Street Photo of the Week #62

A simple change in perspective can make all the difference between an ordinary shot and a very powerful one. That’s not something new to hear, but how this is applied is where the challenge lies for the photographer. The change in perspective must be adding and not taking away from the composition – otherwise what’s the point really?

This week’s theme was about seeing the streets around us “Upside Down” following previous experiments in other perspectives such as the Rat’s Eye View and Bird’s Eye View themes that also yielded interesting results. Many of the photographs submitted this week (see the full album) if flipped the original 180 degrees, wouldn’t be as interesting but the fact that they were upside down gave them a different appeal. A dose of surrealism.

With so many well-composed and creative shots, we had a very hard time debating which one to showcase – we loved so many of them! One of our favorites and a crowd-favorite, was the following by Fokko Muller:

By Fokko Muller

True, it’s a simple shot capturing a day-to-day scene of pedestrians but the mode in which it was captured utilizes the upside-down technique to tell a completely different story. Suddenly the people are secondary to their shadows, who are the main players in this scene. It’s interesting to see the irony in that here.

The other details in the shot add to framing this shot – such as the leading line in the top left corner guiding us to the cyclist in the center. Although compositionally it could have been better still, Fokko did an excellent job of utilizing the time of day and the shadows to his advantage as elements in their own right on this canvas of a street.

For an added understanding of why this shot works this way, try flipping the image to it’s original perspective. Does it work as well that way? What do you think of this shot and what made it work in your perspective?

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