One Point Perspective

I got the passion for photography from my dad. For as long as I remember he carried all his photography equipment wherever we went, and we usually went hiking in the Alps.

My dad is an old school photographer. He shot analog till only recently, and has been a fervent Nikon user for all his life. Younger, he used to develop his films himself in a dark chamber. For at least 15 years we stored his old chemicals in a storage room, above his prized cars. Looking back, I’m not sure it was such a bright idea given how much he likes his cars, but hey what do I know?

He had all this gear and had thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of shots we never saw. Sometimes, rarely so, he made us watch one of his films. They were all negatives so we used a projector. It was fun times, but again they were rare.

I bought a Nikon FE from him and this is what got me hooked into photography. Naturally, I followed his teachings and abode to the sacrosanct rule of thirds. Everything had to fit within the grid, and the most important subject had to be precisely at the intersection of two lines.

Slowly but surely, I distanced myself from this rule. I did not see the benefits, and the photographs following this rule were simply not any different from those which did not. So I began to shoot with a one-point perspective, straight on.

I don’t know why it appealed to me. At that time, I wasn’t a big fan of cinema, or nearly not as much as I am today. I had heard of Stanley Kubrick, but I did not associate his art with the one-point perspective.

It’s only later, much later, that I discovered Kubrick // One Point Perspective. Fascinating video that tries to enumerate all of Kubrick’s uses of one-point perspective in all his movies. Note the slightly different use but still similar in Wes Anderson // Centered.

Then it dawned on me: there is no one rule to follow. We should practice our art, our passion, to our heart’s content.