In a previous post, I talked about how to show depth in landscape photos. But depth isn’t just important for landscapes, it’s also something you might want to do in close-up photos because it makes your subject appear more three-dimensional.
So, how do you show depth in close-ups? Simple: just photograph your subject from an angle. This happens to be one way to show depth in landscapes too 🙂
For example, compare the photo at the beginning of this post with this one:
Notice how the flower in the first image looks more three-dimensional? That’s because my camera was at about a 45 degree angle from the flower. In the second image, my camera was parallel to the front of the flower, which made the flower appear more flat.
Neither image is necessarily “better” than the other. They’re just “different” — and going back to the continuing theme I keep talking about these days, the composition you choose in this instance should depend on the feeling you’re trying to convey about your subject.
Showing depth in a close-up makes the image more inviting and makes the viewer feel more like they’re in the scene. On the other hand, a more flat appearance of your subject makes it look sharper and stronger—it tends to emphasize the form of your subject.
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a nature photographer, web developer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.