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Composing with Live View for effect and convenience

Amani­ta mush­room from above

Amanita mushroom at Ministik Lake Sanctuary

Amani­ta mush­room

In my last post, I didn’t say much about the pho­tographs them­selves, as they were more doc­u­men­tary than artis­tic in nature, but per­haps one thing I’ll men­tion, as some­thing for you to try out if you haven’t already, is that for the first time I used the “Live View” func­tion on my DSLR to get down real­ly low beside these mush­rooms for an inter­est­ing per­spec­tive (e.g. the puff­ball, and the amani­ta).

Live View (i.e. fram­ing the pho­to using the LCD on the back of the cam­era) has been com­mon on point-and-shoot cam­eras for a long time, but is just being intro­duced on SLR cam­eras in the past few years. How­ever, I still find myself using the opti­cal viewfind­er for every­thing except shoot­ing video — just old fash­ioned I guess (although in my defence, I think the form fac­tor of a DSLR does not lend itself to being held at arms’ length, espe­cially with a longer lens attached). In this case though, by using the Live View, I could basi­cally have the cam­era and lens on the ground, and still com­pose a decent image even though I was also car­ry­ing my daugh­ter in a big back­pack. You can see the dif­fer­ence in two pho­tos above, the one on the left I made look­ing through the viewfind­er while crouch­ing as low as pos­si­ble, and the one on the right is tak­en in the same pos­ture, but using the LCD on the back of the cam­era to com­pose the image.

Using Live View (or what­ev­er your camera’s mak­er calls it) for this type of oth­er­wise awk­ward shot is def­i­nitely a trick that I will keep in mind for the future, and rec­om­mend to oth­ers for those moments where the unusu­al angle is tempt­ing, but lay­ing pros­trate just isn’t.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

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