Is the first step to creating a sense of depth in your pictures. Our eyes use markers like foreground, lines and background to gauge depth in the landscape. If we provide these in a two dimensional picture we fool the eye into seeing depth there too.
Foreground Interest – Video
Bryan Peterson explains in the video how to take a position that brings out the foreground interest. It’s easy. Make sure you shoot past something close when shooting into the scene so you can see a progression of depth… foreground, mid-ground and background. Simple.
In fact you can use this landscape trick in the studio, or even a small room. Position yourself close to a foreground object and shoot past it into the room or scene. For example, use a chair or a table to occupy a part of the near end of the picture. That gives you a close marker allowing the eye to gauge a distance into the room. Here is an urban shot using the same principle…
• Monument • The presence of the coffee cup on the table gives an immediate scale marker to the eye. The rest of the scene has depth because the eye can match the scale differences progressively as it looks into the scene.
The very well known scale of the size of a coffee cup in the picture is the clue to the depth of the rest of the shot. The eye/brain system does the rest. Simple principle – simple composition.
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Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers. See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
We rarely see things as flat and two dimensional like they are in a photo. We see in 3D. However, that 3D view is something we build up in our minds. How we construct that view helps us to understand how to make our photographs life-like.
The important ‘seeing’ for the photographer is understanding the arrangements of scene elements in a 3D form. Keep in mind that it is the detail that is important for photographers. The detail creates an image in the mind of the viewer when they look at a flat two dimensional picture. It is this image that is important to the viewer. If we fail to create that then the picture stays flat and unappealing on the page or screen in front of them.
In the slide show we see a little about how we build up a three dimensional view. Then we look in more detail at how the eye can pick out elements in the scene which help us to view the details in a 3D way. The video is meant to help people with how to break down a scene for drawing. But the artistic principles are the same for all artists and photographers.