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  • pmh0606617

On the level

Updated: Mar 9

One element to giving your images that "something different" effect - other than exposure, composition, lighting etc - is getting down (or up) to your subject. Taking a photograph where you are at eye-level with your subject makes all the difference.

How you get to eye-level depends on the location and subject. I enjoy photographing waders and at times (especially when photographing from hides at nature reserves) getting low down isn't an option. But it does allow you to photograph waders (and wildfowl) in flight at eye-level. Where possible I end up lying down, prone on a beach, my camera and lens supported by one of three methods:

  1. On a bean-bag;

  2. Inverted under my tripod / use the leg spread of the tripod; or

  3. Mounted on a Gimbal on a Skimmer Pod!!

A Skimmer Pod is basically a disc on which the Gimbal is mounted, it allows you to slide your camera and lens across the sand as you crawl towards your subject. They can be purchased on-line and cost around £100, on occasion they can be found for much less on e-bay.

Alternatively, do what I did and using an old frying pan, make your own. I followed the instructions here:

Another option to look at low spots in your location in which you can position yourself, and don't forget there are commercial hides that offer ground-level photography. Several of these can be found in the Links page.

Below are some of my low-level images:

Ringed Plover - taken using a Skimmer Pod

Ringed Plover- taken using a Skimmer Pod

Lapwing - flying past the hide.

Ruff - taken by using an upturned boat as hide!!

Ruff - taken in a low-level hide in Finland

Wood Sandpiper - taken by slowly and carefully crawling to the subject when it was looking away. A bit like Grandmother's Footsteps!!

Greenshank - taken at the same time as the Wood Sandpiper above.

Capercaillie - from a commercial hide in Finland

Brown Hare - commercial hide operated by Wildlife Photography Hides

Otter - at Wildlife Photography Hides Pond Hide.

Bull Grey Seal

Grey Seal Cow

Grey Seal Pup

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