Tips for creating excellent forced perspective photos

Forced viewpoint When the subject of a picture seems smaller/larger or closer/further away than it really is, this is referred to as photography. This optical illusion occurs when the backdrop and foreground of a photograph seem to interact owing to the composition of the photograph.

This approach is often utilized in a lighthearted manner, but it may also be beautiful, profound, and even functional. Peter Jackson, for example, employed forced perspective to make some figures seem significantly shorter than others. (For a similar approach, see No Film School’s Lord of the Rings instructional.)

Some photographers are so taken with forced perspective that they develop whole series around it. Queenie Liao, a photographer located in California, uses forced perspective to produce wonderful fairytale photos of newborns. Dear Photograph, which blends forced perspective with antique photographs, is another popular series.

Do you want to attempt this approach for yourself? Here are some pointers and ideas for your own forced perspective images.

18/365 Erich Leeth Gotcha!
Collaborate with a partner.
Getting the correct forced perspective composition while shooting alone may be tough. Unless you’re dealing with things that are within hand’s reach, you’ll have to go back and forth many times to adjust the subjects and verify their location in your viewfinder.

When you have another person assisting you, they may make changes as you gaze through the viewfinder, making the session go much quicker. Of course, you must communicate properly and provide precise directions so that people know exactly what to do. It may also be beneficial to show them examples of what you’re attempting to do.

If none of your friends or family members are willing to assist you, try asking a fellow photographer if they’d like to undertake a joint picture session. Then you may take turns taking shots. This collaborative photo session may lead to additional learning and ideas, as well as motivate and provide comments on each other’s photographs, in addition to speeding up the shots.

Coffee Bokeh by Dave Fowler

Make use of eye-catching props.
If you can’t find a companion for the shot, you should use props. A self-portrait is also doable, but it’s difficult unless you know how to shoot tethered. You can have problems obtaining the correct composition if you don’t. It will need a lot of trial and error.

Furthermore, the correct props may be just as engaging as portraits. Props that link to the environment in some way increase the connection between foreground and backdrop.

British photographer Michael Hughes, for example, has a famous picture series that blends forced perspective with trip trinkets. The link between the gifts and the tourist attractions they represent is so obvious that it’s simple to understand why he blended the two.

Victor Doyle – Forced viewpoint!

Select the best place.
picking the correct location, like picking excellent props, may make a great impact in your final images. Technically, any location may serve for a forced perspective shot, but certain locations are simpler to shoot in than others.

The most typical issue is the presence of other individuals, who crowd your shot and hustle you to finish it. Crowds may throw off the composition of your photo and disrupt the optical illusion, in addition to putting you under time constraints. The best venues are those that are not crowded and have lots of space to roam about.

If you must shoot in a crowded place, such as a major tourist attraction, try to arrive early in the morning when there are less people. Otherwise, incorporate the masses in your photograph.

Biswajit Kumar | 2018 | Pisa, Italy

Consider composition ahead of time.
Composition is essential for achieving success with forced perspective. A little off composition might make the optical illusion less believable. That is why planning the composition ahead of time might be beneficial. You don’t have to have every detail thought out, but you should have a rough idea for the composition in mind.

Even if it’s short, pre-planning will help the picture session go more quickly since you’ll have a starting point to work with. It may also improve your composition since you’ll have more time to consider the overall aesthetic of your picture.

El pintor de estrellas – The Star Painter – Abel Maestro Garcia

Experiment with various concepts.
While preparation is important, experimenting may often result in spectacular images. Once you’ve created the picture you wanted, experiment with other concepts and perspectives. Move your people around and experiment with photos from below and above. You may realize that your initial notion was not as exciting as some of the ideas that came to you spontaneously.

Barbara Eckstein – A horse needs to feed.

Use a small aperture.
Even with minor blur, you may create a lovely forced perspective shot, but if possible, strive to maintain both objects in focus. This will enhance the optical illusion’s credibility.

The easiest method to do this is to use a small aperture, such as f/16. This shallow depth of field should bring both subjects into focus, making them seem equally distant from the camera.

The Eiffel Tower is being held by Vincent Lock.

Maintain a basic image.
We keep going back to simplicity because it is so crucial. Regardless of genre or style, it’s critical to consider which parts in the frame are vital and which should be removed. Keeping your picture basic will improve its effectiveness, particularly if you’re capturing something sophisticated, such as an optical illusion.

Because forced perspective depends on precise composition, it’s ideal to keep the number of things in the frame to a minimum so that nothing interferes with the illusion. Extra pieces provide context, which reduces the effect of the forced viewpoint. Make everything in the picture a part of the illusion whenever feasible.

Sarah Bourque – The Ascension