17 Forced Perspective Technique Examples - Digital Photography School

17 Forced Perspective Technique Examples

The forced perspective technique manipulates our human perception with the use of optical illusions to make objects appear larger, smaller, farther, or closer than they actually are. I once screamed like a little girl at a scary movie in a packed theater, only to find out later that the gigantic monster on the screen was only a little model. The movie makers had used forced perspective to turn a plastic toy into something frightening to the audience. The use of digital effects today still incorporates this popular way of portraying scenes or objects.

Forced Perspective

Little Push by Chaval Brasil

Photography also uses forced perspective a lot as well to give a certain feel to an image. That’s why I was surprised to only find a few thousand results when searching for ‘forced perspective’ on Flickr. Here are 15 (updated: we now have 17) selected examples of this technique, which includes images that show how much fun you can have with it.

For more examples, check out the forced perspective group on Flickr.

Forced Perspective

Maina by -Thanh

Forced Perspective

Waterfall Trap by stuant63

Forced Perspective

Johan is incredibly tall by mrlerone

Forced Perspective

Perspective by twiga269

 

By Alex Schwab

By William Chew

By Christiaan Triebert

By Kenzie Saunders

By bark

By mackee_lee

By Steven Guzzardi

By Ace Armstrong

By Jordan Oram

By Seb Ruiz

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Nate Kay blogs about a variety of inspirational photography subjects on his photography blog.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, if you guys want some cool uses of forced perception, look here:

    http://www.instantshift.com/2010/08/24/88-brilliant-examples-of-forced-perspective-photography/

    It has some really good examples (given to me by a art teacher!). There’s lots of examples, 88 I think!

  • http://%URL% Philomena

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  • Kathryn Beff Fuller
  • Sameer Kanade
  • Sameer Kanade
  • kartikjayaraman

    Haha hilarious shots! This is what makes photography so much fun! Here is a shot of “mother-in-law’s-jaws':

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/32649792@N00/4443218980

  • jane montague

    is it possible to take a photo (school project) of a toy car between 2 normal sized cars and make it seem as though the toy is normal sized?? any help would be appreciated :)

  • me

    How many f these are photoshopped? The aircraft one for instance could not be done even with best timing…

  • Steph

    I realize this is an extremely late reply for your school project, but I thought I’d answer anyway. You would put the toy car close to the camera, and the real cars would be far away. Guess and check with the distance until you get the real cars to seem the same size as the toy car.

  • Nicole

    The aircraft one is possible in camera. It might depend on where you live. I live in San Diego and Balboa Park would be a perfect place to take an image just like that. The planes have a clear flight path so you know where they are going to be, you can hear them coming, and they fly very low above Balboa Park. It might take a while to get a shot just like that, but it is totally possible.

Some older comments

  • Philomena

    May 3, 2013 04:51 am

    There is nothing wrong with buying any type
    of industry and workplace. Unfortunately, all of which
    are realistically beyond the average user's social networking and email needs, but there's strong evidence that suggest marijuana
    addiction can be a chronic problem. Prior to the traditional Windows desktop view; the battery icon and power settings will be
    right where you remember them. There is a lot of bambini work.

  • Anonymous

    March 6, 2012 07:37 am

    Hey, if you guys want some cool uses of forced perception, look here:

    http://www.instantshift.com/2010/08/24/88-brilliant-examples-of-forced-perspective-photography/

    It has some really good examples (given to me by a art teacher!). There's lots of examples, 88 I think!

  • Chuck

    August 17, 2011 09:27 am

    Interesting concept and photos. haven't read the tutorials or guides yet, but from a personal observation, I would suggest avoiding the full body of a person in the photo when attempting to get this type of shot. The full body in the photo loses some of the force of the perspective. The photo of the little girl jumping near the Eiffel Tower is an example. Also the people in the photo of the balloon being "pushed" by the giant hand detracts from the idea somewhat. Also, one person mentioned using the smallest aperture possible to gain the maximum DOF which is a must to avoid portions of the picture being blurred, I would want as much as possible to be in focus.

  • sean

    August 17, 2011 09:04 am

    The one labeled "Out for a stroll" can be done with several departments all working together with Disney's Imagineering. It is a painted back drop on the San Francisco side street (off the main NYC street which does the same thing with cut outs of famous NYC buildings) at the Hollywood Studios Theme Park. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken the same photo there.

