I’ve spent a lot of time recently 20 feet off the ground on scaffolding working on my house. I was struck by how different my yard and neighborhood looked from up there, so I decided we should change perspective for this week’s challenge. This week your challenge is to shoot looking down. Most people take the bulk of their photos looking straight at the subject with the camera relatively level with the horizon. Most people don’t consider what something looks like from above. This week you need to seek out a shot where you can look down on the subject.

“That one time I climbed from all the way down there up to this spot, in the rain! It was hard but fun ☔” by Dirk Dallas

Changing your perspective often inspires creativity. For the most part we see the world straight on, from our normal point of view, so that’s our default perspective for photography. We don’t often consider alternate points of view, like low angle or high angles. This week try to get directly above your subject and shoot straight down. 

“Christmas 2009” by Piero Fissore

That doesn’t mean you have to climb a cliff or put yourself in danger, you can shoot something at home from above. The point of the challenge isn’t to see who can find the most daring location, it’s to see things from a different point of view.

“Back to nowhere” by Henrik Johansson

Finding a vantage point to take shots from above can be difficult. Look for tall buildings, stairwells, or parking garages – anything that lets you look down. Once you find a spot, think about the composition and framing. Remember to look for the rule of thirds, leading lines, vanishing points, patterns, or other elements of composition.

“Ending the Commute” by Gary H

If you don’t have structures you can use to get a high vantage point, grab ladder and shoot something in your house or yard. Scenes or objects from everyday life change when you see them from above.

“Each Peach, Nectarine, Plum” by Brandon Doran

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.