Not Photoshopped: Just Incredible Forced Perspective Photography

October 26, 2009 at 7:54 am | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Photo: abmiller99

From Gulliver’s Travels to Alice in Wonderland, the idea of people shrinking and growing has proven endlessly fascinating. What if, we wonder, we were that big or that small? Then along came mass produced cameras, and easy as eating a cake that says “EAT ME”, the more adroit shooters among us were able to realise just such size-shifting exploits – or at least the illusion of having done so. Places around the globe provide backdrops for these fine examples of forced perspective.

Size is everything – or nothing: Salar de Uyuni
Photo: abmiller99

Bolivia’s Salar De Uyuni is a particularly conducive environment for photographers keen to test out their perspective-bending skills. The vast, expansive landscapes of the world’s largest salt plains have few features to shatter the illusion of big objects appearing small or small objects big.

Scots bonsai: Carrot Hill, Scotland
Photo: stuant63

Taken in the Angus area of Scotland, this photo shows that with an isolated tree, a bit of imagination, and no little skill, you can pull the wool over the eyes of human perception. It’s all about the way scaled objects are made to relate to one another and the viewer’s vantage point.

Gobbling a hot dog: Kennedy Space Center
Photo: toastforbrekkie

This next pic could be construed as being be a little on the lewd side, but that’s up to you. The Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida is the launch pad for the visual gag. It’s a good job Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-121 Mission to the International Space Station wasn’t launched when the photo was taken.

This could be painful: Cape Canaveral
Photo: Lorenia

What is it about Kennedy Space Centre and high jinks with forced perspective? The flat background broken only by the instruments of space launches obviously inspires some people. This photo of a guy doing a good impersonation of a cheerleader even made it onto Japanese TV. Who’d have thought it?

We are not amused: Peggy’s Cove
Photo: lifecreations

Nova Scotia’s Peggy’s Cove provides the setting for this next addition to our list. This small rural community is nevertheless a busy tourist attraction, and its classic red-and-white lighthouse is major focal point for visitors carrying cameras. Believe it or not, it’s almost 15 metres (50 ft) high.

Think big, be big: The Eiffel Tower
Photo: ~Thanh

This touching shot makes aiming for the top not such a fanciful dream after all. The most famous landmark on the Parisian landscape is the perfect prop to make this little girl seem like a giant standing some 324 m (1,063 ft) tall. The low camera angle and large depth of field do the rest of the work.

Just hangin’ around: Perito Moreno
Photo: Alexandre Duarte

This shot was taken at the Perito Moreno glacier in the Argentine region of Patagonia. The 250 km2 (97 sq mi) ice formation is an important tourist attraction, and the sheets of frozen fresh water clearly offer ample opportunity for a little playfulness with visual perspective.

Blowing off some steam: Old Faithful
blowing_off_some_ steam
Photo: toastforbrekkie

This is one instance where you might safely accuse the subject of the photo of being full of hot air – except of course that it’s Old Faithful, Yellowstone’s most famous geyser, producing the steam for this gigantic breath. The creative snapping of nature’s geothermal force delivers a cool result.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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This post was written by:

Karl Fabricius – who has written 201 posts on Environmental Graffiti.

Karl was raised in Wales and currently lives in Bristol, though his family tree branches to both sides of the Atlantic. Besides holding an English MA, he’s made a documentary on grassroots boxing, played drums in punk rock bands, and traveled some lush parts of the globe. Back from copywriting in Dubai’s desert, he’s thirsty to get scribbling about things worth scribbling about – especially the environment.

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