Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

16 November 2012

Geometry of Perspective

Perspective, in the context of vision and visual perception, is the way in which objects appear to the eye based on their spatial attributes. Perspective foreshortening is essential to our depth perception (among other depth cues) —the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance of an object.
Perspective foreshortening is caused by the way the human eye perceives the world due to its physical structure (for example, excitation of cone cells in the retina), and to the optical geometry of light rays (due to the nature of light itself).
As objects become more distant, they appear smaller because their visual angle decreases. The eye is at the vertex of a triangle with the object at its base, so the greater the distance of the object from the eye, the greater is the height of this triangle, and the less the visual angle (Euclidean geometry).

Canopied footway in perspective
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

4 comments:

  1. This was truly a wonderful little post. And you have made splendid points along the way. Interestingly, though, in my own photographic adventures, I have tried to deliberately (or otherwise) pick those shots in which perspective seems to play a minimal role. It was wonderful to see the alternative.

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    1. Thanks. You're right, perspective is often avoided in photography because of distortion effects, but ever since my studies of architecture and painting (manually constructing perspectives for technical and artistic drawings) I've loved perspective, especially for a dramatic quality it gives the scene.
      It started with my fascination with Italian artists’, such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo or Tintoretto, mastery of incredibly complex dynamic perspectives, especially after I saw Tintoretto’s Miracle of St Mark Freeing the Slave for the first time.

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    2. One of my favorite renaissance paintings!

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    3. Great minds think alike! ;)

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