  • wayne west

    August 13, 2011 11:59 pm

    thanks for another interesting article - now i can put a name to what i've done a few times. when i went to mt rushmore in 09 i made my brother one of the presidents with a little lining up.

  • bryan

    August 12, 2011 06:14 am

    i love these shots. the especially work well for touristy type shots

  • Richard Healy

    August 12, 2011 02:49 am

    "Tyre Tracks" and "Encroaching Evil" are my favourites. - Wow! They are just awesome!

  • OSSEO

    August 11, 2011 07:35 pm

    Great technique example, Some of those pics are really amazing.wonderful and inspiring tips…

  • Fuzzypiggy

    August 11, 2011 01:56 am

    Even used in advertising. If you head to Picadilly Circus in London, the huge electronic billboards on one side of the area shown by McDonalds have some items like pidgeons and clouds. The billboard instructs you to get a friend to stand with the billboard behind them, ie have it look like the image of the pidgeon is on their head, then shoot a shot of them!

  • Midian

    August 8, 2011 10:39 pm

    Some of those pics are really amazing. They could put photoshop to shame.
    This is definitely a technique I'll have to try out sometime.

  • Bekah

    August 8, 2011 01:24 pm

    Okay...I love different perspectives. I think they are something a lot of people forget abou in photography. That being said, I HATE the photos with people holding the Washington Monument, Touching the top of a building, etc. That might just be me being a snob, but just my opinion. :)

  • scottc

    August 8, 2011 09:51 am

    Kind of a common tourist trick, but the photos included in the article are cool and I've never tried this.

    Maybe this works, in terms of perspective?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/5839229745/

  • Troy

    August 8, 2011 07:38 am

    The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas city has these larger than life Shuttlecocks on the lawn, thsi first picture is of my holding one of them which would appear normal.

    I have positioned myself so the feathers from the shuttlecock appear on the head of The Thinker, trying to give him an Indian Headdress.

  • Pranalee

    January 29, 2011 05:16 pm

    Awesome thread. And also the books mentioned are of great help !! I have learned a lot from you Darren Thanks Again !!!

  • Rob Bixby

    January 28, 2011 06:12 am

    Out for a stroll, Disney Studios in Orlando?

  • Robin Oberg

    September 13, 2010 07:23 pm

    One thing that seems to help is extending the field-of-view by merging photos with different focal points in post-processing.

  • Steve Weintz

    December 25, 2009 09:56 pm

    Visual-effects artists have used foreced perspecive for decades in movies. David Stipes, who is now an instructor at the rt Institute of Phoenix in Arizona, posted an excellent account of Phil Kellison's forced-perspective technique, including diagrams and explanations of "Kellison Sticks" for easily setting up such shots.

    http://davidstipes.com/blog/?p=453

  • pril

    November 7, 2009 07:40 am

    some i didn't get. but cool

  • sun|moon

    November 6, 2009 08:22 am

    For all asking info on how to do it, for the most dramatic impact, you need an ultra wide lens (16mm to about 24mm on full frame or 10mm to about 14mm on a 1.6 crop camera).
    Then you get close to what you want exaggerated and set the smallest acceptable aperture for greater DOF and you're all set.

  • sbunting108

    September 24, 2009 06:46 am

    I love them, they are very clever.

  • Mike Elias

    July 24, 2009 02:52 am

    The photos submitted on various subjects are impressive but it would be extemely helpful to a rookie like me if info pertaining to type of lense or exposure used was also submitted.

  • Jennifer Moore

    July 21, 2009 11:50 pm

    Very, very cool! I can definitely see myself playing with this!

  • Steve Nipper

    July 13, 2009 07:43 am

    The "Out for a Stroll by Kevin Eddy" is actually false perspective via Walt Disney World's "Hollywood Studios" backlot area. See http://www.mpimages.net/wdw1/compressed/Parks/MGM_Studios/general/san_francisco_flat1-goldhaber.jpg

    Everything past the barricades is a mural. It's pretty neat to see from a distance.

  • caroline

    July 9, 2009 04:02 am

    Here's one of mine:

    http://mooreclick.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/eco-friendly/

    As far as how to do them... for this one, at least, I just set the aperture at 16 or so, to have plenty of DOF. I ran into trouble with this photo (fourth one down):

    http://mooreclick.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/dc-day-three/

    because I had just gotten the camera, and was basically shooting on Auto for the trip. You can see where having too shallow a DOF makes it obvious what you're up to.

