In the world of photography ‘point of view’ refers to the position the camera is in when viewing a scene. Are you lying on the ground, looking up at your subject? Are you on a mountain looking down at the landscape below? Or are you simply standing and looking straight-on at your subject? Whether you’re looking up, down, or straight-on changes the scene dramatically, and changes the way that the viewer interprets the final photograph. Subjects can be dramatically distorted simply by where you place your camera. A blade of grass can look like a skyscraper, and a skyscraper can look like a tiny little house. It all depends on your point of view!
Bird's Eye View
When photographing a subject from above, it is known as a “bird’s-eye view”. This could be taken from up in the sky, such as when flying in a plane, or could simply be taken by standing on a ladder, slightly above your subject. Photographing from this point of view can add emotional impact, such as making the viewer feel as though they are superior to the subject.
Worm's Eye View
Photographing from below the subject is called “worm’s-eye view”, as if you were a worm looking up at the world around you. As you can imagine, this makes all subjects look very large, even if they are very small in reality. As opposed to images shot from above, subjects presented in this way look as though they hold power over the viewer, and can seem very intimidating. By photographing a subject from a worm’s eye view, you automatically make the viewer feel vulnerable, even if the subject itself isn’t frightening.