Creating a sense of depth in your iPhone photos can often be a challenge. While our eyes see everything in three dimensions, the camera only captures a two dimensional image.
This often makes it difficult to capture a scene with your camera that looks as amazing as it did through your own eyes. This is especially true with landscape photography where a stunning landscape scene can end up looking flat and boring.
Luckily there are number of composition techniques that you can use to help create a sense of distance in your photos. A simple change in viewpoint can often make a huge difference.
Creating a sense of depth produces images that are much more interesting and intriguing. It engages the viewer, inviting them to explore the scene from the front of the photo right into the distance.
In this tutorial you’ll discover 5 composition techniques for creating a sense of depth in your iPhone photos.
- Include Foreground Interest
A plain foreground, especially in landscape photography can make your photos look flat and uninteresting. Including objects in the foreground is a great way of creating a sense of depth to your photos, as well as making them more interesting to look at.
Foreground interest makes your photos more dynamic, emphasizing the distance between the objects in the foreground and those in the distance. It helps lead the eye from the front to the back of the photo.
When shooting landscape photos, look for interesting objects in the foreground such as rocks, flowers, people or overhanging tree branches. Then compose your shot to include these objects at the front of the photo.
- Shoot From A Low Angle
Changing your viewpoint can have a huge impact on a photo. Shooting from a lower angle is a great way of showing the scene from a unique viewpoint, but it can also help to create a sense of depth in an image.
When shooting from standing height it is often difficult to include enough foreground interest at the front of the photo. Composing your shot from a lower angle allows you to place more emphasis on foreground objects, which adds depth and interest to your image.
Shooting from a low angle can also create extreme perspective, which is another good way of showing depth.
A low point of view makes parallel lines converge more quickly than if captured from standing height, and this can have a dramatic effect on the sense of depth in the photo.
- Use Leading Lines
Leading lines refer to lines in a photo that lead from the foreground into the distance. Rivers, roads, paths, bridges and train tracks all make excellent leading lines.
As well as providing a strong graphical element, leading lines have an extremely powerful impact on the sense of depth in an image.
Lines help make the image more dynamic by leading the viewer’s eye into the photo. Leading lines can also be used to draw attention to the main subject by leading towards it.
Leading lines can be straight and parallel such as railway tracks that converge into the distance. Or they can be more subtle in the form of a curved path or an S-shaped river that winds through the landscape.
The trick with leading lines is to compose your shot so that the line is positioned in the best place within the frame. It usually works best if the line starts from the bottom corner and then leads into the distance. This ensures that the viewer follows the line from the front of the photo, through the scene towards the background.
- Frame The Scene With Foreground Objects
The “framing” composition technique involves using an object in the foreground to create a frame around the edge of the subject. As well as adding interest and context to a photo, it’s also a useful way of creating a sense of depth.
This is a similar concept to using foreground interest as it leads the viewer’s eye from the front of the image, through the frame and towards the subject or scene in the distance.
Frames can either completely surround the subject or scene around all four edges, such as an archway or window frame. Or they can just go around one or two edges of the photo, such as an overhanging tree branch positioned along the top and down one side of the frame.
Next time you’re out taking photos, try looking for natural frames that you could use to shoot through.
- Overlap Objects In The Scene
Overlapping different objects within a scene is another great way of showing distance in a photo. This works especially well in landscape photography where your scene contains different elements separated by distance.
In this example the overlapping of the trees at different distances, the orange rock and the snowy field really help to convey the distance between each object.
When taking photos, try walking around to find the best viewpoint where the different elements of the scene overlap each other. Sometimes just taking a couple of steps to the left or right can make all the difference to the composition and the sense of depth that you manage to capture in your image.
Emil Pakarklis is the founder of iPhonePhotographySchool.com, a website about taking better photos with iPhone. If you want to improve your iPhone photos, visit iPhoneography 101, which is a resource Emil created for everyone who wants to start taking better photos with iPhone.