Tip of the Day: Close Encounters

Perspective gives a two-dimensional image a sense of three dimensions. Here are a few ways to maximize it.• Zooming in and out doesn’t yield a greater sense of dimensionality—in fact, just the opposite. The more you zoom in, the more you compress any sense of depth. Zooming out to a shorter focal length takes in more of the scene, but can distort perspective.• Instead, reposition. Try moving the camera. Look for an angle that makes your foreground subject appear greater in size than what’s behin

Perspective gives a two-dimensional image a sense of three dimensions. Here are a few ways to maximize it.

• Zooming in and out doesn’t yield a greater sense of dimensionality—in fact, just the opposite. The more you zoom in, the more you compress any sense of depth. Zooming out to a shorter focal length takes in more of the scene, but can distort perspective.

• Instead, reposition. Try moving the camera. Look for an angle that makes your foreground subject appear greater in size than what’s behind it.

• Use highlights and shadows to add dimensionality. Also, two similarly lit objects, one behind the other, instantly convey perspective.

Adapted from Stoppees’ Guide to Photography & Light by Brian & Janet Stoppee (Focal Press , 2008; $35)