strong linear perspective in photography is usually achieved by using wide-angle lenses—the wider the angle of view, the better the effect. However, perspective is not actually changed by zooming out, using a different lens, or adding wide-angle converters. Linear perspective can only be changed by viewpoint.
The perspective simply looks like it has altered because you
have increased the angle of lens coverage. Because areas of the foreground that are much closer come into shot, the parallel lines appear to converge more sharply.
The perfect subjects for this approach are ones that have strong parallel lines—such as a road, or train tracks. Getting down low will ensure that the foreground is as close as possible—helping to exaggerate the effect of the wide lens.
Diminishing size is essentially a by-product of linear perspective. However, subjects of similar size will appear smaller the farther away they are, even if there are no converging lines. This illusion works best when the subjects look as identical to each other as possible. Like linear perspective, it can also be exaggerated using wide-angle lenses, and by being as close
as possible to the nearest object.
Composing an image so that distant objects are partially obscured by ones that are closer can be used, together with other perspective tricks, in order to increase the feeling of depth. At its more extreme, you can set up a composition
so that foreground elements—such as branches of a tree—cut through the main subject in the distance. The distraction this may cause can be controlled by ensuring that the foreground is out of focus
ALONG THE TRACK
A classic shot that uses linear perspective to good effect: this country track not only leads the eye gently through the landscape and into the far distance, but tapers as it meanders on its way.
Super-wide-angle lenses are often used for interior shots, because walls restrict camera position. This means the lines of the room appear to converge steeply, making small spaces seem larger than they actually are.
To make these beds of pink tulips converge into the distance as steeply as possible, I knelt down with the widest lens setting I had available, and filled the frame with the blooms.
aLong the Lines
Including linear perspective in a composition creates depth. By standing in the middle of the pathway, the sides of the road or the track seem to gradually converge as they weave their way toward the horizon.
the same, but different
A classic example of diminishing size: we can be pretty certain the windmills are the same size in reality—the fact that they look successively smaller provides
a strong sense of depth.
The human brain can use quite subtle clues to help get a better idea about depth. In this shot, even though the fencerows are not in
a continuous straight line from foreground to background, they still appear to lose height as they get farther into the distance.