There’s no better way to suck viewers into your photos than with a sense of depth. Here are a few simple tips to add depth to your images and make your viewers feel as though they were standing right next to you when you snapped the shot.
Tip #1: Go Wide
A wide-angle lens brings the foreground right up to the viewer, giving your photo tremendous depth and making your audience feel like they can step into the image. Because of the dramatic perspective it creates, a wide-angle lens should be your first go-to lens when you want to bring depth to your photos.
Tip #2: Stand Up
Ninety percent of wide-angle photos are shot from down low in order to exaggerate the foreground. However, the lower you get, the more you minimize your midground. This can result in a photo with a dramatic foreground and interesting background but without much in between to connect them. So if you want to stretch out your midground, connect your foreground to your background to emphasize the depth and expansiveness of your scene. Get up off your knees and watch the image become a portal that draws your viewers into the scene.
Tip #3: Go Long
Telephoto lenses are typically used to isolate subjects and create compression and flatness in a scene. However, when used with juxtaposed subjects, a telephoto lens can create a natural frame or contrast that gives viewers the sense of looking out past the foreground subject into the scene beyond.
Tip #4: Layer Up
It’s a phenomenon of our natural world that objects grow fainter and less distinct the farther they are from us. So if you’re shooting a scene with lots of layers or repeating patterns, set up a composition that emphasizes the layers and patterns and that natural optical phenomenon will automatically add depth to your photos. If you want to intensify the effect, find a scene with lots of atmosphere that helps the background fade away. Fog, mist, and smoke all work well for this.
These are just a few ideas you can use to create depth in your photos. Got any of your own favorite tips for adding depth to your images? Share them in the comments below!