Perspective in Photography: Tips For Beautiful Photos - Pretty Actions Tutorial

Perspective in Photography

There are many rules in photography that we are taught to adapt to from the minute we start learning our way around our cameras. We are taught how to properly pose our subjects, how to frame them correctly in our viewfinders using the rule of thirds, and how to get our settings just right so they are exposed well and are sharp and in focus.

Once you learn the rules and can master a well put together “technically correct” image, you can begin to think outside of the box and learn how to break a few of those rules.  For this tutorial, we will focus on photography perspective.

Perspective in photography is defined as the sense of depth or spatial relationship between objects in a photo, along with their dimensions with respect to what viewer of the image sees. By changing perspective, subjects can appear much smaller or larger than normal, lines can converge differently, and much more.

forced perspective

Changing Your Perspective

You can really have a lot of fun with changing your normal perspective in photography. When you learn to see things and capture images from a totally different perspective, you can produce some really interesting, beautiful and sometimes powerful images that will draw the viewer's eye into the photo. You can even evoke a certain emotion just by playing with a few different angles.

Changing perspective will most likely take you out of your comfort zone as far as positioning yourself and your camera, but when you begin to look at different objects, subjects, and the world in general on a totally different level, you can take your photography skills to a whole new level.

Perspective Image of Conifer Tree

Here are some different perspectives you should try the next time you are out shooting:

Perspective #1. Photograph Up or Down

When you are walking along a path or city street, or just anywhere in general, it is usually just natural to look straight ahead. That is just how our minds are trained. But when you look up or down, you will  see things from a totally different perspective.

Take advantage of this the next time you have your camera in hand. Instead of shooting straight ahead, point your lens up or down and capture subjects and objects from an angle that you would not normally view them from.  

Bonus Tip: I have found that the more you fill the frame with whatever you are shooting from this up or down perspective, the more appealing the image will be.

Downward Perspective Photo of Spiral Staircase

Perspective #2 Lie Down and Shoot from Ground Level

When you lie down on the ground and shoot from this angle, you are once again giving your viewers a new and interesting view of the way they see things in the world around us.

This technique gives even better results when you use leading lines. Let the leading lines be the guide that leads your viewer's eyes to the center of your image. This could be your subject, an object, or anything in the image that you want to be the center of attention. Simply getting out of your usual shooting position and getting a little uncomfortable can really result in some intriguing images.

Perspective Image of Road and Trees Photographed from Ground Level

Perspective #3. Photograph Through Objects

Another way to change up the perspective of an image is to shoot through objects. Let the object be what draws the eye to the focal point. Crystal balls, openings in fences, and even cell phones are a few fun ways to incorporate this technique. When you begin to look through things and use them as the frame for your subject, you can really start to see them in a new and interesting way.

Perspective Photos - Image of a Smartphone Taking a Photo of City Buildings

Perspective #4. Fill the Frame

When shooting things like trees, flowers, or unique shapes and patterns, try filling the entire frame without including much of the background or any other objects. When you stand back and take a shot of tree that includes the entire trunk, branches, leaves, and some of the sky; you get an image showing a tree just as you would naturally see it - you see the tree as a whole. But if you zoom in and focus on a specific area or pattern and completely fill the frame from that perspective, you get a completely different result.

This will give your viewers a whole new way of seeing ordinary everyday things.

Perspective Photography - Image of yellow flowers Filling the Frame

Perspective #5. Place Something in the Foreground

We are typically taught to let the emphasis of our images be the object or subject in the foreground. Whatever is front and center and sharp and in focus is usually what we want our viewer's eyes to be drawn to.

Try switching up your view on this and let the foreground object(s) or subject be what guides the viewer's eye to the background. This flips the rules of what we have generally been taught, but this change of perspective can give you and your viewers a totally different way of seeing things.

The goal is to get them to look beyond the foreground of the image to see what is in the background. And depending on the background you are using, this can work by either blurring the background out a bit or keeping everything sharp and in focus.

Perspective Photos of Rocks in Foreground of Photo

Perspective #6. Mirrors and Reflections

You can really use things that give a reflection to your advantage when playing around with different perspectives. Mirrors, glass walls or buildings, windows, and even water are great things to incorporate when using this technique. Whether they are used to show off the clouds in the sky, people, or objects; reflections or mirrored images can give you a new way of capturing things in a whole new unique way.

Perspective Photo of a Plane from the Perspective of a Rear View Mirror

Conclusion

Photography is an art. There are rules when it comes to composition and typical everyday photos. However, if you start to explore and start seeing things from different angles and new perspectives, you can really open up a whole new world to your viewers and yourself. It's okay to break a few rules from time to time. And by doing so, you can create interesting and beautiful images. This may take practice and a lot of trial and error, but you will have fun all along the way.

The goal is to train your eyes to see things differently than you normally would. And by doing so, you can train those who view your images to see things in a whole new way as well.

Do you have any questions or comments about how to achieve a different perspective in your images? Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And please share our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

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