  • Wayan Agus Harry Paryana

    July 8, 2009 06:06 pm

    wonderful and inspiring tips...
    lovely perspective idea

  • MeiTeng

    July 8, 2009 01:45 am

    How does one go about shooting these images? A tutorial would be helpful.

  • titanium_geek

    July 5, 2009 08:03 pm

    sorry for the double comment, here are some more:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sagsag/2105712695/

  • titanium_geek

    July 5, 2009 07:49 pm

    The Salar de Uyuni is a big flat salt pan and is popular for "forced perspective" photos, even though they're not tagged as such. Link: Flickr photo

  • N Little

    July 4, 2009 05:27 pm

    Some nice examples, thank you Nate. The third link you gave - thanks! - was most helpful for me for figuring out how to achieve those funny, size distortion shots with interactions between foreground and background. Plus some additional helpful examples.

    http://experimentalphoto.com/2009/01/01/forced-perspective-technique-1/

  • Robert Johnson

    July 4, 2009 04:39 am

    Yes, this surely something that never crosses my mind, maybe I should have a go at it sometime.

  • E

    July 4, 2009 04:07 am

    I came across this photo today: certainly an interesting perspective! http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2009/jul/03/1?picture=349760354

  • Valerie

    July 4, 2009 03:27 am

    thanks nate for the links

  • Valerie

    July 4, 2009 03:26 am

    thanks for the examples, but how do you DO them?

  • sekarlensman

    July 4, 2009 02:18 am

    these pics are took by easy way these are already done in film roll period have any advanced composition.

  • Devendra

    July 3, 2009 10:39 pm

    It was good to see and enjoyed the pic,but please also let me know the tech.

    Regards
    Devendra

  • Hubbers

    July 3, 2009 07:07 pm

    My friends took these examples on salt flats in South America
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bundyandlaura/3564800348/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bundyandlaura/3563988361/

  • Nate Kay

    July 3, 2009 03:31 pm

    For those looking for tutorials or more information about forced perspective. Here are a few links.

    http://www.ehow.com/video_4973371_what-forced-perspective.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_perspective
    http://experimentalphoto.com/2009/01/01/forced-perspective-technique-1/

    There really isn't much out there. Maybe a good tutorial will have to be put in the works... :)

  • J. Davis

    July 3, 2009 02:40 pm

    Great Stuff. You could make a whole photo project out of Forced Perspectives

  • Lonnie

    July 3, 2009 12:17 pm

    Very nice pictures, but...............Nothing here on how to do it.......

  • Samir Pradhananga

    July 3, 2009 11:47 am

    Some Great Technical Examples of Perspectives. Thanks for Sharing.

  • dascotia

    July 3, 2009 11:37 am

    Is there a tutorial for this technique that I'm missing?

  • wendy

    July 3, 2009 10:28 am

    Awesome ..... very interesting

  • wendy

    July 3, 2009 10:28 am

    Im new with this and I think this is very interesting

  • noi

    July 3, 2009 09:22 am

    nice catch!.. thank you for sharing your photos! ..another great idea about perspective!

  • Ashok

    July 3, 2009 06:56 am

    This post is interesting and helps more. Thanks. !!

  • Nate Kay

    July 3, 2009 06:23 am

    Forced perspective can be used to increase or decrease the perceived depth of architecture, which is what you are seeing in those.

  • Jeremy

    July 3, 2009 06:01 am

    Am I totally misunderstanding the term, or are some of these just... you know, wide angle photographs? Like the church, the staircase of water, the long hallways. There's nothing forced perspective about those.

  • KeithSonic

    July 3, 2009 04:09 am

    Something I will have to do! thanks! I always forget to force perspectives!!!

  • philippe

    July 3, 2009 03:34 am

    have a look at mine

    http://picasaweb.google.fr/lavideosousmarine/Voyages#5102019825089247090

  • ron moon

    July 3, 2009 03:30 am

    This article forgot to mention techniques or tutorials for shooting Forced Perspective photos. Any tips for a newbie like me? ;-)

    :::ron

  • Nicolas Hoizey

    July 3, 2009 02:12 am

    Thank you for this great overview of my group! ;-)

  • rubberslipper

    July 3, 2009 12:20 am

    cool photos . I'm very new in photography but i agree that forced perspectives (I didn't even know the proper term before this article) make photos look cool and even more interesting. thanks for your post!

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