Exposed! :: New Perspectives – Photo Tips on Depth in Photos

Photos are supposed to mimic what we see with our eyes and brains. One aspect where photos fail miserably is depicting depth or perspective.

You see, our two eyes allow us to see three dimensionally – 3D. Photos are TWO dimensional and cannot show depth. That’s a bit of a problem!

New Critique Session option!
Critique my photo!!

In this edition of Exposed! we offer tips on how to show depth within your photos. We include our normal homework section and this month we are offering a critique option – we critique your photos (and others) via a video critique – see below.

Three Elements of Perspective
Depth perspective is an important creative tool that can add oomph to your photos.

There are three elements that will accentuate perspective – ie exaggerate the sense of depth – in a photo. Below I show the exact same scenario in two photos – both of me holding out the same business card. Everything is the same  (location, exposure, etc) except the three elements below:

1. Choice of Lens
• A telephoto lens
(technically anything greater than a 43 mm ‘normal’ lens on a full frame 35mm sensor) will get you closer to the action than you can normally see. The stronger the telephoto (85mm, 105mm, 200mm, 300mm) the flatter the photo will look. This means there will be a diminished sense of perspective.

A wide-angle lens (technically anything less than a 43 mm ‘normal’ lens on a full frame 35mm sensor) will exaggerated the depth perspective. The photo may look distorted and cartoon-ish because of the way the lens depicts depth.

Photo Tips - perspective

Photo Tips – flat Perspective – 85mm, shot straight on, far away

2. Angle of View
The relationship between photographer and subject makes a difference, too. Shooting straight on helps create a flatter look while shooting from beneath or above gives a greater sense of depth.

3. Proximity to the Subject
The further you are from your subject the flatter the photo will look. That means depth will be less pronounced.

The closer you are to the subject the more depth will be pronounced. That means your photo will look more cartoonish the closer you get to the subject.

It’s a simple technical formula:
• To exagerate depth – Use a wide angle lens, get close to your subject and shoot from below your subject.
To FLATTEN your photo (less depth) – Use a telephoto lens, shoot from afar and shoot straight on.

Photo Tip - Perspective

Photo Tip – Exaggerated Depth Perspective
– 14mm, shot from below, very, very close!

• Depicting depth is an important part of any photo work. For traditional work – executive portraits, architectural work, product shots, most clients want a normal or flat perspective. • For some advertising, promotional and editorial work where the client wants more punch a greater perspective of depth is often chosen.

Homework (and critique opportunity!)
For your homework this week we want you to stretch your perspective. Your challenge is to create a photo with as much depth perspective as possible. This means:
• get as close as your lens will allow
• shoot from below your subject
• Use your widest angle lens

Critique Opportunity!
This month we are drawing from the successes of our online photo program – people like the program’s video lessons, notes, feedback from the group but they LOVE the group video critique of member’s photos:

The monthly feedback video using Lightroom is the best part of the program; besides receiving technical and composition feedback on your own photos you see how the other students interpret the same assignment.

Preview an Online Program critique session from the Online Program’s “Closer” challenge. Directs to YouTube…

So, as an introductory offer we are offering to critique your work through a group critique video that will be e-mailed to participants of the Photo Critique Club.

Buy your $5 critique now:

• Register – cost is $5 + tax
• Email up to three photos (max size is 2mb) to the address sent to you in registration confirmation by February 20th, 2013.
• We will critique at least ONE of your photos in the video
• About a week after the submission deadline we will email the group a critique video giving feedback to you and others. You get specific feedback and learn from the feedback of others.

Fine print:
• We cannot offer individual email attention
• We can only promise to critique one photo per participant
• For more in depth attention, feedback and learning potential please register in the online photo program