Forced perspective is an optical illusion that makes things look bigger or smaller than they actually are.
Forced perspective often is used in architecture and landscaping to create desired illusion of space.
A small object very close to a camera appears large while a big object far away appears small. Our brains usually understand that something is close or far based on relative perspective. In a picture of a skyline, we see everything small but know that buildings are really large. Our brains, therefore, see everything as big from a distance. However, our brains can be tricked by bringing a smaller object closer to the point of view and giving the illusion that it is larger. This is forced perspective.
Forced perspective uses visual tricks to give a warped perception of reality. It is commonly used in photographs, television, movies and architecture.
Forced perspective is a photographic illusion generally used to make two or more objects seem to be a different size than their actual size.
In photography, forced perspective can be achieved by positioning objects of different sizes and distances so that they appear to be right next to each other. An example would be placing a toy car close to the camera with a car dealership in the background. If placed correctly, the toy will appear to be a full-sized car. It is also a common photographic effect to make a person appear to be touching something large that is far away. For example, holding the moon in his hand or touching the top of a tall building.
Forced perspective is a commonly used trick in films. Movie sets and location shoots are expensive. It is much cheaper to film actors in front of paintings, photographs or miniature models giving the illusion that they are in a much bigger place. Small objects can also appear to be very large by placing them close to the camera and shooting actors from far away. Old-time monster movies used to use this trick.
Forced perspective has been used for thousands of years in architecture. Builders of ancient temples, like the Parthenon, built stone columns curving slightly outward in the middle. This gives them the illusion of being straight and longer than they actually are.