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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    If thats true, then to get a normal perspective, we should all be using lenses where focal length matches that diagonal measurement.
    My point was that the angle of view in the photograph is irrelevant to the angle of view of the viewer.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    My point was that the angle of view in the photograph is irrelevant to the angle of view of the viewer.
    Okay, why?

    I know that I can see the flattening effect a long lens has when the print is viewed at 1:2 instead of its natural 1:4 for example it may have been taken at. The opposite is true for short lenses, a 1:1 shot viewed at 1:2 won't look "normal" to the viewer, it will appear to bulge in the middle.

    Those seem to be relevant effects, and seem to be caused by the mis-match in the camera's and the viewer's angles of view.

    What am I missing?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  3. #63

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    Why? Because 99.99 percent of all viewers are not aware of... nor do they care about... what distance the photographer intended them to view their photos. It's not about what you're "missing" in your photos. It's about not "connecting" with everyone else and "accepting" that they don't "analyze" perspective as you do. They see what they see and feel what they feel. In the grand scheme of things, this is all that matters.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    Why? Because 99.99 percent of all viewers are not aware of... nor do they care about... what distance the photographer intended them to view their photos. It's not about what you're "missing" in your photos. It's about not "connecting" with everyone else and "accepting" that they don't "analyze" perspective as you do. They see what they see and feel what they feel. In the grand scheme of things, this is all that matters.
    Really?

    Then why do you bother applying the principle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    Don't forget to consider head/camera positioning which can either enhance or subdue particular features. Also, don't forget to consider the feel of the final image. It's a combination of subject, distance and desired final effect. I do have a rule of thumb for "very" tight head shots though... I quadruple the diagonal of the usable film size. For 135, if cropped to 8x10, the diagonal is about 38mm so I'd probably use something near 150mm. But this is if I'm actually cropping the hair out of the frame right to the face. If I'm including all the hair and a bit of shoulder (straight on and not to the arms) then I might start with a 105mm. These are just averages... for me. A long nose or chin requires different posing and lenses... subdue those features by shooting them straight on with longer lenses... or accentuate those same features, as one would when "characterizing" someone like Jay Leno, by doing the opposite.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  5. #65

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    Actually it's very simple. It's because a photograph is usually flat. Whatever angle of view was provided by the lens at the scene - the end result is still a 2 dimensional flat image.

    If the image is very large, the viewer will tend to stand back from it, if it is very small they will move in very close. It is not dependent on the angle of view, if you use an ultrawide angle lens, but print very large, people are still going to stand back if they want to comfortably take in the whole scene. If you use a telephoto lens and print very small, people are going to move in closer. It's the size of the print really, not the angle of view.

  6. #66

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    I don't want to get mired down trying to explain how it works, but I will say that Mark Barendt has it exactly right, and he understands how it works (see his post #20 for a simple set of rules).

    If you've ever seen a photo that seemed like you were right there - as though you could almost step right into the picture - well, Mark just revealed how to do it.

    A handful of people maintain that the print is a 2-D surface, and different viewing distances cannot make a difference. The truth is that IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    Let me give an example. If you draw some circles on a piece of paper, they ought to appear round. But if you tilt the paper, the circles will flatten into an oval shape - everyone agrees with this, right? Ok, now pretend that you have drawn a handful of circles on a very large sheet of paper. Viewing head-on, from a considerable distance, all appear round. But as you get very close to the paper, things change: the circles directly in front of your eye (line of sight = perpendicular to the paper) are still round, but circles near the far edges of the paper become very oval-shaped.

    Forget about this for a moment, now, and consider what happens when someone photographs a large group with a wide-angle lens. The people near the outer edges get curiously-elongated heads, which seem to stretch out towards the outer edges of the print. In short, it has an obvious wide lens distortion. Mark Barendt has made the opinion that this distortion effect is a result of viewing the print from too far away.

    So what happens if we view this print from a close distance (keeping centered)? Well, the heads near the center still have a proper shape. But the heads near the edges, which at first seemed elongated, have now flattened into proper shape. It IS exactly as Mark said it would be - the proper viewing distance (and position) makes the scene look natural.

    As some have pointed out, most people don't really care where you want them to stand, or how far to view from. They want to look anyway they darn well feel like. Mark says that you can control this to some extent - if you hang photos behind your couch, they can't get within several feet of it; if you hang photos in a hallway, they can't get more than a couple feet away. So if you plan ahead, read post #20 and shoot appropriately. This will give the most realistic "you are there" effect on the photo.

    These ideas are not new in photographic literature. Stroebel has a section in View Camera Technique (5th edition, section 7.13 Apparent Perspective Effects: Viewing Distance). In essence, viewing a print from "too close" weakens (compresses) the apparent perspective effect. But this is not usually too objectionable. But viewing a print from "too far" makes the apparent perspective too strong, which tends to be more objectionable. So the safest thing with portraits is probably to shoot from a longer distance, using a longer lens; this mostly removes the risk of "viewing from too far."

    There's a lot more to portraits than just this, but I think what I've said above has a lot of application to landscapes (with some foreground) and some other general scenic photography.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    Actually it's very simple. It's because a photograph is usually flat. Whatever angle of view was provided by the lens at the scene - the end result is still a 2 dimensional flat image.

