My perspective on perspectives

Categorized as Landscape photography
Spirit animals

Part of the art of photography is forcing a perspective.  Sometimes, the intention of the artist is to make people think differently because a new perspective has been forced.  Let’s forget the maths and geometry here and focus on spirit animals.

Your camera can become a spirit animal, but it is up to the photographer to decide which spirit to adopt. “Spirit animal” isn’t an accurate term because your camera can also adopt the spirit of a rock or tree, so just keep open minded on that.

This Spirit animal ROCKS!!

whale fjord Iceland

I am a rock. There is nothing in this picture to suggest that you could be anything other than a rock as you sit and watch the ice age retreat. The fjord is slowly revealed as the giant glacier melts leaving huge scars between the mountains and depositing boulders on the weathered banks only to join you as you watch the landscape change even more under the pressures of constant freeze/thaw and millions of high tides in the warmer millennia. Regular earthquakes are the only thing that move you. If you want your “I am a rock” perspective to be more obvious, experiment with longer exposures.


Tours Around Iceland

Snake’s eye view

Taking a photo from an aircraft or a drone gives us the well known “bird’s eye view’. So named because not many other animal classes have this take on life.  Your camera and tripod will dictate how low you can go.  You could become a fox. You might be able to dig a hole if you are on the sand for your centre column to get your tripod lower and become a cat. Take the camera off the tripod to get lower and place it on a suitable piece of ground for stability over long exposures. A full frame DSLR could become a snake or mouse, but a compact or camera phone could become a grasshopper.

frozen plants

Frozen objects allow a slight twist on time perspectives because they allow for some ambiguity. For example, was this a fast shutter? or are these grasses actually frozen? The low angle allows you to be a piece of frozen grass also or even a little fox passing through. The wide angle has allowed the blades to tower over you. The point is that humans just don’t see things from this perspective normally because we don’t crawl on our bellies through frozen arctic nature in our daily schedules. I did though, in order to take the picture. Maybe there were animals spirits calling me?

Good luck with your journey, Mr. Frodo!

Hiking boots Iceland

Here is a human spirit animal perspective. The human element is important because it adds significance to the point of travel. The journey has come to a temporary pause due to a big slippery split in the Earth. This animal is likely to be alone and is actually thinking about crossing the gorge.

What’s your spirit animal?

To find your spirit animal, sit quietly in a comfortable place, just breathing and relaxing for some time, (may take a few attempts) your spirit animal will come to you. The next step is critical, you must not tell anyone what your Spirit animal is, so the final step is to make one up to tell people as a decoy. Just pick the name of the street where you were a child and combine it with your favourite movie star. My spirit animal is “Queen Kelly”.


By Tony Prower

Tony Prower spent over 15 years photographing the landscapes of Iceland. Tony Prower is a pioneer of the Magic Cloth Technique and ran thousands of photo tours in Iceland over 10 years.