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.