Composing Good 3D Photographs

While the guidelines of good composition in normal (2D) photography still hold, there are a few things which can make 3D photographs more effective that do not apply to 2D:

Use Depth!

Look for scenes that have depth! While simple, this is easy to overlook if you're just starting in 3D photography. It is most effective to have objects in the near range (6-10 feet), in the medium range (10-20 feet) and far (20 feet - infinity).

"Busy" Subjects

Watch for subjects that you wouldn't think of photographing in 2D, but which can be very effective in 3D, due to the addition of depth. Some suggestions are:


I'd suggest that the common method of taking portraits of people by lining them up against a wall can be done much more effectively in 3D by getting rid of the wall! Why limit the depth in the scene? I recently saw a very effective photo taken from the end of a couch with four people on it.


Though not a firm rule, 3D photos generally look best when the entire scene is in sharp focus from near to far. This allows the eye to wander around the scene. Due to a 3D photograph's sense of realism, out-of-focus areas generally are bothersome.

"Selective Focus" can be used, but you should be careful that objects don't "fade" from focus to fuzzy. For example, in taking a 3D picture of a rose bloom, it might work if the background is completely out of focus, but be annoying if a leaf behind the rose was "fuzzy".

Rocky Mountain
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