Exercise – Images with Depth

Exercise – Images with Depth from ChloeClik on Vimeo.



Create images that each represent one of the following atmospheres.

  • Dynamic/exciting/adventurous
  • Opressive/dull/stifling
  • Complicated/confusing/uncomfortable
  • Refined/mature/reasonable

I’m really enjoying this section learning all about depth, it’s something I’ve never really studied ‘in depth’ and it’s fascinating to learn the many ways you can convey it. The course says that you can use either stills or a video camera to use this exercise. I was thinking photos would probably be easier so I’ve decided to film it instead to challenge myself more. I’m also not sure whether you need to shoot four photos that have one of each scenario or whether you need to shoot all of them or if each photo needs to have each set, so one photo must be dynamic, exiting and adventurous as they all seem like synommyns. I’ve looked at other students works and it seems they all interpreted it differently, so I’ve decided to shoot as many as I can.

I want to shoot it similar to this video here with the sound of each element put together to document an event be it a day out camping, or even just a day stuck inside because it’s raining.

HIPCAMP_FIND YOURSELF OUTSIDE from Avocados and Coconuts on Vimeo.

I was thinking about dynamic things and immediately thought of motion, drama, dramatic landscapes, storm clouds, weather. I decided to shoot speed. My first thought was standing on a motorway footbridge and photographing the cars below. Then I thought of something nearer, the railway station. I discussed times with railway lover Dad and we worked out the best time to go and photograph the train. I didn’t just want to film the train though I wanted to create a dynamic effect. The Alfred Hitchcock zoom effect.Or Dolly zoom.

This is created by keeping the camera on a wide angle then start zooming in as you walk backwards. This is all very well but there’s a limit of how far I can back up on a foot bridge.

I decided to figure out any technicalities and we set out following the timetable to the first footbridge. We decided to go for the one furthest away to give us more chance of reaching it before the train. However the moment we got there we realised the mistake. The footbridge wall was way higher than me and even if I jumped I doubt I’d see it. This led us to driving to the local train station and sitting there in the freezing cold for twenty minutes waiting for the next train. This worked much better and while we waited I shot all the other moods for the exercise.

I included the following in the exercise – dynamic, exciting, oppressive, stifling, refined and mature.

Below the screenshots show which relate to which and why.

Mature – refined – The train station is a regal place, it’s old and carries a lot of history. It embodies being refined. Depth is created by the natural border of the archway, the man walking through and the railway station on the other side.

In the second image, it’s a field of daffodils with the wall leading the eye further into the photo along with the man who is there to create a sense of scale.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.30.13Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.29.59

The layers here create depth, the fences, the trees and then the houses in the background.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.29.46

Occlusion. The shelter partly hides the railway station and the man is small in the background. There is a feeling of claustrophobia, stuck inside the shelter with the misty scratched windows and bars.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.30.55Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.31.03

I wanted to show a different type of oppression so set my camera up by the station where the foliage obscured passers by. I waited until someone came along, these two boys so it would look like they were being swallowed up or hidden by the trees. Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.30.33

Diagonals lead the eye further into the distance. I used a dolly zoom on the second image to create a sense of depth and drama.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.31.11Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.43.10Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.30.47Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.42.59

I didn’t have a shot of the train on it’s journey so decided to play a little poetic license and shot the chimney of our house. The steam coming out looked like a train (though the one in picture is a diesel one. The scene pulls back to show the roof, I suppose you could say that was confusing as the exercise asked. I split the calm scenes of the man at the station with this shot to create a burst of drama to the shot and expectation. Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.42.43

  • What is the best way to create depth in an image?

The best way to create depth is by creating the appearance of many levels, such as including a foreground like the railings or a change in lighting. On this particular day there lighting was fairly overcast so I aimed to show depth through layers or natural borders such as the railway station arc. Camera effects such as the dolly zoom distorts perspective and makes it seem like the world is being pulled away from you which also creates depth. Also an object that begins inherently smaller and then becomes larger in the frame replicates depth. The same can be said for diagonals that lead the eye deeper into the frame. Texture can also do the same and of course DOF blurring the background and controlling where the viewers eye goes.

  • How important is visual depth to the overall feel of a shot?

It is very important especially if you are wanting to show a great contrast of height, such as a shot of a person staggering on the edge of a precipice will look a lot more dramatic if they show a wide angle shot as well as opposed to launching straight in with a mid shot which doesn’t reveal any depth. Just as in a conversation occlusion is important to create a standard scene non static and to keep the interest of the viewer. It makes a 2D image seem 3D like the viewer could walk into it.


It was definitely a harder exercise but one that I thoroughly enjoyed though my hands are so cold it hurts to type and everywhere I look I feel like I’m trapped in a world of dolly zooms.


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