Monday, September 19, 2011
Create Depth in Your Images
Tips for how to achieve the illusion of depth
A photograph captures a three-dimensional scene but is displayed as a two-dimensional object. This leaves photographers scratching their heads wondering why the scene that looked as if it was never-ending, appears flat and lacks depth in their pictures. In a two- dimensional world, unless the illusion of depth is portrayed, the image will look flat. Ways to achieve this effect are by lens choice, composition, lighting, use of color, placement of subject matter and aperture choice. Two or more of these factors can be used in combination.
The strategic use of color can convey depth especially when strong contrasts are part of the composition. Warm tones such as yellow, orange and red tend to come out from the image while the cooler tones of green, blue and purple recede. Place a red subject in a green or blue environment and the red element pops off the page.
A well-composed landscape can demonstrate depth using compositional and subject placement techniques. For instance, strong foreground elements such as boulder fields or mounds of flowers lead the eye to key subjects in the mid ground. The mid ground subjects in turn direct the viewer’s eye to a distant focal point. These three layers work together to unify the sense of depth.
Selective focus is a great way to depict the illusion of depth. A sharply focused key subject surrounded by out of focus elements in the fore and background allows the viewer to clearly identify what part of the image is the most important. Long lenses combined with wide-open apertures are often used to create the effect.
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