    If the image is very large, the viewer will tend to stand back from it, if it is very small they will move in very close. It is not dependent on the angle of view, if you use an ultrawide angle lens, but print very large, people are still going to stand back if they want to comfortably take in the whole scene. If you use a telephoto lens and print very small, people are going to move in closer. It's the size of the print really, not the angle of view.
    I agree that that print size is important in the calculus here. I said as much above. People, including myself, expect to view certain print sizes at certain distances.

    That norm gives me a tool to use to control/manipulate how viewers, myself included, view the scene in print on the wall. It allows me to choose if they, or I, see normal or flattened or whatever perspective.

    The flat medium also isn't the issue here.

    When viewing a scene through your camera using most any lens designed to provide proper rectilinear perspective, the scene looks normal through the viewfinder. The scene does not look weird compared say the grid lines we see in the camera. (I'm assuming well corrected lenses here and I'm leaving out lens distortions, like barrel and pincushion, purposefully.)

    The normal looking view seen in most cameras, is a projection on a flat surface, the focusing screen or ground glass.

    Photograph viewing distance

    Photographs are ordinarily viewed at a distance approximately equal to their diagonal[citation needed]. When viewed at this distance, the distortion effects created by the angle of view of the capture are apparent. However, theoretically, if one views pictures exhibiting extension (wide angle) distortion at a closer distance, thus widening the angle of view of the presentation, then the phenomenon abates. Similarly, viewing pictures exhibiting compression (telephoto) distortion from a greater distance, thus narrowing the angle of view of the presentation, reduces the effect. In both cases, at some critical distance, the apparent distortion disappears completely.
    The quote was excerpted from here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspec...ject_distance)

    Okay so here's an example from a local guy http://www.billproudphotography.com/pages/H212.htm Bill shot that on 4x5 Velvia, as I remember he said he used a 90mm lens.

    The small sizes we can see on the Internet don't do ths "portrait" justice, the person centered in the arch is just so small that they gets missed. In person though, where the short edge of the print is in the 30-40" range that person draws you closer to the print, as does the natural angle of the shot. Viewed in person and closer than one might normally view a print that size it is incredible and starts filling the viewer's peripheral vision.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    There's a lot more to portraits than just this, but I think what I've said above has a lot of application to landscapes (with some foreground) and some other general scenic photography.
    I agree.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Really?

    Then why do you bother applying the principle?
    I don't apply the "principle" I have a "rule of thumb". And I don't agree that wide-angle distortion is hidden by viewing a large photo from six inches away. I'm too myopic for that anyway.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    I don't want to get mired down trying to explain how it works, but I will say that Mark Barendt has it exactly right, and he understands how it works (see his post #20 for a simple set of rules).

    If you've ever seen a photo that seemed like you were right there - as though you could almost step right into the picture - well, Mark just revealed how to do it.

    A handful of people maintain that the print is a 2-D surface, and different viewing distances cannot make a difference. The truth is that IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    Let me give an example. If you draw some circles on a piece of paper, they ought to appear round. But if you tilt the paper, the circles will flatten into an oval shape - everyone agrees with this, right? Ok, now pretend that you have drawn a handful of circles on a very large sheet of paper. Viewing head-on, from a considerable distance, all appear round. But as you get very close to the paper, things change: the circles directly in front of your eye (line of sight = perpendicular to the paper) are still round, but circles near the far edges of the paper become very oval-shaped.

    Forget about this for a moment, now, and consider what happens when someone photographs a large group with a wide-angle lens. The people near the outer edges get curiously-elongated heads, which seem to stretch out towards the outer edges of the print. In short, it has an obvious wide lens distortion. Mark Barendt has made the opinion that this distortion effect is a result of viewing the print from too far away.

    So what happens if we view this print from a close distance (keeping centered)? Well, the heads near the center still have a proper shape. But the heads near the edges, which at first seemed elongated, have now flattened into proper shape. It IS exactly as Mark said it would be - the proper viewing distance (and position) makes the scene look natural.

    As some have pointed out, most people don't really care where you want them to stand, or how far to view from. They want to look anyway they darn well feel like. Mark says that you can control this to some extent - if you hang photos behind your couch, they can't get within several feet of it; if you hang photos in a hallway, they can't get more than a couple feet away. So if you plan ahead, read post #20 and shoot appropriately. This will give the most realistic "you are there" effect on the photo.

    These ideas are not new in photographic literature. Stroebel has a section in View Camera Technique (5th edition, section 7.13 Apparent Perspective Effects: Viewing Distance). In essence, viewing a print from "too close" weakens (compresses) the apparent perspective effect. But this is not usually too objectionable. But viewing a print from "too far" makes the apparent perspective too strong, which tends to be more objectionable. So the safest thing with portraits is probably to shoot from a longer distance, using a longer lens; this mostly removes the risk of "viewing from too far."

    There's a lot more to portraits than just this, but I think what I've said above has a lot of application to landscapes (with some foreground) and some other general scenic photography.
    Forgive me for typing this, but that is an absolutely absurd thing to be concerned about. What next? What if the viewer stands closer to the right side of the photo than to the left? Should we keystone the image to effectively correct the perspective for them? Nonsense. Much ado about nothing.



 

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