Question - Atmospheric Perspective

In summary, the conversation is about atmospheric perspective and its relation to physics. It is mentioned that objects further in space appear lighter due to the friction in the air that light particles have to travel through. The question is then posed whether atmospheric perspective would still apply in a frictionless vacuum such as outer space. It is noted that the atmosphere is not completely transparent and that looking through fog is a similar effect. It is also mentioned that in space, this phenomena mostly does not apply but there are times when space dust can have a similar effect.
  • #1
Hello! Please excuse me if I posted this in the wrong place. I've never been too good at these forum things, but I did have a question about atmospheric perspective that I believe has more to do with physics than any other category on the forum.

While doing a personal artistic study on perspective, I came to learn that the reason objects further in space appear lighter in hue is because of the friction in the air that the light particles have to travel through. Therefore, the more air the light has to travel through, the lighter the object in the distance appears. This made me wonder, if I were to look at an object in a frictionless vacuum such as outer space, would atmospheric perspective still apply to what I'm seeing? My initial thought would be "no", but then I really wasn't sure. Being raised on Earth, it's hard to imagine looking at objects in the distance where atmospheric perspective wouldn't apply. So what do you think?
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF.

That's not quite it. The atmosphere isn't completely transparent even when it looks like it over short distances. So the further away something is, the more light from it is absorbed or reflected and the more light from other directions is reflected toward you. It is exactly like looking through fog.

In space, this phenomena mostly doesn't apply, but there are times when space dust will provide a similar effect.
 
  • #3
Oh yes, that actually makes perfect sense! Seems like something that should have been obvious since the word atmosphere is a key component there haha. Oh well :) Thank you for the information!
 

1. What is atmospheric perspective?

Atmospheric perspective is a visual effect in which distant objects appear less detailed, lighter in color, and bluer in hue compared to nearby objects. This is due to the scattering of light and particles in the atmosphere, which creates the illusion of depth and distance in a two-dimensional image.

2. How is atmospheric perspective used in art?

Artists use atmospheric perspective to create a sense of depth and distance in their paintings or drawings. By applying lighter and cooler colors to objects in the background, and darker and warmer colors to objects in the foreground, they can create the illusion of space and distance in their artwork.

3. What are some techniques for creating atmospheric perspective?

One technique for creating atmospheric perspective is by using color temperature. As objects recede into the distance, they become cooler in color, so artists can use this to create the illusion of depth. Another technique is to use value, with distant objects having lighter values and closer objects having darker values.

4. How does atmospheric perspective affect photography?

In photography, atmospheric perspective can be used to create a sense of depth and distance in a photograph. By adjusting the focus, depth of field, and color temperature, photographers can manipulate the viewer's perception of the distance between objects in the photo.

5. What are some real-life examples of atmospheric perspective?

One real-life example of atmospheric perspective is the view of distant mountains or buildings, which appear lighter and bluer compared to nearby objects due to the scattering of light in the atmosphere. Another example is looking down a long road, where the road and objects in the distance appear smaller and less detailed compared to objects closer to the viewer.

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