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The Essential Guide to Forced Perspective Photography

The Essential Guide to Forced Perspective Photography

Photography is increasing rapidly day by day. Nowadays, every person carries a camera in their pocket. Over 50 billion photos have been posted to Instagram so far, and around 100 million images are being uploaded every day. That’s a huge figure, and it’s just one social media website. So, what can you do to make your photography work stand out? Well, the one way is to click some extraordinary pictures that are not being clicked by others. One of such photography is forced perspective.

What is forced perspective photography?

Forced perspective photography is a creative technique used by photographers. This technique uses optical illusion to make objects appear smaller, larger, closer to the camera, or further away from the camera. In simple terms, the placement of the subject is done in a way that the subject appears to interact with other people or objects in a totally unique way.

Forced perspective photography ideas

Let’s talk about forced perspective ideas. If this term is new for you, it’s a good idea to google “forced perspective photography ideas,” and you’ll find hundreds of forced perspective photos for your inspiration. Select some simple photos first that don’t require other people, and you can do it at the comfort of your home. 

Some simple ideas like you can make yourself look like a giant or very tiny. If the other object in the picture is bigger than you, it’ll make you huge, and if the other object is smaller than you, it’ll make you tiny. You may use small toys like a dinosaur to make you appear smaller.

Another idea is to open your mouth and try to eat a tall building or align your face with a book cover. If you see clouds in the sky, you may use a spray can and make it appear like you are spraying the clouds.

forced perspective photography

Seven tips for forced perspective photography

1. Keep it simple:

    Forced perspective photos should be simple. There should be only three things in the picture, the subject, the other object, and a clean background. If you find something that is creating a distraction, try to remove it from the composition. Keep the only elements that are important to create the illusion.

    2. Placement of your subject:

      The placement of your subject is crucial to create the optical illusion. Let’s say you are taking a picture of putting your finger on the top of a tall building. A slight movement of the camera or your finger can ruin the image. So, make sure that everything is placed correctly before clicking the picture, and don’t forget to use the rule of thirds and rule of space when you compose the photo.

      tips for forced perspective photography


      3. Focusing:

        In forced perspective photography, we place one object near the camera and another far away to create the illusion. Always make sure that both objects are in proper focus. If you are clicking using a mobile phone, everything will focus, but if you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you need to take care of this. Use a narrow aperture like f/16 to keep everything in focus.

        4. Use a wide-angle lens:

        This photography doesn’t require any specific equipment, but it’s always better to use a wide-angle lens to shoot forced perspective photos. Using a wide-angle lens will give you more depth of field, so both objects in your image will be in focus without needing a very narrow aperture. The second advantage of using a wide lens is that you can get closer to your foreground object without cropping out the background. In simple terms, you’ll get more space in your background to place the other object.

        You can use any other lens, but a wide-angle lens will give you better photographs.

        Use a wide-angle lens in forced perspective photography
        5. Take a test shot and take lots of photos:

        It’s always a good idea to take a test shot and fine-tune the placement of your subjects in the picture. As I wrote above, a tiny movement in the camera or the subject can ruin the illusion you are trying to create. So, take a shot, fine-tune everything and then take lots of images so you can get the one perfect shot. 

        6. Don’t forget about forced perspective photography during travel:

        If you are traveling, you’ll get plenty of forced perspective ideas. Use them, so your travel photos stand out and look unique.

        7. Take advantage of the technology:

        Now day’s lots of camera gadgets are available for creative photography. Use them to your advantage. One such gadget is MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger. It gives you the option to trigger your camera from your smartphone. You can use smartphone app and press the shutter button remotely.

        equipment for forced perspective photography


        Let’s say you are one of your subjects in the picture and you don’t have anyone to help. How will you click the image? You need to set the camera, turn on the timer mode, click the shutter, go to the spot where you need to stand, and pose yourself within 10 seconds. After the shoot, you need to go near the camera, check the picture, and if there is some problem, you need to repeat these steps.

        Now let’s say you are using MIOPS Smart+. You can trigger your camera remotely using this device.  When everything is ok, you can use timer mode to press the shutter. Why are we using timer mode? So that you can get plenty of time to put your mobile in the pocket and pose properly.

        So grab your camera, click some breathtaking pictures, and amaze the world. Good luck.

        Blog Credit: Ramakant Sharda

        Ramakant is an Award-Winning Photographer, Author, Mobile Apps Publisher based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. Many of his works have been published in magazines, newspapers, and international blogs. He writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. He has published three (so far) coffee table books. Get his latest book Mastering High-Speed Photography.

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