Frontal and Straight-On Perspective

About

Straight-on perspective is characterized by a shallow depth of field, the absence of a vantage point, and the presence of a centralized, forward-facing object. While its counterpart, linear perspective, is used to render a sense of depth in a painting or drawing, straight-on perspective makes images appear flat; objects remain on the picture’s surface rather than recede into the background. This composition is most often employed by architectural photographers, such as pioneering documentarians Bernd and Hilla Becher, who captured frontal views of industrial buildings in order to convey a sense of the camera’s neutrality. Their influence can be seen in the work of their student, Düsseldorf photographer Andreas Gursky, who digitally stitches multiple shots together to create photographs that, from afar, appear flattened and nearly abstract.