How to Use Perspective in Photography
There are many different tools and effects a photographer can use to improve their image composition. You can make use of the rule of thirds, leading lines and contrast for example. One hugely important feature a photographer can use that is sometimes overlooked is perspective. Perspective can transform images and add extra depth to an otherwise flat and uninteresting photo. So what is perspective, how does it affect a photo, and how can you use perspective to your advantage; read on to find out!
Perspective – a definition
In the general sense, perspective is how we view something. We can view an object from a certain perspective for example. Let’s say that you are looking at a large skyscraper in the middle of a street; if you walk up to the base of the skyscraper and look up, it appears stretched and elongated – that is one perspective. If you then moved away from the skyscraper and looked at it from an adjacent street, it would look completely different – that is a different perspective.
Every object we look at has many different perspectives. Angles, distance, and positioning can all affect our perspective. We can use this to our advantage in photography to create interesting and unusual photos. We can take a photo of the same object from several different angles or positions and create a new perspective each time. You can change the perspective of a photo to turn a boring an uninteresting scene into something unique and unusual. The following tips should help improve your use of perspective:
How can you use perspective to create amazing photos?
Consider using different lens types
A DSLR camera can benefit from a variety of different lenses. Each camera has a myriad of lenses such as wide-angle, zoom and telephoto. If you have access to a range of lenses for your camera, remember that different lenses can change the perspective of your photo. A wide-angle lens with a 22mm focal point, for example, could make a gorgeous countryside landscape appear to stretch for miles width-ways. If you shot that same scene with a zoom lens at 75mm, the end result would look completely different. Know your lenses and understand how they can improve a photo’s perspective.
Consider taking a photo from a different angle
A simple shift in angle can change the perspective of a photo drastically. Most people when taking photos will simply stand straight, and shoot whatever is in front of them at shoulder height – this often results in bland and uninteresting compositions. Consider crouching on the floor and shooting up towards an object, or reaching a higher position to shoot down onto it – this change of height and angle can create some wonderful compositions. Play with different angles and move around your subject – don’t stay still and shoot head on!
Consider how contrast affects composition
The contrast within a photo can change its perspective. A photo with little to no contrast, for example, will have a 2D perspective and appear to have no depth. Alternatively, a photo with a high level of contrast and plenty of light and dark areas will appear 3D and have much greater depth. Use contrast in your photos to change its perspective; look at how light and shadow is affecting the scene and altering an image’s depth.
Consider the positioning of objects
If you are taking a photo of several objects together, consider how those objects are positioned in relation to each other. The positioning of objects can create some cool perspectives and change how we view a photo.
You are taking a photo of a field for example that has a tree in the center and several rows of hedges. You could shoot the tree in the foreground with the hedges in the background – this would make the perspective of the tree appear larger and give it focus. Alternatively, you could move position and shoot the hedges in the foreground, leaving the tree in the background – this shifts the perspective and makes the tree appear further away. Try positioning focal objects differently to see how this alters the photo’s perspective.
As you can see, perspective can be a potent tool for a photographer. Use these tips when you next head out with your camera and see how you can use perspective to your advantage. Changing the perspective of your composition really can take your photography to the next level!