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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: $


Self-portrait of Jonathan Martin-DeMoor

Hi! Thanks for hav­ing a look at my per­sonal pho­tog­ra­phy journal.

I hope to reg­u­larly post new pho­tographs that I’m excited to share with you before I can incor­po­rate them into my more for­mal gal­leries. These will be pho­tographs that either taken recently, or some­times, pho­tographs that I’ve recently processed (or re-processed). I’ll usu­ally add a short descrip­tion of where, when, or why I took each photo, and some­times ask for feed­back on things I’m try­ing out.

I’ll always wel­come any com­ments or ques­tions you may have about any of the images – you can either leave me a com­ment on one of the entries, or con­tact me directly.

I hope you enjoy these images, and please check back often to see what I’ve been up to.

all the best