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« Cropping to make better photographs | Main | Photographing fall colors Part 5 »

Create depth in your photographs

Use foreground elements to create depth in photographsYesterday, I was walking in downtown Denver at sunrise, and noticed this beautiful color on the buildings (see image below).  I realized, though, that the image would look flat, almost like a Japanese painting, because there wasn't an obvious sense of depth.

Sometimes, this is a great look to play with, but in this case, I wanted to have a sense of three dimensionality.  The quick solution was to find something to put in the foreground, and the lamppost was a great solution.  As a silhouette, it did not add a new palette of color.  But what it did do was add diagonal lines, and round shapes to an otherwise linear composition (see image at the top).

It's a good idea to think about your intent as you are looking through the viewfinder.  Understanding how to add depth to an image is one more tool to draw on when creating an image.

Original scene has almost two dimensional quality

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