An 18mm Lens Makes Anthony Into a Giant
Anthony is a Giant!

Anthony's 4.5-month-old cousin Josh was here yesterday. My sister Marci came to pick over the stuff in our Cupertino house that we're not bringing back to Japan (which is most of the stuff -- ugh, lots to get rid of).

When looking at the copious pictures I took, I was struck by the perspective of the shot above. It was taken with an 18mm lens, which means that the size of something close to the lens becomes exaggeratedly large. In this shot, Anthony is about two feet closer to the lens than Josh (4 feet away instead of 6 feet), and so he looks much larger than Josh than he actually is.

As an aside, I'll mention that this is the reason that portrait shots are best taken with somewhat of a zoom lens, such as 110mm. Such a zoom requires that the subject be further away, making the difference in distance between their nose and the rest of the face irrelevant. A wide angle lens allows a shot to be taken with the subject much closer to the lens, meaning that the “extra closeness” of their nose can become significant, leading to an exaggerated schnoz in the result. It's actually not the wide-angle lens that creates the exaggeration, but rather, its wide field of view creates more fertile opportunities for exaggerated perspectives. The shot above couldn't have been taken with a zoom, but had I taken a bunch of shots with a zoom and stitched them together into a big mosaic of the same scene, the result would be the same.

In the next shot, Anthony is only a tad closer to the lens than Josh, so their relative sizes in the image are closer to reality.

A Perspective Closer to Reality

Josh has a sunny disposition, and is a very sweet baby.

Josh Kreta

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