The major function of perspective in an interior shot is to produce a sense of depth. An interiors photographer uses line dynamics to control perspective. The illusion of depth in the picture is created by lines converging to one or more vanishing points, making the subject appear smaller as it recedes into the distance.
In order to better grasp the concept one must first understand that in every interior shot, there exist an imaginary horizon line which is level with the viewer's eyes. It is on this imaginary line that vanishing points appear to converge. Objects which are above the line will appear as if you are looking up at them and objects below the line will appear as if you are looking down at them.
Now to convey a sense of depth in an interior photograph one must include more than one wall; most effective compositions show either two or three walls. To minimise distortion we assume the sensor plane is kept vertically parallel to the subject (often the rear wall). Now depending on whether the sensor plane is horizontally parallel or not to the rear wall two type of compositions are possible, one point and two point perspectives.
One Point Perspective in Interiors Photography
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Put simply one point perspective is a straight on shot of the room with the camera sensor placed vertically and horizontally parallel to the rear wall. In a one point perspective shot there will only be a single vanishing point and the lines of perspective all converge inside the boundaries of the picture.
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One point perspective is commonly used when photographing something long like a corridor. In such a composition front and back sides of subjects appear flat or as if shot from front on and sides, top and bottom of the subjects appear as if converging towards vanishing points.
Two Point Perspective in Interiors Photography
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Two point perspective is simply a corner view of the room where in the opposite corner is right across from view. Here the senor is not horizontally parallel, but is at an angle to the rear wall. In a two point perspective composition, there will always be two principal vanishing points one which falls inside the boundaries of the picture and one that falls outside the existence of two vanishing points is what gives it the name two point perspective. In a two point perspective composition all lines except curved or irregular lines appear as either vertical or as if its going towards the vanishing point.
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The dynamism of the composition can be further increased by shooting the same area of the interior using a wider lens and moving in closer.
Best Camera Position for Two point Perspective Compositions
A two point perspective shot could either show two or three walls of the room. For compositions that include two walls the best camera position is in one corner of the room looking towards the opposite corner. And for compositions including three walls the best position is usually a third of the way along the length of the back wall, this helps avoid photographing the extra side wall in the composition at a very oblique angle.
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When the composition of the spacial area is defined it is time now to arrange foreground and mid ground elements in the frame properly to add further depth to the picture. In the next article we will discuss about the importance of styling and detailing in interiors photography.
- Controlling Perspective in Exterior Shots Using Focal Length
- Architectural Photography Composition - Line Dynamics
- Composition in Architectural Photography
- Tripods for Architectural Photography
- Architectural Photography Tips - Necessary extras