Have you ever tried taking pictures by placing the camera on the floor? This is called the "Rat's Eye View Shot" and you can actually take long exposure shots at night without using tripods! Isn't that awesome? It's quite popular as well. Try this technique and enjoy the world of low angle.
This picture was taken at London’s metro – Tube. Although it was a very dark environment, I placed my LC-A+ on the ground, pressed the shutter – and voila. I was able to take a really nice and sharp shot. As you can see, by taking the picture from a super low angle, the depth of the space can be shown more than what we would usually take from our eye level. This technique is one of the most popular way of taking pictures among Lomographers and I would like to introduce you to this perspective.
In the pictures shown in this article, I used the LC-A+ and ISO 100 slide film however, it’s better to use a higher ISO film under low light.
1. Set the camera’s ISO lever to 100 and the distance to infinity (∞) (The distance may differ depending on the photographic object.)
2. Find an attractive point. With this picture, since it was shot in a metro station I decided on the location where to set the camera carefully since there were many colors, lights, designs around it. Half of the picture is the actual floor that you place your camera on so be sure to think about the patterns of the floor if there’s any reflection and etc.
3. Once you’ve decided where to take the photo, wait until that perfect moment. In this case, I realized that including people would make a better picture. Be sure to check the contrast and color of the surrounding since this will be the key to the picture you’re taking!
4. The moment that perfect person steps in to the frame, it’s time to press that shutter! Place the camera at the middle of the tunnel, looking straight forward. The picture will become blurry if you don’t place it somewhere flat so be careful. Hold the camera with your left hand, hold your breath and press the shutter button! The shutter speed is quite slow so make sure you hold the camera firmly.
Done! That’s all you need to do.
As a result, you can take a cool “Rat’s Eye View Shot”! You can see the reflection on the floor as well in the picture — as you can see here. I was able to set the camera right in the middle of the tunnel, facing straight towards the very end. Since the shutter speed is quite slow, the person walking by is a bit blurry but this gives a very lively factor to the picture.
This time, I set the camera directly on the floor, but if you’re concerned that the floor is going to take too much space in the picture, then you should try this little trick.
If you stick a thin plate/thick paper (about 1mm) on the bottom of the camera (lens side), then you can take a little it more of what’s above the floor instead of just the floor.
Here’s the picture taken by putting this thick paper to adjust the angle.You can see that the floor only takes about 1/3 of the whole picture. Depending on the photographic subject, it’s another way to make the picture much nicer. I usually use this trick.
You can, of course, use this on other cameras as well. I sometimes shoot this “Rat’s Eye View Shot” using LC-Wide, Holga, Horizon Perfekt. But the camera setting depends on which camera you use so please make sure to check this before using this technique.
And here comes the mix and match with other techniques!
Multi Exposure, Film Swap, Film Soup…
At the beginning, you might wonder what kind of pictures you can take with this technique. But once you get used to it, you can take advantage and understand which setting and moment is perfect. You can use this technique anywhere! That’s the awesome part about it.
Oh…but guys. Please don’t use this near women especially with skirts. You know what I mean.
Great Rat’s Eye View shots by other lomographers!
Also great photos of rat’s eye view shot in this Flickr album!
Enjoy your rat’s life!