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Foreshortening What is it and how to use it?

During the recent talk i gave to Camversation on Facebook the subject of foreshortening cam up and it was clear that this was an aspect of camera technique that people were not aware of.

This should be viewed in conjunction with the article on Depth of Filed another area that i have found during the courses i run and the one to one sessions people struggle to understand even though it is key to you creative photography

So what is foreshortening?

Take a look at the image above

As you can see with a 400mm lens at f5.6 there appears to be a short distance between the house and the orange

with a 20mm lens at f5.6 there appear to be a large distance between the house and the orange

This is foreshortening and its the ability to bring subjects closer together or push them further apart depending on the type of lens you are using. As you can see you can significantly impact the relationship between the two aspects and also the mood of the image.

So do consider this when you are setting up your images

The diagram above also shows the impact of f stop on depth of field

if you look at 400mm at f5.6 and 400mm at f32 you can clearly see how that f number has impacted whats in focus


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