Thursday, November 1, 2007

Perspective vs.Point of View

Quite a few of you seem to be having difficulty understanding the difference between these two terms. I'd like to try to clarify this for you.

Imagine standing on a path with a row of trees running along the side. As you look out to a point on the horizon, you’ll naturally see that the path, and the trees appear to get smaller the further away they are from you. This demonstrates the principle of linear perspective. When you shoot a photo that clearly shows linear perspective (objects getting smaller the further they are away from you), you visually add a greater sense of depth to the image. An explanation based upon the rules of geometry can be found at . A less complicated explanation which addresses the topic as it relates to art is presented at .

Point of view refers to the physical location of the camera with respect to the subject. Every scene has many points of view. Your job is to find a viewpoint that is unique and interesting. There is no law that says all pictures have to be taken from eye level and straight on. In fact, this type of photo is usually somewhat boring and uninspired. By taking a picture from a different angle, you can produce a totally new feeling, mood or effect. The worm's eye view can be pretty interesting. By lying down on your stomach, you can get flowers in the foreground to frame your subject. If you are taking pictures of small children or pets, getting the camera down on their level can improve results. You can also avoid cluttered or ugly background by changing your point of view. Climbing up on things and looking down from a high point of view offers lots of different opportunities. The creative photographer will experiment with many different positions of the camera. Read more about this at