Self-Taught Photography Project

Types of Perspective

There are many different perspectives when using photography. What are they you ask? Well, I will just get straight to the point! There are 8 main types of perspective in photography which include:

  1. Linear Perspective
  2. Rectilinear Perspective
  3. Vanishing Point Perspective
  4. Height Perspective
  5. Overlap Perspective
  6. Dwindling Size Perspective
  7. Volume Perspective
  8. Atmospheric Perspective

Linear Perspective– Gives an impression of depth by using the worlds parallel lines and making them converge in the photograph. Linear perspective can also be achieved by scaling the subject closer against the background of the picture. It is the answer as to why items look smaller in the distance like telephone poles, trees, buildings, etc…

Rectilinear Perspective– This perspective is typical of what the human eye sees. The lines that are straight in camera lens, are reproduced straight in the picture/photo. Most photographs that are taken have the rectilinear perspective, because many people who are taking photos are unaware to change your perspective.

Vanishing Point Perspective– Lines that are parallel to each other give the perspective of meeting at a vanishing point. These lines can either be horizontal, or vertical, but when parallel lines are perpendicular the vanishing point is assumed to be at infinity. There may be other lines when photographing a vanishing point perspective. Those line, that are all other angles, meet at a definite point. This can be see if you are taking a photo from the center of a road, or the middle of a long hallway, etc…

Height Perspective– It is the place where the base of an object, or structure that is on the ground in a picture is a clue to its distance from the camera. Height perspective can be found in landscape photographs, where the ground rises toward the horizon. The higher up in the ground area of the picture that the base of an object is located, the further away it seems from the viewpoint and the greater its height  perspective is.

Overlap Perspective– It provides another clue to distance in a photograph. The objects in the photo are on the same line of sight, they are closer to the camera viewpoint and overlap more distant objects/partially hide them. The overlap is repeated multiple times so the pictures provides the viewer with a sense of depth. An example of this could be soldiers lined up, facing each other in the same position. The tunnel effect is created which allows depth.

Dwindling Size Perspective– A person makes size relations of objects due to experiencing vision. The farther away an object is, the smaller it appears. Therefore, when a subject of familiar sizes is included in a photo they help to establish the scale of the picture. Scale helps the viewer of the image determine the actual size, or relative size of the objects in the picture.

Volume PerspectiveWhen a subject is lighted with very diffused light, the three-dimensional form of the subject is difficult to perceive because of the lack of shadows. On the other hand, subjects are lighted with strong directional light from angles that cause part of the subject to be fully lighted and other parts to be in shadow, volume is provided.

Atmospheric Perspective– In photography when pictures are made of subjects at great distances, the air is less than fully transparent. A veil, or haze is seen as air particles including dust, or pieces  of toxins in the air when they are in the presences of scattering. The effect of this scattering is proportional to the distance from the camera. The greater the distance, the more haze.

These perspectives will allow you, as a photographer, to be more creative with your photographs. When a photographer changes their perspectives it creates a sense of diversity among their shots, which will then intrigue the viewers. Do you think you could create photographs with different perspectives?

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