Five on Friday – Forced Perspective Photography

Stuck in a photography rut? Grab your camera, a few props and some assistants (your friends or children are perfect for this!) and head out for a fun-filled afternoon of forced perspective photography. Forced perspective photography is a technique where you make another object appear larger/smaller or closer/further away than it really is. The results are creative and in often cases, hilarious!

Today’s Five on Friday is five examples and tips for forced perspective photography!

1. This is probably the most well known– I’m sure everyone has seen the photos of tourists holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa (which, by the way is on my bucket list so I can get that exact shot… haha). I took it stateside and had my sister hold up the Washington Monument in Washington DC. I’m not going to say we didn’t get some strange looks, but it’s all in the name of photography, so I don’t care!
Tip: Take lots and lots of shots! It’s very difficult to get hands (or feet, or whatever you have “leaning” on the building to line up perfectly, so it comes in handy to have lots of shots). Another tip is once you have your model close to the position, move yourself around until they are lined up perfectly. It’s easier for you to move the camera then for them to know what you mean by “move your hand slightly…like this….no like this! You get the picture, right?

Of course one has to “hold” up Spaceship Earth anytime they visit Epcot in Walt Disney World!

2. Use forced perspective to “grab” something. Every summer, there’s a big hot air balloon festival in NJ, and these shots were taken a few years ago. This is more of a tip on what *not* to do. If you are using an SLR, you’re going to want to have a small aperture, like an f/8 or higher. If you are shooting wide open, you’ll have a blurred foreground and clear background or vice versa, which ruins the optical illusion.


3.  Use fun carnival/amusement park characters and animals and interact with them.  Here, my friend and I were wandering around Funtown Pier in Seaside, NJ on a foggy afternoon and I positioned her so it looked like the dinosaur was chewing off her head.

4. This is pretty much a Washington DC tip– I wish I had time when I went down to visit recently to line up all the monuments that appear on the back of bills like I did here.

5. Clouds provide a great background.  Here, I’m “spray painting” them, but I’ve also seen pictures where people use ice cream cones to line up with a puffy cloud to look like a cone of ice cream, or, they position their heads so that it looks like they’re blowing the clouds out of their mouth.  The possibilities are endless!

I know we did 5 already, but this is one of my favorite forced perspective pictures, and quite frankly, it doesn’t fit in the above categories.  The Weinermobile recently made a stop nearby, and I stood like an idiot in the parking lot while my mom snapped this picture of me.  I posted it to the Oscar Mayer facebook page and they loved it!

If this isn’t enough inspiration for you, click here for 40 more inspiring photos! Makes me want to get out and take some more!

Did you try this? Leave me a comment above with a link to your picture. I’d love to see it!

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3 thoughts on “Five on Friday – Forced Perspective Photography

  1. Pingback: Top Tips When Taking Forced Perspective Photos - Trick Photography Software

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