Al­ter your per­spec­tive

Here’s a sim­ple way to help you get to grips with how to change the per­spec­tive of your shots

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

For this ex­am­ple we used a tree and a glasshouse as the sub­jects, but you can try it yourself with any type of sub­ject. You’ll need at least two sub­jects, one in the fore­ground and one in the back­ground, and plenty of space in front of them. Ideally this area will al­low you to stand at three dis­tances from your sub­jects to get a good range of per­spec­tives – be­ing able to move from a cou­ple of me­tres from the fore­ground to around 100 me­tres is ideal.

01 A nor­mal per­spec­tive

Our eyes don’t have a zoom fa­cil­ity, so if you stand too far away ev­ery­thing will look tiny; stand too close and you’ll have to move your head to take in the scene. To get a ‘nor­mal’ per­spec­tive, find a view­point where both ob­jects fill your field of vi­sion with­out hav­ing to turn your head.

02 Stan­dard fo­cal length

To frame most sub­jects at a dis­tance that will give you this ‘nor­mal’-look­ing per­spec­tive, use a fo­cal length of 35-50mm on a full-frame cam­era, or 24-35mm on a DX model. On a stan­dard zoom lens you will find that this fo­cal length is around the mid­dle of the zoom range.

03 Ex­ag­ger­ate per­spec­tive

To make the fore­ground sub­ject ap­pear much larger and the back­ground fea­tures ap­pear much smaller, you need to move close to the fore­ground. This works be­cause you are chang­ing the rel­a­tive dis­tances be­tween you and the dif­fer­ent parts of the scene.

04 Use a wide-an­gle lens

Be­cause you are closer to the fore­ground, you’ll have to use a wide-an­gle lens to fit it all in. The fo­cal length needed will de­pend on the size of the fore­ground sub­ject, and how close you are to it. If you are re­ally close, or the sub­ject is large, you’ll need a very wide lens.

05 Com­press­ing per­spec­tive

To make the fore­ground and back­ground ap­pear closer to­gether, shoot from fur­ther away. The greater the dis­tance, the more ‘com­pressed’ the per­spec­tive will be. Here, we were 100 me­tres from the tree – the fur­thest dis­tance that still gave us a clear view of both sub­jects.

06 Use a tele­photo lens

Be­cause you are fur­ther away both the fore­ground and back­ground will ap­pear to be smaller, so you need to use a longer fo­cal length lens. We used a 75mm lens, as we were 100 me­tres from the tree, but at greater dis­tances you would need to use a fo­cal length such as 100-200mm.

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