As in the last post, I learnt about perspective. So, what is perspective and how can I use it to enhance my photos?
Perspective can mean, in photography – from a personal view or a two dimensional illustration drawn to give the perspective of a 3D object.
What is perspective in photography?
Earth is 3 dimensional, but a photograph is 2 dimensional. When a 3D object is photographed, it is really a 2D depiction of a 3D object. Putting perspective into action in photographs can make an image much more interesting.
Perspective refers to the relationships between objects in a photograph, the distance, size and space etc. When the perspective is changed, it can, for the mind, change the shape, size and, overall the perspective of the scene.
The farther an object is from the viewer, the smaller it appears, also, when parallel lines meet at a distance this is called linear perspective. This is how the human brain judges distance. Linear perspective is affected by the distance from camera to the subject and the focal length of the lens.
All lenses apart from some like fisheye lenses are rectilinear. This means they shoot the lines as they are (straight lines). A fish eye lens, however, produces a rounded perspective. For example, as shown:
Parallel lines in a photo gives the perspective that they will eventually meet at a far distance, this is called vanishing point. This is another example of perspective.
When photographing a landscape scene where the foreground gradually rises toward the horizon, the viewer‘s mind reaches the conclusion that the higher up the base of an object is in the ground, the greater its height perspective. I have experimented with this whilst photographing trees.
When photographing a scene with different objects overlapping, the objects that are nearer to the camera overlap or obstruct the objects that are farther away. THis is obvious when viewing the photo. This partial obstruction or overlapping of various elements gives the viewer a sense of depth and perspective of the distance between objects in reality.
Dwindling Size Perspective
In our mind we are aware of the sizes of most objects we are familiar with. Such as people, animals, trees etc. When photographing, this can be used. For example, in a scene with two people, if one appears twice the size of the other, the automatic expectation is for the viewer to think the bigger person was closer to the camera.
When shooting a landscape with a person or any known subject in it, the viewer will be able to guess the distance and the scale. The photographer can then establish a scale the viewer could use to compare the real size of various objects in the photograph.
Other simpler perspectives include bird’s eye view, side view, keystoned (from below). These are the perspectives I have used in my previous post’s photographs.
There are a few more, however, I won’t get into that today. After learning about this, I will try taking a few photos in more industrial areas!
Olivia, writing (and photographing) on a whim…