If something is worth photographing, it’s probably worth photographing from multiple angles. It’s easy to start high, at eye-level, because that’s how you see the world. Most photographers arrive on location and immediately extend their tripod legs to bring the camera to eye-level. This is the most comfortable place to shoot and you should definitely make a picture at eye-level. But you should also get down and see how low you can go.

This gnarly log was interesting and showed potential, so I shot it first at eye-level.
This gnarly log was interesting and showed potential, so I shot it first at eye-level.

Get down low

Lowering your tripod will give you a whole new photograph. If you told me I had to shoot with one lens for the rest of my life, I’d be okay with that because I can always change my perspective and get a new picture. However, if you said I could have any lens I want but must shoot at eye-level forever, I think I’d go crazy. Moving your camera to different height is the simplest way to change perspective, and it’s always worth doing with every subject.

How low can you go?

The shot above was made with my tripod just about as low as it will go, but if I can go lower, I can make another distinct picture with minimal effort. Floating next to me I found a split log that I stabilized underwater with a few stones. My Platypod Max is ideal for getting even lower than my tripod can go. In this case, I put the Platypod on the log which positions the lens barely above the water. Sure, I can hand-hold my camera that low and make a picture, but with a steady platform like this I can even shoot long exposures and brackets for HDR.

As you change perspective, you may also change lenses. In the last few shots, I kept the camera low and swapped to a wider lens, and with a wide lens you’ll get more impact by getting closer to the subject, which is another way to change perspective. When you move your camera you’ll see things completely differently.

One more thing

I like using my tripod for tall shots and my Platypod for low shots. However, I don’t like carrying two heads to use with two platforms, and I despise the idea of unscrewing the head from the tripod and screwing it on the Platypod, and vice versa. Fortunately, the all-knowing creators of the Platypod Max had this problem in mind and included not only a titanium stud for mounting a head, but also threaded holes for mounting directly to the tripod. I just put my head on the Platypod and put the Platypod on the tripod. Less weight and quick switching. Plus, the titanium studs and aluminum plate won’t rust, so I’m not concerned when I get low on the water. I love this tool.

Find a good shot and shoot it several times from various heights. You made the effort to get to the good location, so you might as well make sure you see all it has to offer. Shoot high, get down, and get lower.