Composition – How I add depth to some of my shots

Some quick tips on how I compose certain shots to get a bit of depth without going too technical on stuff like the rule of thirds and such.

Sometimes its way too easy for me to get excited about the subject I am photographing and then end up losing a bit of perspective feel to it because I focused solely on that one object – Leading to a one dimensional feel.  Sometimes it helps to stand back a bit and put the main object to its surroundings.

In order to get some perspective on the main object I usually add a secondary object in front of my main object and ideally this should not overpower the main object too much. I always am trying to be aware of the foreground as I compose a scene and looking for something that I can tie in or anchor to the foreground with my main object.

In the waterfall example I was really enjoying taking shots of the waterfall but I wanted to create some depth to the scene so I took some wide angle shots with the rocks in the foreground to give it a good lead in to the main subject.

I am always surprised when I try to find foreground anchors to my main subject – in the photo below while looking for a foreground anchor to the bean I kept stepping back until I was behind these plants and flowers, for a not so usual shot of the bean.


Try it for yourself next time you are shooting, just think of what is around you that you can anchor as a foreground to the main object and you will be pleasantly surprised at the result!

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8 thoughts on “Composition – How I add depth to some of my shots”

  1. Hey Robert:

    This was a great write up and I will be given this a try soon. I like how you put this into terms of being understandable. Nice job!!!

  2. What are your recomendations when trying to add depth when the subject is a person? Same rules? I always try to get closer to my subjects that most people but would interested to know what you would suggest.

    1. Good question, I think what you suggest would be ideal.
      A nice wide angle lense yields good depth of field coupled with a fstop of f8 or larger. Some shots that come to mind are a lot of photojournalist’s photos that have the subject close up with the receding background in focus too. I think I am going to give a few of these type of shots a go this weekend!

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