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One of the first things you're going to need to accomplish when you open up an image is determine the number of planes that exist. This could be thought of as foreground, mid-ground, and background or the number of subjects that you're going to isolate. Each plane is going to have a different depth along the Z axis, and this creates the sense of perspective. For example, in this image here, I see three planes. We have our statue, and a few feet behind it are the pillars, several feet behind that is the forest.
Now, in this case, the different planes also have different lighting. The statue could be casting a shadow onto the pillar but isn't likely casting a shadow onto the trees, nor do the pillars cast shadows onto the trees because they're so far way. So we have to give it some thought. Let's take a look at one more example, and we have the same issue here. In this case, our foreground is the shrubbery in the front. This creates a sense of perspective where we can have the fronds of the plants overlapping with our subject.
We also have our man and woman, and they are relatively close to the brick wall. So any movement here is going to be very subtle, because there's not a lot of depth between them. Once you've identified the planes, it's a good idea to think about mapping this out into an actual diagram to help you understand the relationship between Z space.
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