A Little Perspective

Sometimes it’s a little tough expressing relative size in a photograph. After all, it’s only a two dimensional representation of a three-dimensional subject. In landscape photography this can be especially difficult since the camera tends to “compress” the image perspective somewhat.


Runoff – Austin, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on manual (M) using an EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 85mm, f/22 for 1/13th of a second at ISO 50. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Take the shot above for example. Can you tell how large the waterfalls and surrounding rocks really are? Can you tell how close they are to you? Me neither! Which is why it’s always a good idea to add some visual clue to your landscape images to help viewers judge the size of your subject and distance the subject is from the viewer. In some cases a simple foreground object can be used to add this sense of “perspective”. In others it’s simply best to add people in your landscape images as shown below. There’s nothing better to add a sense of relative size than having a person in your shot.

(And yes, those folks were mighty close to the slippery edge out there. You should have seen me & my tripod :-))


6 thoughts on “A Little Perspective

  1. That is awesome – I would have sworn, from the first photo, that the “falls” was mere inches – the angle of the water when it hit the lower part of the river does not appear to be steep enough to be more.

    But, as per your second shot, the falls are in the 4-5 foot range, if not a bit more. And the speed of the water would be incredible to produce an angle of incidence with the lower river. This picture provides both perspectives – size and speed.

    Thanks for that!!!

  2. Great Shots!! It is interesting to give some dimension to the photographs by having the people on the ledge. I would not have thought the fall was so great until the people came into the frame.



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