Gator and Examples of Perspective

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Most of the time shooting wildlife means simply capturing what the bird/animal offers up. But occasionally a critter offers enough time to get creative with a shot. Gators will lay in the same spot for hours sometimes so if you find one in an interesting position to shoot there's usually plenty of time to work the scene. Following are a couple of example I thought interesting to demonstrate how much slight changes in angle/perspective can alter an image.

D850(1.2x crop mode), 500mm PF, handheld

1) The first shot and the most obvious one to take. I was on a bank about two feet above water level and got down on one knee. So the camera was five or six feet above water level.
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2) Without changing location I put the camera in live view, turned the LCD screen up at an angle and held the camera down close to the ground so about two feet above water level. It's a challenge(for me at least) keeping the focus point on target when held like that. Notice how in this case getting low cleaned up both the BG and FG.
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3) I moved over in front of the gator. This shot from a kneeling position.
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4) And from a standing position. Again note the dramatic change in BG and FG.
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Butlerkid

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Nice examples of the benefits of getting low....and of trying different compositions. #3 is my fav. Sometimes I will try several different lenses, which forces me to "work" the subject as I move around to explore various compositions.
 

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Dan, this is a terrific way of demonstrating changes in perspective and the effect on the outcomes. Great shots and they illustrate it perfectly. I love shooting gators for many reasons when I'm in FL, but the fact that, as you said, you have time to work the scene is maybe my favorite reason.
So much of my wildlife photography is fraught with timing issues, but the gators allow me to settle in and think about the scene.
Good job!
 
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Great examples!
Thanks, Andy.
Nice examples of the benefits of getting low....and of trying different compositions. #3 is my fav. Sometimes I will try several different lenses, which forces me to "work" the subject as I move around to explore various compositions.
I like both of the lower POVs in this set. It's not always the case but more often than not.
Nice smile on that guy! Great examples!
Thanks for commenting.
Dan, this is a terrific way of demonstrating changes in perspective and the effect on the outcomes. Great shots and they illustrate it perfectly. I love shooting gators for many reasons when I'm in FL, but the fact that, as you said, you have time to work the scene is maybe my favorite reason.
So much of my wildlife photography is fraught with timing issues, but the gators allow me to settle in and think about the scene.
Good job!
Thanks, Glenn. Yeah they're one of the few critters that sit still that long.
 
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Nice example of working the scene.
See how easy it is to get a dark plain background like in 2nd shot.
Me, I would lose the light background top left corner and recrop.
Nicely seen.
Thanks, Gary.
What an informative thread with some great examples!! I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this beholder thinks that alligators are not very beautiful animals. :)
Thanks, Terri. I agree. Nothing beautiful about a gator.
Good examples showing the advantage of getting low. At my age I can’t get as low as I did 15 years ago.
Thanks, Allan. The tip out screen is a big help.
 
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Thanks for sharing this outstanding series, along with the informative commentary.

Of course, they would have been much better with a wide-angle lens, say., about a 20mm.

Were these taken in Alaska?
 
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#2 & 3 for me
Yes I like the lower perspectives as well.
Super shots Dan and a very good set of examples of why it pays to try and get low.
Thanks, Louie. When I was shooting my thoughts were that a slightly elevated perspective would keep more of the body visible and give a better sense of size. But viewing them after the fact I think there is enough of the tail visible in the lower perspective shots to accomplish that and overall they just look much more intimidating.
Great set and great demonstration. It looks too close for comfort through the 500mm.
Thanks, Phil. There was plenty of space plus the water between us to slow him down.
Thanks for this informative thread and for the great photos Dan.
Glad you found it informative, Binnur.
 
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Really good stuff ( that's a technical term ) If you really want to scare someone, show them #3. Excellent!
Thanks, Bob. And for the technical analysis. Yeah it looks pretty intimidating in no.3.
Such an enjoyable set of photos and accompanying narrative! One big difference for me among the various images is the impact or lack of impact contributed by the inside of the gator's mouth.
Glad you liked the post, Mike. I completely agree the angle of the shot makes a huge difference in the impact of the open mouth and of the overall posture of the gator. IMO in the first two the gator looks very dynamic as if it is about to leap into the water. The last two look more menacing but also more static.
Thanks for sharing this outstanding series, along with the informative commentary.

Of course, they would have been much better with a wide-angle lens, say., about a 20mm.

Were these taken in Alaska?
Thanks for commenting, Bill. I think I'll leave the wide angle gator shots to someone else. I'm not overly scared of them but have my limits. Somewhere closer to 500mm :D
 
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