Photography project 3 exercise 3

Observing images taken from different points of view , I looked at landscapes taken from ground level as well as those in the OCA material. The aerial views offer a sense of scale, a panorama of the wider landscape and the patterns made by rows of trees , the changing colours of fields and patches of urban development..

When viewing from this angle it feels less connected and more abstract. This is possibly because these are not familiar views unless you are regularly flying in planes or helicopters etc , and yet the patterns seen hold their own familiarity which resonate with that inner knowledge and actually reinforces information . Perhaps this is an important element of aerial photography, blending abstract knowledge and image to the known sense of landscape .

Photographs taken at ground level are probably the most familiar landscape aspect and therefore more at risk of being bland and uninteresting . This could also present challenges and ideas for different ways of seeing at this level.

The John Davies photographs of Agecroft power station gives information about a landscape with urban and rural features and offers a sense of scale and distance . If the image were to be taken from ground level it would offer less information and less sense of scale . Had the photograph been taken closer to the towers so that the football game was more obvious, this could have changed the focus of the photograph to make it less about the landscape and more about the activity ,bringing the viewer into relationship rather than as observer. Is this because images that include people are easier to relate to? Can there be a relationship with the landscape if that is what the photographer feels?

To experiment with these different points of view I took the following photographs of a part of my garden.


With this aerial view I can see the layout and placing of the plant pots in relation to the space and to each other. I can see the shape and size of the pots.

This slightly elevated view tells me more about the plants and gives a sense of the direction of the gravelled area.

This slightly elevated view tells me more about the plants and gives a sense of the direction of the gravelled area.


The ground level view shows the pots and the plants in a more familiar way, giving information about the height in relation to each other.


What I learned from this experiment is that the image offers different kinds of information and that different view points reveal things I had not considered such as the height of the plants. This challenged my belief that aerial views showed more detail. In fact they may or may not show more of the landscape and the detail may or may not be there.

The sense of place is possibly relative to what is familiar and what is not. A sense of place can be revealed in any view point depending on what the photographer wants to say.

Observing Detail

Looking at the Bernd and Hiller Becher Water Towers image does draw the eye to the differences and the details. Seeing them placed in the grid is an effective idea and I have looked at lamp posts in a similar way. When something as ubiquitous as a decorative street light is seen, it may not be remembered as that different from another, but seen side by side all the differences stand out. Ideally there would be several more to create the sense of repetition. I have used the same grey tone to enhance the repetitive quality.

lamp-post-1 lamp-post-2-2 lamp-post-3-2 lamp-post-6-2






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