Visual perspective conveys depth and distance in a two-dimensional print. The eye has a fixed focal length and field of vision. Setting your lens to 50mm (or its full-frame equivalent) emulates the perspective we naturally perceive, but here are ways to create perspectives the human eye can’t see.
• Steep perspective.** A wide-angle lens, with a close viewpoint, exaggerates distances and scale. Subjects near the lens seem large in proportion to their surroundings, and distant subjects seem much further away. Use this perspective to emphasize your foreground subject and draw the viewer into the image.
• Perspective compression.** Due to its distant viewpoint, a telephoto lens compresses, condenses, and flattens three-dimensional space. Elements in the scene often seem much closer together than they are. Using a tele will emphasize the background, and you can isolate your subject from the background by using a wide aperture.
ADAPTED FROM DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: ESSENTIAL SKILLS (FOURTH EDITION) BY MARK GALER (FOCAL PRESS, 2008; $30)