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Photographer's tip: How to shoot great low angle photos

Dominik Gmeiner, 20, gets some air as the mild weather at the Ashbridges Bay skate board park in Toronto, Ont.

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Here is the tip for this week's Photo Desk assignment: Your best photos of low angles.

People generally view their surroundings from a straight-ahead, eyeball level view. But as photographers it's our job to see the world a little differently... to take a different perspective on the commonplace.

Often something as simple as a low angle will give an image a fresh look.

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By taking a knee or even getting down flat on your belly you can clean up a busy background and help rid your composition of visual clutter.

For example, by getting low and incorporating a dramatic sky in the background you can eliminate distracting elements and draw focus to your subject.

But shooting from the gutter isn't always easy. Sometimes these low angles don't allow the photographer to peer through the viewfinder while composing that perfect image.

In these cases I try to pre-focus my lens (and perhaps select a smaller aperture for greater depth-of-field.) Then I simply use the playback feature on my LCD screen to fine tune my composition - just one of the ways digital photography has made our jobs easier.

As photographers we should always be looking for a fresh perspective and always try to avoid those boring, eyeball level pictures.

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About the Author

Born in Calgary, Kevin Van Paassen graduated from the Journalism Arts program at the Southern Alberta Institue of Technology in 1997. He moved to Toronto in 1999 and joined The Globe and Mail as a staff photographer in 2004. More

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