Photographs that have a feeling of depth are dynamic and powerful. Capturing a photo with a sense of depth and perspective though, can be tricky. This is because photography is very much a two-dimensional art form.
While the eyes see everything in three dimensions, the camera only sees things in two. This is one reason that cameras often “just can’t capture” scenery that is as beautiful as it looks in person.
Adding depth to your photos is one way to help give a three-dimensional feel to your compositions. Make your photos come alive with these tips for adding depth to your photography.
Including some interesting foreground in a photo can help to set the scene. It also helps to add a sense of depth to the photograph, which makes the photo more dynamic. Look for interesting foreground objects to add extra interest to your photos. A plain foreground can cause a picture to lack depth, but including some interesting foreground elements makes the photo more dynamic and interesting.
A great way to ensure that there’s plenty of depth in your scenic photos is to try to include a foreground, middle ground and background in your compositions.
In some cases, framing a photo can help to improve an image. The “frame in a frame” technique involves using some of the foreground elements to create a frame for the photo. This technique helps to draws viewers in, and makes them feel as though they were inside of the photo, rather than just looking at it.
Lines create a sense of movement, and can help to draw viewer’s eyes into the photo. Lines can also be used to draw attention to the subject. Lines don’t have to be straight – curves and even subtle lines can also effectively create a sense of dimension in a photograph.
Converging lines are a great way to show distance. Converging lines get smaller the farther away they get, eventually disappearing at the horizon. These lines draw your eye through the scene, and give the photo a sense of depth and distance, making it more dynamic.
Choice of Lens
A wide-angle lens can be great for accentuating depth in photos. A wide-angle lens allows more distance between the foreground and background of a scene, which allows converging lines to appear in the photo; causing the sense of depth to be more pronounced. Telephoto lenses cause images to appear more compressed; they show less distance between the background and foreground, and cause the elements in a scene to appear closer together than they really are – reducing the sense of depth.
In some cases though, the compression effect that long lenses have can sometimes be used to create powerful photos. Telephotos cause all of the elements in a scene to appear to be at the same distance. This can be useful for drawing in background elements and creating a dynamic scene.
Point of View
In many cases, a change in viewpoint can dramatically alter the depth of a photo. Oftentimes a shot can be made better with a change in perspective. You could try getting low to the ground to include some interesting foreground. Angling the camera up for a scenic shot is also a fun way to experiment with converging lines. A low point of view gives converging lines a different effect than they would have when photographed from a higher point of view.
The right lighting can add a three-dimensional feel to your photos. For scenic shots, the late afternoon sun casts a beautiful glow that can illuminate the elements in your image and make them stand out.
You don’t have to have sunshine to create depth though; clouds and fog on an overcast day can also add depth to an image.