Happy Tuesday everyone!
Not too much in the way of photography this past week, but more in terms of my other artistic endeavors including a long form improv show with Cold Tofu
last week Thursday, and a great dinner with friends at Little Tokyo’s Daikokuya Ramen
restaurant (can you say “food coma”?).
The reason why I entitled today’s post different perspectives is because of the approach I took with a common Little Tokyo icon, the Yagura Fire Tower. A sight I’ve seen for many years and have photographed instinctively. Over the years I’ve taken a photo of the tower similar to this one
(scoured from a random website, not my photograph), as do most people. Heck, if you were following me during my Europe trip, I took a lot of shots like this as well. This is not to say that it’s a bad shot, but more of what I would consider an establishing shot, akin to what you’d see on film and TV, something to give the view a sense of what you’re shooting, context.
What most people do is stop there. They figure, “I’ve got the shot of _________, so I’m good”, but there’s so much more work to be done if you want to get a great photo of a commonly photographed place.
Take for instance a trip I took to Seattle a few years ago. What’s a trip to Seattle without seeing and photographing the Space Needle? Here’s a shot I took of this Seattle icon.
It’s not a bad photo. It gives you some context as to where it’s at, there’s a cool carousel in the front, and you instinctively know it’s the Space Needle, right? This is probably the shot everyone takes once they get close enough to it. The only thing missing is the “I am here!” photo taken with the people in it. It’s at this point most people put the camera back into their bags and then head over to food stands.
BUT, should you want a more unique perspective/photo of the icon, turn around, get low, get high, sit, lay down, do whatever you can and find that shot that will make people say “Cool shot!” vs. “Oh, the Space Needle”.
After I shot the photo above, I literally turned around, took a breath, and saw this photo:
Sure, my only gripe is that there is a light inside the building, but otherwise, a “cool” shot of an iconic place. The point I’m making here is look for different angles, “framing”, perspectives.
Now, back to Little Tokyo’s Fire tower.
After having shot it over the years, it FINALLY hit me to try something new, use some of my past photo experiences on this structure. Here’s what I came up with:
Similar idea, unique perspective. You still know what it is, but presented in a different way.
Here’s another one, framing the tower between two building columns:
My only gripe here is that there’s a car in the foreground, but you get the idea.
So the point of this post is, change your perspective. Heck, try with everything, not just photography. You’ll see things in a different light, and it may surprise you.
Lastly, as mentioned, we had our long form improv show last week Thursday with the incomparable Rodney Kageyama
as our guest host. What a blast! Rodney is a veteran actor, having appeared in some of Hollywood’s monster hits over the years (including Karate Kid, Gung Ho, etc.). He’s a kick in the pants to work with, and we were grateful to have him there with us. Thanks Rodney!
Here’s a photo of Rodney and Cold Tofu member, Aaron, goofing around in the green room pre-show:
Speaking of perspective, it was kinda cool that both of them had their legs crossed similarly:
That’s it for this week everyone. Have a huge weekend of shooting this upcoming week, including a photo workshop entitled “Photographing the Figure” as well as a Sunday booked with headshots. Should be fun!
Also, if you’re in the LA area and want to see us do long form improv again, we do have a show this upcoming Thursday, June 9th, with ABC 7’s anchor David Ono
as our guest host. Check the Cold Tofu website
for details! Thanks as always for stopping by, and see you next week!