Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual POV

Nothing’s beautiful from every point of view.–

An unusual point of view can make a shot. The same is true in fiction.  If the main character and his/her point of view is unique, the reader will want to read more.  If the main character has a predictable or stereotypical point of view, the reader will abandon the story.

Here’s some of what I’ve learned from working in both mediums:

1.  This shot taken of the sculpture Leonardo’s Horse in Meijers Gardens adequately captures the scene.   However, its point of view is predictable and ordinary.  We know that the human eye loves motion.  We can track eye movements as one way to create an interesting image.  In this shot the eye travels to the horse and most likely stops.  The eye isn’t drawn to any other part of the photo.  There is also very little indication of the scale of this statue, created originally for the Duke of Milan by Leonardo da Vinci in 1482.  It was intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world, a monument to the duke’s father Francesco.

Leonardo's Horse at a distance

Leonardo’s Horse at a distance

2. This second shot is the one that many photographers take of the horse.  It gives the viewer a great sense of the scale of the statue.  The juxtaposition of people in the foreground adds some interest, but does it make this shot interesting or unusual?

Portrait in front of Leonardo's Horse

Portrait in front of Leonardo’s Horse

3.  Here’s another shot–a close up of the horse–which focuses on the extraordinary detail of this statue, cast in bronze.  The eye follows the curves of the mane and travels to the expressive face–the flaring nostrils, the long line of the neck.  It is definitely more visually interesting.  But it is unusual?  I don’t think so.

Close Up of Leonardo's Horse

Close Up of Leonardo’s Horse

4.  Here’s my favorite shot of Leonardo’s Horse, which incorporate several elements.  The children give the viewer a sense of the scale of the horse.  There’s also interest because the horse appears to be moving.  I captured this image using the Lens Baby rotating lens.  With a stroke of luck, I tilted the lens to create motion blur on the right.   This invites the eye to travel to several spots in this photo–from the stationary legs on the left to the blurred legs on the right and to the children playing.  This also makes the shot unusual.  In addition, it raises several questions in the viewer’s mind which add interest.  Is the horse moving?  Why aren’t the children afraid?  How can the horse be so large?  Is it real?  And so on.

children playing in front of Leonardo's horse

Children playing on Leonardo’s horse

These same “lessons” can be applied to fiction.  Is the point of view (POV)  of the character interesting or predictable?  Is the character a stereotype?  Is there change in the character?  Does the reader care about the character and wonder about the situation he or she is in?  Is there an element of risk or danger?  If so, what’s at stake?

Do you agree that there are similarities in creating a unique or unusual POV in these two creative modalities?  As always, I invite you to share your thoughts!

For other posts of this week’s theme, click below:


23 replies »

  1. Great post, interesting take on the challenge and great to see a series of photos of the same subject. I had to look twice, I couldn’t believe how huge the horse looked in the second picture compared to the first! Love the final shot with the children too. Thanks for the pingback, much appreciated!


    • Hi Ben. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m enjoying visiting your site as well. Yes, the horse is huge…it’s absolutely stunning. Leonardo crafted a model of it, but it was too expensive to cast, until recently. You’re welcome too for the ping.


  2. Love how you catalogued the thought processes that went into this post. I actually prefer the isolated head shot as it shows the sensuousness of michelangelo’s work – I had never liked his work until I saw it up close. Still, the scale of the sculpture is astonishing and your last shot captures that.


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