Sometimes you absolutely must use a wide-angle lens to get the entire scene in the shot. But there’s a downside to it that can turn out quite hilarious. This is exactly what happened in this photo. The US president Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden met with former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter last week. Thanks to a wide-angle lens, the Carters look like giants in a tiny house and the longer you look, the funnier it gets.
We’ve all seen a bunch of hilarious Photoshop fails (with Vanity Fair adding extra limbs to people probably being my favorite). Khloé Kardashian recently got accused of one because of her huge feet and hands in some photos. But she was unrightfully accused – it was just a wide-angle lens distortion and she tried really hard to explain it to her followers.
More and more modern phones come with an ultra-wide-angle camera. When it’s a front camera, it lets you capture more people into a group selfie. However, those heads near the edges of the frame will get distorted. A group of researchers has come up with a new method for dealing with this problem. They have created an algorithm that makes your group portraits distortion-free and flattering for everyone in the photo.
Action cameras have become part of many a filmmaker and photographer arsenal. Even if they’re not our primary camera, they’re great for grabbing behind the scenes clips or putting in higher risk situations. And then, sometimes, they are the primary camera, capturing the action. But most of them come with a pretty severe fisheye effect.
Some can deal with this natively in-camera, but often you get the best results in post. But how can you deal with it effectively? In this super short 20 second video from YouTuber Aidin Robbins, we see just how easy it is to fix. Aidin uses Hitfilm Express for this video, but the principle is the same in other editing applications.
I make quite a few stitched panoramics. Occasionally I shoot them when I go on holiday and find a cool place. Mostly, though, I shoot them when I’m location scouting. When I come across a new area to potentially photograph somebody in the future, I fire off a few shots to stitch in post. They’re very handy for that. But they often suffer from the same problem. All kinds of warping and perspective issues.
The effect is bad enough if your lens already has some natural distortion of its own. When multiple images are stitched it worsens the issue. This video from photographer Rex Jones comes to the rescue, though, showing us how we can correct it in Photoshop. A great method for perfect distortion free images.
Before you raise your torches and pitchforks, this is not another post about how focal length affects your subject, or whether you should “zoom with your feet” or not. I’m sure you’ve already seen how changing focal length and/or distance changes perspective, but this video answers an important question – what can you do with this information?
Jay P. Morgan shows examples how changing your focal length and getting closer or further away from the subject affects the relationship between the foreground and the background. Knowing this helps you achieve different things in a shot, gives it different looks and meanings, or helps you avoid distracting elements.
Remember the animation showing how focal length impacts the portrait? When you shoot with different focal lengths and your subject takes the same space in the frame, you’ll get a certain amount of distortion. As a matter of fact, this is one of the reasons why camera “adds ten pounds”. In this video, Koldunov Brothers demonstrate how geometry of the face and body depends on the distance from the camera. So, what is it that looks so strange when shooting up close with a wide angle lens?
Sometimes having a messy studio can inspire you to shoot. I have all sorts of boxes and plastics lying around my studio because I only clean it when I have a client coming. This it inspired me to do a shoot using things that are scattered around. So, this is a quick article on shooting with just one Speedlight and recyclable stuff.
One thing I love implementing in the work that I do is surrealism. When it comes to music production, for example, I like throwing in noises that catch me off guard. I might take samples of speeches and alter the voice of whoever’s speaking, and fit it into something as an introductory cut; vocoders are something I have too much fun with, if I don’t abuse them while experimenting with different sounds and figuring out what works best with what I’m writing.
Similarly, that form of surrealism is something I experiment with in photography to the point where it’s becoming something I generally implement into my work. One way I tend to mess with some of my photos is by giving them glitch distortions. If you’ve heard of this before, you’ve probably heard it referred to as “glitch art”. Glitch art’s gained a good amount of popularity since the turn of the millennium, around the time when digital photography started becoming popular. In the same way film has its imperfections illustrated through the little cracks and marks you see flashing by when a movie’s being projected (the “cigarette burn”, for example), digital work has its imperfections as well. The pixelization of a JPG, the compression of an uploaded mp4, or the complete chaos done to a video when it’s converted to an incompatible format – the digital age now has its own unique form of flaws, and it’s arguably a part of our culture up to today just because of the familiarity each of us have with the imperfections.