If you are looking for some clever photography techniques to help you create visually stunning pictures, you will want to know more about forced perspective technique. Forced perspective photographs take something that we are familiar with and distort it so it appears strange. The most common style of forced perspective shots make things appear smaller, larger, closer or farther away than they are in reality. Although the results are spectacular, you do not require expensive equipment or expert training to take these shots. You just need an interesting subject, some imagination and great timing.
Some of the most common and visually effective forced perspective photographs are very simple to achieve. Many thousands of people who visit the leaning tower of Pisa every year have their own fun with this technique. This normally involves the subject in the shot being made to look the same size as the tower and either holding up the tower or giving it a big hug. This can be achieved by taking the shot at a far enough distance away from the tower, but keeping the person standing beside it in the foreground of the shot.
Another commonly used variation on this technique is to visually alter the effects of gravity. You may have seen some of the stunning shots that make it appear as if people are sitting against a wall of water. The reality of this shot is that the people are actually floating with their legs up and over the ledge to the pool and the camera has been positioned on its side to give the impression that they are sitting.
Other forced perspective shots require a bit of good timing. For instance there are countless shots of people controlling or playing with things like the sun, clouds or water features. The sun and clouds positions in the sky obviously change over the course of the day as the earth moves, making the timing of these shots important. For example, the opportunity to take shots where it looks like a man is kicking the sun off a cliff into the sky will only be possible for a matter of minutes. This is part of the fun of using this photographic technique. All the meticulous planning, where you place the camera in relation to your subjects and the backdrop and taking the picture at the right minute or second of the day to take that photograph that will leave people dazzled.
If this has stirred your creative juices, why not have a go at forced perspective photographs yourself? There are plenty of great ideas and trick photography techniques to try out! The next time you are at the park or the beach with your family, why not try taking a picture with one of the grown ups far in the background of the picture and a child in the foreground and make it appear as if the child is a giant holding the adult high in the air in-between its giant fingers. The only real limit to what’s possible with forced perspective photographs is your own imagination and the time you allow yourself to get the shot just the way you want it to be for the maximum effect intended.
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