Photographing for Realism
Part One

Text & Photos by the Webmaster


Okay, so we've gotten macro photography and depth-of-field figured out. What's next?

Camera angles...

Aside from the technical aspects of getting a properly focused and exposed photo, one of the most important things that affects the realism of a photo is camera angle. Consider photos you've seen of full-sized vehicles. In the vast majority of cases, these are taken by someone standing on the ground holding a camera at eye level. So in photographing a model for realistic results, you need to imitate this as much as possible. Two different camera angles are shown below.

This shot looks like it was taken from a second story window.

Whereas this one is much closer to what you'd see photographing at ground level..

Of course getting low photo angles may involve a bit of acrobatics. I've gotten some pretty strange looks from neighbors while lying flat on my stomach with the camera on the ground photographing models. But the results are worthwhile; some of my favorites have been shot this way.


In part two of this article we discuss various background options in detail. But for now, with the tips we've already discussed (and cooperative weather) you can shoot some very realistic outdoor photos of your models. Here are a few examples:

These were all shot outdoors, with the model (as well as the photographer and camera) on the ground. Shooting outdoors pretty much took care of depth-of-field considerations. Bright light not only gave the models a good sharp focus, but also helped keep the natural backgrounds in focus for an overall realistic look. In setting up shots like these, you'll just need to position the model in such a was as to keep anything that appears out of scale out of the photo. What I generally try to do is place the model in the foreground, with a fair amount of open space between it and objects such as trees or buildings that are in the background.

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