Beginner’s Photography Tip #5: Distortion
One way distortion happens is if you are too close to your subject using a wide angle lens. You will find the facial features warped and distorted. I see many amateur images that have this problem, and they generally do not notice it.
In the example on the left, for which my model volunteered, I have used a 200mm lens on the left image and a wide angle set at 28mm on the right one. Anything focal length greater than 50mm would look fine for a portrait. For the wide angle, however, I was only three feet from her face, and it is not a flattering image at all.
If someone sits facing you and has their feet or hands extended out towards you, their feet or hands are going to look too big and out of proportion. Unless you are shooting a shoe catalog, or going for an unusual technique, this perspective may not be an attractive look. Keeping the body parts on a more similar plane of focus will look nicer.
Notice her hands look as big as her head. The poor thing.
Barb Gordon, of www.BarbGordonPhotoCoach.com, is a Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, and Certified Professional Photographer with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to which she has belonged since 1984. She is a nationally published and award winning photographer, entrepreneur, speaker, and author including being published in the prestigious PPA Loan Collection 2006, PPA Showcase 2003, twice named Iowa’s Top Ten Photographer of the Year, and 2010 Iowa’s Master Photographer of the Year.
She has been locally honored by YWCA Tribute to Women of Achievement 2001 and Advanced Entrepreneur of the Year 2003. Barb owns Gordon Photography & Gallery in Marion, Iowa specializing in customized portrait art. Learn more about her studio at www.GordonPhotography.Biz
As a recent breast cancer survivor, Barb started www.PortraitsAndStories.com as a photo essay project to encourage survivors, their families, and their friends through images and blog posts by the survivors on a wide variety of topics.
When not working, she enjoys life on a new farm raising organic chickens, gardening, and playing with the horses, cats, and dogs.