Using Angles–Two Versions of Black and White Photographs

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Chairs at Peninsula School by Marc Silber Chairs at Peninsula School

I was going through some old negatives, rescanning them and came across this one. What a difference an angle can make. Have a look at how this shot started out, when I took it way back,  of my 7th grade classroom at the Peninsula School in Menlo Park.

Chairs Peninsula school

Angles can make quite a point in telling your story. Remember to try shooting from different angles and heights. Then when you go back and edit the images you may be surprised at what pops.

Which of these black and white photographs do you prefer and why?


  • Anonymous March 27, 2012 - 6:40 am

    “Les gouts et les couleurs” – Tastes and colors

  • Marc Silber March 26, 2012 - 12:43 pm

    jenny silber butah March 25, 2012 7:25:33 AM PDT

    I like 5A because it brings me back to the wild and creative spirit of Peninsula most clearly!

  • Jerome M. March 26, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    I can’t really tell you how much I like that picture (Vertical one of course).
    It gave me quiet some thinking. I had seen that picture before, probably a year ago, and it still is so tantalizing. I think I know why :
    The main subject, at least to me, is the chair hanging in balance. I guess, our brain is attracted to this chair, for it’s drawn to that “awkward” fragile balance (in the horizontal shot), just like a reflex that makes us grab a object we let go by mistake. And in the vertical position, this chair gives our brain a sense of balance, tranquility, and thus, let’s our brain also focus on other compelling points like the light in the back. To put it simple, like Bruce Barbaum would say, that vertical composition is very well balanced.
    That’s why, I believe that the vertical composition is so soothing.

  • Ruud Legdeur March 25, 2012 - 1:41 am

    I think the one on the left is more storytelling, which I prefer. You can see more recognition of a classroom and therefore fill in the story with your mind. But……. the one on the right can be great if it was published within an article. The article tells the story with that great shot for extra impact. So the left one if there is no to little explanation and the right one with a good headline and/or article.

  • Karin Kelly Burns March 24, 2012 - 4:28 pm

    I prefer the one on the left because the right seems to discombobulate my mind…even though it may be more creative. I guess there is enough going on in the photo on the left….the angles don’t need to be magnified by turning the camera as done on the right. 😉

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