Summary – Perspective is a main element of visual design – along with shapes, lines and textures. Do you understand what this key element is? More importantly, do you know how to control it?
A belief held by many photographers is that
Long lenses compress perspective and
Wide lenses expand it
That belief is wrong
Shooting distance and NOT focal length
Illustrative Proof Follows
No Perspective At All
One of my better moon shots
From the Science & Art of Perspective
Click on the image to visit the site
Perspective noun –
used to create an illusion of space and depth on a flat surface
In this post, perspective relates to
How large an object appears relative to nearer & farther objects and
How far apart near|far objects appear to be
Some photographers think that
Long lenses compress perspective
Wide lenses expand it
BUT that’s not correct
Two images taken from the same location, one with a wide-angle lens and the other with a long-focus lens, will show identical perspective, in that near and far objects appear the same relative size to each other. [From Wikipedia]
It’s shooting distance that controls perspective, not focal length
The zoom that matters is
The zoom you do with your feet
Walking closer to the subject (or farther)
Is how you change perspective!
1. I set up my tripod in my driveway
2. I made an image with a lens at 155 mm
3. I changed focal length to 52 mm and made a 2nd image
I did not change my location in my driveway
THUS – One shooting location,
Two focal lengths,
Two images – BUT
Just ONE single perspective
As shown below
Here are the two images –
The bottom one includes a crop about to be made
Below we see the original 155 mm image again and
The crop made from the 52 mm image
The perspective (relative size & spacing) is IDENTICAL in both
Demonstrating that distance, not focal length, determines perspective
Surprised? I hope not.
An obvious conclusion to be drawn is
Zooming from a fixed location has no effect on perspective
It only changes magnification
But – we already knew that 😉
If you want to change the perspective
You must change your location
Move those feet
Future posts will consider
Shapes, lines & textures
Visual Design’s other key elements
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