Welcome back! Today I wanted to share a little about vanishing points and how they relate to photography. What are vanishing points? Vanishing points can be defined when the object of your photo extends so far into the distance that it simply disappears (or comes close to disappearing). Additionally, the subjects “line” can disappear in to another frame of the photo, around a corner, or in to thin air (like a rainbow).
What types of objects can you use for expressing vanishing points? Roads, paths, and trails that disappear into the distance are the most obvious and popular choice for vanishing point photos. Other ideas (and these options really are endless) include sidewalks, large staircases, mountain ranges, a line of cows, traffic on a freeway, the shoreline at the beach… Another idea you might want to try is framing your shot to have the subject disappear in different quadrants of your photo or around a corner (like I said above).
One of the coolest things about vanishing points (“cool” in nerd photography speak) is that they can double (and almost always do, and should) as leading lines. As you know, leading lines are used to lead the eye around your photo. The eye will normally gravitate towards the most colorful and/or lighted area or something that stands out in some other way at first glance at a photo. If you can play with your scene (with different lenses, height, moving around, finding different compositions), you can frame your shot to include these lines. Now, if you can also include a vanishing point, you have just made your photo that much more intriguing.
As a photographer, I am always trying to capture something unique, compelling, and interesting, keeping the viewer’s eye on my work as long as possible. The more of this technical stuff you can effectively integrate into your composition, the more interest you will generate with your viewers. Make sense?
So, thinking about what I wrote above, look at the two photos below and let your eyes dance around the lines, colors and use of light. What do you notice? If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear them below!
The first shot was edited with Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro. You can save 15% on your purchase by accessing the Nik website here!
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