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4 WAYS TO ADD DEPTH AND DIMENSION IN PHOTO

One of the problems of photography is the two-dimensional environment with which we try to capture the three-dimensional world. Creating a sense of depth and dimension in the image helps to interest viewers and draw their attention to photos. This article offers you four tips for creating depth in your shots.

Use the correct shooting angle

The first thing you can do to add depth to your photos is to stand in a suitable place and point the camera in the right direction. When you photograph, looking directly at a flat object, your photo will also look flat. Take a look at the example below. The photo was taken at dawn on one side of the river bank, overlooking the other bank. Notice how the river “draws” a straight line right through the image. In fact, there is nothing here that could attract the attention of the viewer.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo
Beautiful sunrise or sunset is not enough here to make an expressive photograph. This frame does not have enough depth due to the shooting angle used.

When creating the next shot, all that was done was to turn the camera slightly to the left so as not to shoot directly across the river.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo
This shot is slightly better than the first.

Now let’s look at what happens with the same frame if the photographer just moves around a bit. Moving just a couple of meters from the previous shooting point and turning your face along the river, instead of looking directly across it at the other side, you can get a better angle.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo
See how the river catches your eye?

Well, this option is already better, but you can take another step. Add a hillside to the frame. See the photo below.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo
See how the river takes your view out of the frame, but does not return back?

There was a feeling that the river worked against the photographer in the composition above, so he turned the final image over (the mirror image showed it horizontally). Now the river enters the image on the left and meanders. The human gaze reads from left to right, from top to bottom, so try to keep your compositions moving in that direction too. It will be convenient for the viewer, and will keep his attention on the photo.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo
The river leads the viewer’s gaze into the image, the details on the hillside arouse his interest

Notice the noticeable difference between the first image and the last in terms of depth.

Create layers

The next thing you can do to add depth to your shots is add layers. This technique means that there are objects in the frame that are at different distances from the camera. In fact, you need a foreground element (something close), a middle plan and background (something far).

Human eyes perceive depth, so we can see both close and distant objects at the same time. Your task is to take a picture so as to add the right elements for the overlay. The easiest way to do this is to find the object you want to photograph, then step back and add something to the foreground. Let’s look at a few examples.

4 Ways to Add Depth and Dimension to a Photo

In the image above, the edge of the river bank is added to the foreground, and the entire valley is visible. But it doesn’t work very well, see? There are three distinct elements in the image – the sky, grass in the foreground and the valley. But they do not seem interconnected. And yet – the edge of the hill and the horizon are straight lines that are too static here.

Now the photographer focused on the bush in the foreground, and the valley behind turned into the background supporting him. This shows the depth of the frame much better.

Where to focus?

In the above examples, the main subject is in focus, and the foreground or background is blurred. But you can even swap focus and still create frame depth.

Use the light to add depth.

The next thing to consider when you want to add depth to your picture is lighting. Look at the light that illuminates the subject. Does it add a sense of three-dimensionality to the image or does it remain flat and lifeless? In photography, lighting is everything, light complements the scene, adds mood and feeling to it.

Back light to illuminate the subject

Back light is one way to highlight an object, separate it (or them) from the background, and add depth to the image. Let’s look at some examples.

Side light to show size and shape

The light coming from the side allows you to emphasize the shape, texture and size of your object. In the image of the building below you would not be able to see the corner of the house and, accordingly, its shape if both sides of it were lit evenly.

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