== Love Photography == Delight in Light ==

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Photo 101 - Lesson 6 - Walk This Way: Near and Far

In the last lesson we talked about creating a "frame within a frame" - including something in your picture that creates a border around the edges. Normally (although, not always) you do this by including something (like a tree, an archway, or something like that) that is closer to the camera than the actual subject.

In this lesson I want to continue along a similar theme - including things in your photo that are different distances from the camera.

One problem with photos is that they are 2-dimensional. They are flat. They don't have any depth - if you look at a photo from the side, all there is is a single line. The real world is not like that. There is depth to it. The challenge is to get the photo to look like it has depth too. There are many aspects to this, but one important way of doing it is to include objects at different distances within your photo so that people feel like they are being drawn into the picture.

You can achieve this by either including individual objects in the photo that are different distances away from the camera or by having some kind of line (like a road, path, wall, etc.) that starts near the camera and runs towards the distance (this is called a "leading line" because it feels like it is leading you into the picture). Or, of course, you could use a combination of both.

Here are some examples:

Whistling Sands Beach

Mountain Mist

Princess Paradise

Millennium Seed Bank

In all of these photos there are things that are at clearly different distances from that camera - and these give the photos a feeling of depth.

So - your homework this time is to give this a try. Take several pairs of photos: in the first photo in each pair, avoid having something in the foreground; in the second photo, include an object or a line that "draws people in".

Once you've done that, have a look at the resulting photos and think about which ones you like more. Consider questions like these:

  • Did having something in the foreground improve the photos?
  • Which pair(s) benefited most from this sense of depth?
  • Were they any where including something in for foreground actually made it worse?
  • Did lines or individual objects seem to work best?

Don't rush it, but once you're done, don't forget to come back for lesson 7 :)