Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Picture Practice - Perspective

Day 22 - Perspective

According to the dictionary, the definition of Perspective (with regard to photography) is:  "a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface".  Just like most of the techniques we have talked about so far, showing a dramatic perspective increases the appeal of an image. You may have noticed while shooting from a low angle or landscapes that some of the "lines" in your photo seem to almost converge or disappear into the distance.  The farther the object is from your camera, the smaller it becomes. This is perspective.  While shooting "head-on" or forward facing can produce a pleasing image, showing the perspective in a scene often produces a much more interesting photo because it creates a sense of depth.

Let's go back to the cotton fields. I loved the endless rows of cotton and took a ton of pictures of them.
But, it wasn't until I got at one end of them and shot down the row, did I get the image I was looking for (I even painted this one when I got home).
If these look like leading lines,you are right! They don't necessarily lead your eye to another subject, but they do draw your eyes into the photo.
Here's another--the lines of markers seem to converge on the left side of the photo. Instead of standing directly at the end of the row, I chose to stand slightly in front of the row so that you could see that there were inscriptions on each stone--a dramatic reminder of the many lives lost.
Another way photographers can use perspective in their photos is to give the viewer a different look than they are used to seeing. For example, you can take a picture of your morning coffee cup and it can be a nice picture. But, if you place it at the far edge of your table and shoot from the other end, looking level with the table, it becomes more interesting because the perspective draws your eye to the end. It is more interesting because we are not used to seeing the cup that way.
One more way that you can add visual interest to your image is to break the rule of keeping the horizon level, and turn your phone a bit. Now, I'm not talking about the trend that was popular a few years back where EVERYthing is tilted (many of my daughter's bridal portraits were taken using this trend), but occasionally, it is a fun technique to try. Just be sure that it looks intentional, rather than you like you  tried to get it level and couldn't quite do it. Or like the photo below, you might do it by accident and find that you kind of like it like that!
Here are a couple more photos that employ some of the techniques we've talked about to enhance the sense of perspective.
Remember, to get a great shot, don't just stand there, move your feet.

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