Westminster fountain at sunset

by Jorge Córdoba

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Single point perspective is a technique used in drawing.

Using one perspective, parallel lines converge to one point somewhere in the distance. This point is called the vanishing point (VP). This gives objects an impression of depth.

I have seen mentions of this in the context of photography. What is single point perspective photography and is it a useful technique for creating compelling photos?

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Coincidentally, this week's winner photo demonstrates that point... –  ysap Apr 26 '11 at 2:06
    
@ysap, gosh I suspect that is what really prompted my question. –  labnut Apr 27 '11 at 18:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Single point perspective photography or drawings are based on leading lines running from the edges of the image "away" from the viewer, creating a sense of depth. It's a very popular technique among beginning illustrators as it allows you to keep a check on proportions and lets you "snap to a grid", for lack of a better term.

The most typical example I can think of are images like this - shooting down a straight road with a wide angle lens.

Now, is it a useful technique for creating compelling photos? Like any photography technique, it has it's uses, but it's far from enough to create a compelling photo. It can be one element of a successful image, but that's just because it's a natural result of how we and cameras perceive the world. In my opinion, images that treat it like a gimmick tend to be banal. Stuff that would be popular on postcards, at best.

That said, IMO shooting a street like that tends to work really well as a background for portraits, but others might not agree with me.

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Hi pacoespinoza! Please don't use URL shorteners on Stack Exchange. They obfuscate the web at best, and at worst can be malicious. In between, they also have privacy issues — and there's reason to be concerned about .ly in particular given the political situation in that country. –  mattdm Apr 26 '11 at 3:06
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Also, while links can be helpful, better answers at least summarize the content, and great answers show original expertise. –  mattdm Apr 26 '11 at 3:08
    
Thanks for the explanation, I'll try be more concisous –  pacoespinoza Apr 27 '11 at 15:52
    
Another problem is that links die. The first of your links is dead. The other one doesn't seem to have its photos any more. –  AlbeyAmakiir May 6 at 5:31

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