Episode 021: Depth

Daniel SiggPodcastLeave a Comment

Photograph - Nature photography

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In this episode of CREATE. PHOTOGRAPHY, host Daniel Sigg will talk about creating depth in our images.

First of all, sometimes we do not want to create depth, but often depth does create stronger images that emotionally connect more with the viewer.

Often, these strategies can be combined. For example, we could create selective focus in an image with foreground, middle-ground and background.

Depth through perspective / point of view / leading/converging lines

The perspective of any photograph is that of the photographer (or to be more precise of the lens and how the lens and sensor/film is relative to the image).

The geometry in a photograph depends on that angle and position.

As you are moving around, you create the angles, lines and shapes that are created of objects you are photographing.

A typical example of creating and of exaggerating such depth through perspective is through leading lines, for example of streets or train tracks or fences or other lines.

A wide angle lens can exacerbate that effect.

Other examples are alleys with trees, or also lines created by outsides or insides of buildings.

Images below by Daniel Sigg unless indicated otherwise.

Northern Montana Fence Mountain black and white Kodak TriX

This image also uses selective focus to further exaggerate the depth created by the leading lines

Use foreground / middle ground /   background

Landscape photography shot during blue hour before sunrise on Lofoten Islands

Create layers / photograph through something


Photography by Gary Arndt

Image by Gary Arndt

Framing subject

Bryce Canyon Ilford Delta 400 @ 1600 Nikon FE 28mm Ilford DDX

Selective focus / narrow depth of field

Seealpsee Switzerland Schweiz

acoustic guitar shot from POV

Here selective focus, sort of a layering (of the foreground) and use of foreground/middle-ground and background further creates depth


Use of wider angle lenses (wider than 50mm full-frame equivalent) to exaggerate the perception of depth.  Longer lenses tend to compress foreground and background.

Hiking scene with leaves and pedestrian bridge

Light and shadows

dress shirt detail white

Color contrast but also brightness contrast (in B&W)

Strong color contrast in combination with selective focus and use of strong highlights creates depth in this image


“Great photography is about depth of feeling, and not depth of field” (Peter Adams)

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