In general terms, perspective refers to the relationship of objects. It’s not the definition that’s important here, what’s important is how to control perspective and use it in as a tool to make our photographs stronger.
Since the camera has one eye, that being the lens, it can only see in two dimensions: height and width. By controlling perspective we can imply a third dimension by adding depth, as well as the illusion of space and distance. In other words, we can “trick the eye” into seeing more like our eyes and less like a camera. What we want to accomplish is to create layers of interest which in turn creates depth.
There are several ways to create depth: manipulating LINE (a fundamental element of design), value (the lightness or darkness of a color), or color can create the illusion of depth. Depth can also be generated by cutting, dividing, or rearranging the space. Overlapping shapes or objects (one of my favorites) create depth. Arrangement of lights creates the illusion, as when light is contrasted against dark values.
Color can create the illusion of depth by placing bright or warm saturated color near the front of the scene. As color recedes into the background, its value becomes less saturated (caused by water crystals in the air that scatter the wavelengths), and finally becoming bluish gray as it reaches the horizon.
The best way by far, is the wide angle perspective. Hands down, the wide angle lens is the best tool in your bag to create the illusion of depth. They can manipulate perspective by altering space and distance. They can also offer maximum sharpness from the foreground all the way to the background.
Here’s some examples of the different ways to create perspective, including “anchoring the subject in the foreground” to create the illusion of depth, and using a wide angle lens to do so:
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and watch for my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. I still have two spaces left for my coordinated trip with Epic Photo Tours to Myanmar next February 2015. It’s a country so rich in photo opportunities, that you’ll be guaranteed a great experience with memorable photos to show for it. My next Springtime Workshop will be in Portugal next May. Come shoot with me.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.