The concept of taking a low angle photo is not a new one, but it’s taking on new life with mobile photography. Twenty20 photographer Craig Murley (@antintheplug) has some insights into how using the iPhone camera can turn ordinary shots into unique ones.
Did you know: With the iPhone camera you can get 3mm off the ground? If you were to lie down on the ground, your human eye would still be 24mm off the ground, so you’re getting a really unique perspective.
Using reflections: Craig has taken a lot of low angle photos with a reflective surface below him. When you’re that low to the ground you’re going to get a lot of surface in the foreground. Shooting on water or another shiny surface makes a reflection or pattern that adds depth to your photo.
How to Hold the Phone: If it’s a dry ground, simply place the phone directly onto the floor. Above water, carefully hold the phone as normal, sometimes lower or higher for safety.
“I often keep my eye on the camera, not the subject, so that I can get super low without dunking my iPhone. This is crucial over moving water.”
Take lots of images: Shoot a burst of images while rotating the camera from pointing below the horizon to pointing up towards the sky. This way you will have many shots to choose from (Craig suggests selecting one or two shots immediately after. Be brutal.) Since it’s hard to see the shot while holding the phone low to the ground, it is best to take a lot of photos and then delete.
How did Craig come up with this technique? “I was looking for an unusual angle, we’re so used to seeing the world from eye height, so I thought… hmmm how about an Ant view? I also noticed how cool the room looked one day in a meeting, I had my phone on a shiny table, and the shot looked really beautiful,” he explains.
Craig is sponsoring a Twenty20 Challenge, opening today, for the best low-angle photo. Check out his gallery @antintheplug for inspiration, and then go join the challenge!