Perspective is one of the most interesting techniques that painters and photographers can use to transform the space and create an illusion of several dimensions. One of the perspective-related techniques they use is a mirror reflection element that has already been discussed above. In the meantime, it is not the only tool that can be used to create a perspective. Sometimes, photographers capture an already existing perspective; in the meantime, viewers are commonly more attracted by the forced perspective technique, i.e. the one that has been created intentionally and that represents some unexpected view on familiar things. In this frame, it might be proposed to compare to pieces – Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” and Charles Ebbets’ “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper.”
Both examples show how the skillful use of perspective creates the impression of presence. As such, looking at the “Caillebotte’s,” one involuntary wants to make a step inside the picture and have a stroll along the street under the afternoon Paris rain. The use of perspective helps Caillebotte to transform a common city depiction into a real life that looks live and natural as if one is moving towards the beautiful lady and gentleman. The use of perspective helps to extend the space and eliminate the boundaries that limit the freedom of thought and movement. The viewer experiences an irresistible longing to turn round the corner and explore the misty city. An opposite trick is achieved in the “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” where Ebbets shows how perspective changes a common view on familiar objects. As such, the selected perspective narrows the huge city of New York to a small square that looks unimportant behind the distinctive figures of the workers. As well as “Paris Street; Rainy Day,” this photograph produces an impression of presence – the viewer feels he or she is involved in this pleasant morning lunch which takes place at the very top of the big New York.
A similar perspective effect might be seen in such works as “Bauhaus Stairway” by Oskar Schlemmer and Henri Cartier Bresson’s “Italy.” In both cases, the use of perspective creates an impression of presence and, moreover, movement. As such, the viewer cannot help feeling they are climbing up the depicted stairway while examining Schlemmer’s painting and looking down from the Italian staircase while examining Bresson’s “Italy.” The use of perspective likewise helps the creators to organize the space in a special manner, turning a simple flat layout into a multi-dimensional reality. It is particularly interesting to compare the different focuses that the creators use. As such, Bresson invites the audience to enjoy the view from top downward, while Schlemmer’s audience is looking in a bottom-up direction.
Thus, these examples illustrate how the use of a certain perspective offers a new interpretation of the life and objects that fill it. Both painters and photographers employ it in order to share their vision of various phenomena or to surprise their viewers with an unexpected discovery they managed to make while watching the world from a different perspective. The use of perspective is likewise helpful to make the piece look more realistic.