Photographing a Person: A test of focal lengths

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,303
Re: Photographing a Person: A test of focal lengths

Ha ha, I think a few people are either a bit insensitive and cannot detect the distortion in the face so well or they simply missed the point of this exercise - that is to see how good the facial features look, and not how the photo looks in terms of colour saturation, resolution, or any other measurements.  Many got it, and it is not that hard if they can compare directly the first and the last photo side by side and see which photo make the man better looking.

This is a good series of photos but they could be better.  If you had used a more direct frontal pose, the man's nose would be closer to the lens and get bigger and more distorted even more than the chin, ears etc at close range.  If you had a lady model instead, people might look for what you are trying to show easier, when they then would tend to look at how good she looks.  If you had taken a really tight close-up, like filling the frame starting from the hairline (just a little hair) on top and only go to the chin, which I like to do,  it would show the distortion more clearly, or the difference.  The human face (round with things sticking out) is flattered with a perspective of a picture taken at a longer distance, at least 5 ft for acceptable result, and that means a 100mm lens or more if you fill the whole frame with a tight head shot.

Even with this series, it should be clear that the man looks better in the last two photos.  For many portraits and head shots, the purpose is to get the subject looking their best.  I know some people do not see the distortion much, but they should be able to tell and select the photo when the person looks better.

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