The problem with photos in general comes from the fact that your eyes see things tri-dimensionally, while photography is essentially a two-dimension form of art. Therefore, you should never expect your top end camera to capture an exact replica of the beautiful scenery you’re looking at. To compensate for the different planes and make the picture come to life, photographers add depth to their composition. Even though depth adds dynamism and makes the picture more powerful, shooting a photo with a certain sense of depth and perspective is challenging. But not impossible, as you are about to find out!
- Consider an interesting foreground
The simplest method to set the scene for your photo is to include an interesting foreground, so don’t hesitate to look around for objects capable of bringing that extra appeal to your photos. Keep in mind that not all foregrounds can add the sense of depth you seek and that plain objects will make your pics look overall unprofessional. Since you also need some balance in your photos along with depth, consider a composition with a foreground, middle ground and a background.
- Leading lines confer dynamism
Lines don’t just add a sense of movement in your photos, but also help draw the viewers’ eyes to the subject. While straight lines are not ideal for introducing a sense of depth, curves, subtle lines and converging lines are powerful and more than enough to make a picture appear truly dynamic. Regardless of composition you have in mind, curves are used to create a sense of dimension, while converging lines are effective in showing distance. Moreover, non-straight lines can be utilized to draw the eyes to various points of interest throughout the scene.
- Wide angle lens
In the event that you want to accentuate the sense of depth in a photo, then start using wide angle lenses. Because it allows more space between the foreground and background, the wide angle lens also manages to capture converging lines in your composition. With a few exceptions, it is advisable to avoid using telephoto lenses as they have a tendency of making the elements in a photo appear closer together, thus reducing the sense of depth. Telephoto lenses are best used when you want the elements to appear to be at the same distance, wildlife photography or when you intend to draw extra elements in the background.
- Using shadows
Shadows constitute the best alternative to adding a sense of depth to portrait photography. Because the right shadow will automatically make the picture more interesting and dramatic, you shouldn’t refrain from using a reflector. At the same time, shadows help create powerful contrasts that inevitable draw the viewer’s attention.
- Overlapping different elements
A brilliant method to add distance in a photo is to overlap several elements, such as different layers of mountain ranges for instance. The technique is best utilized when you’re trying to capture certain scenic elements, since it allows you to control the amount of overlap and hence, the depth and dynamism of the picture.