Create depth in a landscape photography is almost everything.
There are several different ways to create that depth and, in this article, want to share with you how to create it.
Forced Perspective (Elements close and far)
The first and most obviously way to create depth in an image is to get staff close to the camera. So, if you get close to a foreground object, maybe is a tree, maybe is a rock, maybe a little cascade, a flower. The sense of depth is going to be amplify because you going to have things close to the camera and also far away.
Atmosphere ( Mist, Fog, Dust & Light )
I’m sure you see many images with these elements and the reason why always work this type of images, is because really amplify the sense of depth. What’s close to the camera are contrast, clear and as things getting far away way from the camera, they start to lost the contrast and clarity.
So, for this reason you should have in mind, when you edit an image to be careful where and how much contrast you add to the photo. If you add a global contrast probably you will lose that depth. Things on the horizon can be as same contrasty as the things close to the camera. Sometimes is even good to low the contrast on post-processing to create that effect. Don’t scare to try it. You can use locally applying a mask or with radial filter or even a brush.
Shadows and Highlights
We all know than shadows are cold and highlights are warm. Work well this technique applying a nice blue tone to the shadows and a yellow, orange soft tones to the highlights will drive the eyes of the viewer through the photo and also will help to create that depth. Beautiful images normally have a very contrast between cold shadows and warm lights.
Now is very popular the technique of Focus stacking but have you ever tried to use big F apertures like f 1.8 or f 2 to create depth? On my last visit to a forest in north of Spain, I was not only using my wide-angle lens but tried something different. I used my telelens 70-200 mm with the biggest aperture, in this case f 4 and got some amazing shots with things close sharp and things far, blur and out of focus. And I think that work very well. Also create shallow depth of field on the images. Next time you go to a forest try it and le me know. I think you will be surprise with the results.
Dodging and Burning
Another way to create depth is dodge and burn technique. Normally brightness tones attract more attention to the viewer than darker tones. So, with this on mind, when you edit your photo you can create that illusion of depth also with the light.
Using a vignette to darken the corners of the image or even more locally with a brush, you will also concentrate the subject and create depth.
Hope all this help you in your images and as always if you have any questions I will be here to help.