How to Add Depth to Your Photo

Give Your Photo a Three Dimensional Look

Whoa, look out!  You almost got hit right in the face with the end of that guitar!!!    Kidding, you’re fine… It’s just a photograph.  Geez, panic much?  This is an incredibly easy and fun composition technique you can add to most any photograph.  A tree branch, an arm, a log, a pole, a pipe, a mailbox, the corner of a desk, your dog’s tail, your cat’s tail… just about anything.

When I do this technique I follow two main rules.  First is the rule of thirds and it goes like this.  I start from either the top left or the top right (I have found that for me, when I start from the top left I feel like it’s got more depth but maybe I’m right eyed…?).  I focus on the top third (with the rest slightly fading into the background) and have the subject (the guitar in this photo) end in the bottom third.  I set my aperture pretty wide open so that I can get a slight blur (bokeh) in both the foreground and the background.  I don’t want to much blur otherwise the front part of the subject doesn’t pop out of the photo at the viewer as well.  You’ll have to play with this aspect a bit until you get the result you’re looking for.

The second rule involves placement of the subject as well.  I don’t want the subject that I’m trying to get to pop out of the photograph to touch the bottom or side of the photograph (the end that’s supposed to be “popping”).  If you keep the subject about half an inch from the bottom it gives the illusion that it’s pulling away from the photo.

That’s it!  Give it a try and send in your results to be featured in the Photo Journal series.
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