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Putting Photography in Perspective

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In photography it matters how you look at the subject. More precisely, the angle and distance at which you observe the subject makes a lot of difference in the composition and presentation.

The angle and distance of a shot is collectively referred to as ‘perspective’ in photography. It’s one of the basic topics that is discussed in photography classes. The significance of perspective lies in the fact that each change of perspective of the same image gives it a unique interpretation. Perspective also brings dynamism into photographs.

When it comes to creative techniques in photography, students in photography training courses experiment a lot with perspective, which then becomes a highly versatile factor that can go along with many other camera settings.

Perspective in each photograph varies and hence, a fair idea of different kinds of perspective will be very helpful.

So let’s take a look at different types of perspective in photography:

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The Eye Level Perspective

The most common perspective is the eye level. Pretty simple and easy, just decide how far you want the subject to be. The eye level is the level from which you take a picture standing. It’s every amateur’s beginning point.

Remember the converging effect of say, a road or railroad into the distance? That’s called linear perspective, which is a possibility from eye level.

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Top View Perspective

Simple to understand, this is when the camera is placed at a relatively high point, from where the subject below is shot. This kind of perspective sets the size of the subject smaller inducing a sense of appeal.

Possibly the only time you shouldn’t be feeling guilty about looking down on others.

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High View Perspective

Here the camera is set at the low point, like the ground, at the subject’s base. With this perspective, the subject looks bigger and towering, which induces feelings of authority or command. Imagine those pictures of trees taken from its foot. It looks so overpowering and grand.

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Hidden Perspective

Hidden perspective utilises the presence of a foreground object through which the main subject is shot. Here, the camera closes in on the foreground object to the point of having it blurred, while getting a sharp image of the subject behind it. Imagine taking a picture of a sleeping baby through the gaps at the sides of the crib.

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Framed Perspective

In a framed perspective, the subject literally appears framed by something in the composition. Imagine a man sitting behind a window being photographed. The window creates an involuntary frame around the man in the photo.

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Overlap Perspective

When you shoot with overlap perspective, one object in the composition gets obstructed by another. Imagine a picture of a line of soldiers taken from the front. The faces of soldiers from the second one gets obstructed by the one standing in front.

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Rectilinear Perspective

How do you create a curved perspective of a flat space? Use a fisheye lens and shoot a landscape like a house. The resulting picture will show a curved effect around the house, which is known as rectilinear perspective.

While at a photography school, experimenting with perspectives will ultimately give you the ability to decide the best one for each shot. However, even without learning at a photography training institute, the concept of perspective is not very hard to understand and practice.

The next time you click, try to bring in some variety with different perspectives. The results will be amusing and may even help you get the depth of meaning you look for in a picture!

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