Ex­plore Adobe El­e­ments’ Smart Brush

LEARN HOW TO USE PER­SPEC­TIVE EF­FECTS TO ADD THE WOW FAC­TOR TO LAND­SCAPES

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ] [ TECH­LIFE TEAM ]

IT’S OF­TEN SAID that per­spec­tive changes with fo­cal length, but tech­ni­cally, this is un­true – it is the dis­tance be­tween the cam­era and the sub­ject that de­ter­mines per­spec­tive. How­ever, to keep a sub­ject the same size in the frame with a tele­photo and a wide an­gle, you need to change dis­tance from the sub­ject, thus chang­ing the per­spec­tive.

In prac­tice, this means we use wide an­gles to en­hance lin­ear per­spec­tive – get in close to fore­ground ob­jects and ev­ery­thing be­hind will ap­pear to stretch away into the dis­tance, cre­at­ing a sense of depth. On the other hand, by shooting from fur­ther away with a tele­photo, the ap­par­ent dis­tance be­tween the fore­ground and back­ground will be re­duced, cre­at­ing a flat­ter per­spec­tive. This is some­times called the ‘stack­ing’ ef­fect.

Match­ing the right ap­proach to the scene is the key to cre­at­ing im­pact with per­spec­tive. Coastal scenes with strong fore­ground in­ter­est are a nat­u­ral fit for en­hanced depth us­ing wide an­gles, whereas the rolling hills of ru­ral scenes or the over­lap­ping forms of moun­tain ranges are more suited to the stack­ing ef­fect of longer lenses.

This is not a hard and fast rule and there are plenty of other op­tions. On the coast, for ex­am­ple, longer fo­cal lengths can be used to en­hance the lay­er­ing dis­tant head­lands or to make it look as if waves are stacked on top of each other. In ru­ral scenes, there is of­ten fore­ground in­ter­est in the form of wild flowers, dry stone walls and so on.

The trick is to be able to study and as­sess scenes. Ask your­self the fol­low­ing ques­tions: Is there nat­u­ral fore­ground in­ter­est, which leads the eye into the frame and which links well with the back­ground? Would the scene gain from en­hanced depth or would key fo­cal points lose their im­pact? Is there a nat­u­ral lay­er­ing in the scene, which could be en­hanced by the use of a tele­photo? Are there pat­terns in the land­scape that could be high­lighted? If so, con­sider a longer fo­cal length. Of­ten, a scene will lend it­self to more than one treat­ment, so you should also be pre­pared to ex­per­i­ment.

This is a sat­is­fy­ing wide-an­gle scene: it’s har­mo­nious, bal­anced and also cre­ates depth by suc­cess­fully lead­ing the eye through to the back­ground

Get­ting in close to fore­ground in­ter­est with a wide-an­gle lens makes the fore­ground loom large while the back­ground re­cedes, cre­at­ing an im­pres­sion of depth

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