Thursday, June 28, 2012

Perspective in your Photos . . . Include Yourself

... or more specifically, a good reason to include yourself in your photos of all those great places you visit.
Perspective refers to the relationship of imaged objects in a photograph. This includes their relative positions and sizes and the space between them. In other words, perspective in the composition of a photograph is the way real three-dimensional objects are pictured in a photograph that has a two-dimensional plane. In photography, perspective is another illusion you use to produce photographs of quality composition. From the U.S. Navy Photography Training Course

In this image of L-Chute waterfalls on the Tye River there are
few clues to the size, scope and the majesty of these falls.
When we view landscapes with our two eyes we are experiencing the scene stereoscopically (a slightly different image seen in each eye).  We render the landscape in 3D, drawing conclusions about depth, distance and relationships from those differences..

When we take that same image with our cameras, the result is two-dimensional and our only clues to spatial relationships are drawn from the compositional perspective either intentionally or unintentionally within the image.  That is why close up images of things like the waterfalls above, often fail to convey and impact the viewer on the depth and distance of objects experienced by actually being there and seeing it with your own two eyes.

A slight shift of camera position to include foreground objects
and the photographer establishes greater depth and perspective.
In the second image I moved the camera back slightly to include a few moss-covered boulders and myself.  Since most people are 5-6 feet tall (I'm six foot even), the viewer's eyes now have information to gauge the apparent size of these waterfalls.  Instead of a flat image of a landscape, there is depth and unseen, but imagined, lines of perspective to a vanishing point along which the elements of the image establish themselves.  The image conveys a lot more information.

With an abundance of bright areas in the image, the center-weighed metering of most digital cameras would underexpose the foreground.  Use of the fill-in flash and a little post-production enhancement to reduce backlighting helps to use the gradations of lighting on my torso also as clues to perspective (i.e., I appear to stand out in the image because of the lighting).

So . . . do you now have that excuse to include yourself in the pictures of your nude adventures?

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