Creating a greater sense of depth In photographs

Creating a greater sense of depth In photographs

Photographs with depth are much more engaging and intriguing. They make the viewers explore the art rather than a mere observation. Today, I will be talking about few techniques that I use while taking photographs and I do believe they have been fairly helpful in taking better pictures.

Sense of depth in photography

1. Include foreground  and mid ground :-

Out there the world is three dimensional and the biggest challenge is to depict the same visual impression in our two dimensional photograph. When you photograph a subject without including any of the foreground or mid ground elements, it gives a more or less flat look. So, including  foreground and mid ground elements enhance the sense of depth in a photograph.

Black and white concert photography

 Look at the picture above. The picture would have had a flat look if I had cropped the left side (my left) speaker from the photograph. The wires, speakers, mike and all other elements add depth to the image and visually help our mind calculate the distance from the main subject as our sense calculates the distance between the elements. While composing the frame, if these techniques are considered and experimented well, the result will definitely turn out to be more interesting.

2. Change your view point:-

One of the biggest mistakes that we as a photographers end up committing is making a halt in our creativity with the view point of taking pictures. Changing the angle and viewpoint can make the same mundane scene into something less familiar and more captivating.

We see the world from our eye level so when we slightly change the angle, it starts to look more interesting as it’s an angle we don’t see the world much often with.

Highest lake in the work

One cheat sheet that you can apply the very next time you shoot would be to get down to the ground.  Include more of a foreground with a real low angle.  You can even experiment with the low angle and try to photograph something that is moving away from the foreground to the background. To some extent like lines.


3.Frame your scene:-

Try to capture the pictures that ask more from a viewer than just to offer a glance. Your photographs should not only make the viewer observe but explore too.

framing subject in center

When you are about to take a picture, watch out for the interesting elements that you can use to frame as the subject. The viewer eyes are always visually moving around the elements to get to the subject. So, when you arrange the elements around you, make sure your subject is getting the direct attention the visually creating  more sense of depth to the image.


4. Wide lens:-

Using wide lens can help you include more of a foreground, mid ground and background.  And as mentioned in the first point, including more elements in the foreground helps to increase the depth while, wide lens helps to exaggerate the perspective.

Wide lens give greater depth


5. Leading lines:-

Usually lines in photography give us a feeling of movement or motion.  Using lines in your photograph can be a very good approach to take better images. You can use lines to lead the viewer’s eyes to the subject, away from the subject and also draw their attention across the path.  The lines are everywhere around you, it’s just that you have to have the eyes to see them.

Trek to tilicho basecamp


6. shoot In portrait

Now, let me again help you understand this with an exercise

1. Stand straight
2. Move your head from left to right or from right to left
3. When you move sideways your eyes naturally focus on the elements which are at the same distance away. So, try to observe how your eyes focus the element
4. Now stand straight and move your head from top to bottom and vice-versa. Your eyes will involuntarily focus at elements at varying distance.

Conclusion: – taking portrait photographs (vertical) can naturally help with more sense of depth from very near (bottom) to very far (top).

on my way to manag

These are few guiding principles that I try to keep in mind to experiment whenever I bump into see some interesting subject.

I would love to see on what you think and how you have been working to get greater depths in your images as the comments below. Happy shooting.

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About author

Anup Ghimire
Anup Ghimire 60 posts

Anup ghimire is a self learned Photographer/Designer and recently graduated in multimedia technologies from London metropolitan university.Traveling is something he loves the most after photography. You can see some of his photos at his facebook photography page

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