoot, review. Move the camera, the angle. After a while you'll get a better hang of what you are aiming for remotely.

3. If you're not getting the focus you want (say, on the flower), switch to a manual focus point. For the second image above, I set the focus point for top middle point, then took a bunch of pics moving the camera around a bit to get the one flower in focus that I wanted.

4. Play around with aperture. Higher aperture will give you a better opportunity to get what you want in focus. Lower aperture will really help your flowers pop, but focus will be difficult.

During the whole process, delight in the randomness of the images. Laugh at the ones that came out totally awkward. Swoon over the ones you think that come out amazing. Enjoy the freedom that comes out from letting go of planning, composing, deciding with every shot!

One final image for today, of my favorite stretch of the path in Parco di Monza. You've seen it in winter, and here is spring. This was the time of year we moved to Italy in 2009, and I remember thinking over and over "I need to go over and take pictures of those flowers under the trees" as I drove by the park. I never did, spring progressed into summer and the flowers went away. So I promised myself THIS YEAR I will go do it. And I finally did!

Author's note: This was my first ever Exploring with a Camera Post! It's a little out of season but it's such a fun technique, I wanted to share it with you. Since writing this post, I've come to enjoy using this technique on a regular basis. Here are a couple of other more seasonally appropriate shots I've captured recently, using the same principles to see things from a different point of view. Have fun!


repost by kat

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If you would like to provide a post for this series, please contact kat [at] kateyeview.com


  1. I love your words in this post...photography can be so much fun and sometimes I think I get too wrapped up in trying to get the 'perfect shot'. You're also right about the way digital opens the world up...I think the first month I had my digital camera I took 1700 pictures! There is more opportunity to experiment because the cost is so low...I can just delete the ones that don't turn out.

  2. Lovely images..and your words are delightful and insightful. Thank-you!

  3. I love getting on the ground. I find the best composition comes from the most unexpected places.