... blog post:
Photography, like life, is a matter of perspective though in more ways than one. Tricks of the light, tricks of the lens, tricks of composition, tricks of the mind in interpretation, all affect the appearance of viewed objects and in turn interpretations of things photographic alike.
The Apple dictionary gives three definitions of the word perspective as follows:
1 [mass noun] the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other: the theory and practice of perspective | [as modifier] : a perspective drawing.
• the appearance of viewed objects with regard to their relative position, distance from the viewer, etc.: a trick of perspective.
• [count noun] a view or prospect.
• Geometry the relation of two figures in the same plane, such that pairs of corresponding points lie on concurrent lines, and corresponding lines meet in collinear points.
2 a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view: most guidebook history is written from the editor's perspective.
• [mass noun] true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion: we must keep a sense of perspective about what he's done.
3 an apparent spatial distribution in perceived sound."
In the two images above I took advantage of the side lighting with the resulting shadows from the railings to draw attention onto the boardwalk as the central focus for the eye; I used a super wide angle lens which exaggerates perspective by making objects closer to the camera appear larger than ones farther away, even when they are the same size in reality, again witness the railings this time in respect of the their height; I have composed the picture to keep the boardwalk central to the image and draw your eye into the distance and pointed the camera slightly downwards to includes more of the foreground to give the sense of pulling the viewer into the picture from front to back; finally I am relying on the viewer's cultural experience of what such scenes are like in reality to interpret this image as 3-D even though it is in fact 2-D and completely flat.
They are, in fact, one big compositional lie or rather two big compositional lies. Thus, in terms of the dictionary definition of perspective, I have chosen not to to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other; rather the opposite in order to convey an impression or message to the viewer, that of depth and distance.
Now I was going to entitle this article, "The Long Walk" illustrated with these two images and some others I have available when I changed my mind to witter on about perspective instead, but you can see where I was coming from. Which brings me to a point. Photographs don't just record the the relationship between things in the same plane as viewed objects, i.e. their perspective, but are also taken from the perspective (the viewpoint) of the photographer as well. That is to say they convey the photographers attitude towards their subject or maybe a point of view or a message they wish to impart, or there again a statement they wish to make or a feeling they wish to share. This the second meaning of perspective. English is a tricky language isn't it?
In the images above, I was trying to communicate the feeling of the "long walk" which I hope the two picture succeed in doing. Neither of them try to be an accurate representation of what was in front of me, rather they represent my taking artistic licence to convey a message.
As for the third definition of perspective, the one about sound, well ♪♪♪Hmmmmmmmm♪♪♪.