UNDERSTANDING PERSPECTIVES IN PHOTOGRAPHY

One of the key components of photography is learning about the importance of perspectives in photography. Understanstand how the element of perspective affects your photos. So, every photograph has perspective and it is up to the photographer to use his or her understanding of it to make images more appealing to the viewer.

To define perspective in photography, we will look at two areas:

  1. The spatial relationship between objects within an image. Perspective makes a two-dimensional photograph feel like a three-dimensional scene. It’s also the reason why many compositional techniques work. From leading lines and balanced weight to shallow depths of field.
  2. Our point of view. Or placement of the film/sensor plane in relation to the subject.

Hence, on a basic note, perspective gives depth. There are many things we can do to make a scene look more realistic.

Remember, a photograph is not three-dimensional. It is only a representation of a three-dimensional world.

Also, we use motion blur to give an impression of movement. And we use perspective to give an impression of depth.

Perspective From a Physical Standpoint

There are things you can do to change the perspective of an image. By moving around your setting, you can gain a better viewpoint than your usual eye level.

It is easy to fall into the habit of photographing every scene from eye level.

You see something that catches your eye and you want to capture the fleeting moment.

But if you want your photography to make an impact, you need to move.

Move Left and Right

This should go without saying, but when you come across a scene, don’t go for your first idea. Take a step left or right to find a better vantage point.

Even moving one meter can have an immense effect on your image.

If you move a small distance, the background doesn’t change much, but the foreground does. The closer the foreground, the bigger the impact.

You may find you are finally able to naturally frame that mountain with the trees.

It could be the best photograph you have taken. At the very least, you have tried a different perspective and seen the impact it can have.

This goes double for photographing architecture. You aren’t going to take one image and go home.

If you made the trip to see something special, you need to make good use of your time.

Walk around the structure and photograph it from different lateral positions. You may find that the idea changes with each movement.

Move Up and Down

Change your position or the position of the film/sensor plane (most important part of the camera). That way you can find some interesting perspectives.

You can either get low or get high. This gives you the opportunity to show the viewers a perspective they are not used to.

Imagine you are photographing a street scene, and you get down to the perspective of a medium-sized dog. You will see the world in a different way.

We all see the street through the same eyes, day in and day out. But change your vertical position, and you have an interesting take on a mundane place or scene.

Getting high gives you a different viewpoint of an object. If you are photographing a building from street-level, you only see a small part of it.

You can angle your camera up (in-depth in the next point), but that will give you perspective distortion.

Try going across the street, and getting up high. Then you can show the building from the side without the distortion.

Move Up and Down

Change your position or the position of the film/sensor plane (most important part of the camera). That way you can find some interesting perspectives.

You can either get low or get high. This gives you the opportunity to show the viewers a perspective they are not used to.

Imagine you are photographing a street scene, and you get down to the perspective of a medium-sized dog. You will see the world in a different way.

We all see the street through the same eyes, day in and day out. But change your vertical position, and you have an interesting take on a mundane place or scene.

Getting high gives you a different viewpoint of an object. If you are photographing a building from street-level, you only see a small part of it.

You can angle your camera up (in-depth in the next point), but that will give you perspective distortion.

Try going across the street, and getting up high. Then you can show the building from the side without the distortion.

Move Your Angle

Changing your angle allows you to see and show the world from different perspectives. From living in Budapest, I am shocked to see how many people don’t look up.

All of the interesting building details are above the first floor. You won’t see these until you stop looking in front of you all the time.

The same goes for looking down. There is a reason why aerial photography is so popular. It’s because these images offer us something different.

We rarely, if at all, get to see the world from a high position.

Looking down at an angle gives us a fresh look and a new perspective. They don’t have to be bird’s eye vie.ws.

 

...And Finally on understanding perspectives in photography

Do not fall into the trap of shooting everything you see at eye-level, just as you see it. Take the time to explore your subject, and considering changing your perspective. Get low and see what changes, get up high and explore a new view, or move laterally and watch different interactions occur and disappear between objects.

You may have a hard time choosing a favorite view: from above to emphasize the view of the foreground lake, or get low to show the expanded context and the threatening winter sky? Share your thoughts or your own perspective images in the comments below!

 

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Posted in Creatives Wall, Photography.

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