United Nations

Technical: Canon EOS 7D, 1/30 sec, f 3.5, focal length 11

Here’s a wide angle shot. Note the distortion at the edges. The roofline on the right has an upward curve. In the center the perspective lines appear straight. There is so much play between the wide angle and perspective it’s hard to be critical of the technical aspect of this image. The exposure is a little dark in the foreground. Shooting wide angle is an art and the effect is something more abstract. In real life we see parallel lines because our brain processes the image with our knowledge of reality. The camera image shows the reality as it exists. The wide angle images tend to have too much sky and lend themselves better to a panorama type image. To get away from this, often advantage is taken to emphasize some object in the foreground, a rock, flower, or automobile. This technique lends more depth of field to the image. In this image, the battle is with perspective, which is distorted and more noticeable. As long as this is what you set out to do, this is ok. Cousin David also got a great soft golden hour (evening sunset) light on the building. You can see a sliver of sunset in the center base of the building. I know this because the UN faces to the west and the sun is setting from there.

Graduation III

Technical: no info

This is a problem with getting too close. You get rid of the people walking by and all the distraction in the background. But if you will notice John’s face is a little closer. So his nose is a bit big. And his shoulders and torso are relatively out of scale. I refer to this as a wide angle effect. I mostly see this in dog photos where the distortion is enhanced and makes for distinctive dog portraits. Most folk don’t want a bigger nose. I don’t know why, they just don’t.


Technical: Nikon D90 1/60sec, f4.5, ISO 200, focal length 42mm

The exposure is good. The cropping is tight. The eyes are centered which is photographer’s choice. Fill flash. The basket handles serve as a frame for Abby’s face. The eyes sparkle. At 42mm, there is some wide angle distortion and the forehead is larger (disproportionate) than the chin. I still like the shot, just like Susan did.

Little Red Lighthouse

The Little Red Lighthouse at the base of the George Washington Bridge. Amy’s first bike ride of the season – she didn’t invite me. iPhone shots are great to share. The hard lesson is to make do with that little lens and ask the phone to be a camera. Amy has a Nikon D300S, but sometimes you don’t have that available when a gorgeous day presents a great shot.

Playground Slide

Technical: Nikon D90, shutter 1/200, f5.6, focal length 20

Susan emailed the other day offering to help and contribute. Thanks. This is a downhill slide. You have wide angle distortion going. Susan commented that the eyes are closed, but the expressions ‘priceless.’ Definitely! So what’s my opinion? It looks like the kids are actually going uphill. It’s the wide angle distortion that raised Matilda up and makes her look larger than her older sibling and cousins. Here’s a thought. Try tilting the camera. This will bring Ryan’s head up and make it seem more like the kids are coming down. But, they are all cute.

You know, on second look, I think that this break in the rules works. I do in fact like the kids seeming to go uphill. I never did like rules. But try to tilt the camera the next time.


Technical: Nikon D200, 1/200 sec, f4.8, focal length 56mm

At the Chinese New Year Parade, we were in close quarters. There are some points to keep in mind. Perspective is an issue. But I believe it adds some tension to the image. It emphasizes the grill, which is ok. The camera is not at eye level but more horizontal to the car. Also I tilted the camera slightly to get a more dynamic image. Just enough of the back of the car is showing. The image is in motion even though the car is not. So for cars, get low and go for a low angle distortion. Depending on what you wish, this effect can be exaggerated more.

Grandma Hand

Technical: Canon G11, 1/800 sec, f6.1, focal length 4mm

Not to be left out Julia shot this image of Grand Mama in Germany after their tour of the chocolate factory. Her goal was get the hot chocolate so thankfully the perspective in not so unflattering. Still, you can see that the hand is and fingers are, large as the forearm and body taper back. From a certain perspective you may want to emphasize product and this is the way to go.


Technical: Olympus, 1/40 sec, f2.8, focal length 5mm

At first I thought this was one of my shots. But it is David (son). His image of grandpa is distorted in a different way. Grandpa’s forehead is larger and enhanced by the receding hairline. The face and mouth are smaller as they are farther from the wide angle perspective. I am certain that David loves his grandparents and did this unintentionally so that I could make these observations.

David Grandma

Technical: Olympus, 1/45 sec, f2.8, focal length 5mm

Here perspective is really distorted. I apologize because Grandma does not look this way. She is too close to the camera and her nose is disproportionate. David is back and less distorted. It’s not flattering but it does show you the problem with wide angle distortion.


David Grandma

Technical: Olympus, 1/70 sec, f2.8, focal length 5mm

Another camera point and shoot trick is to take your own picture. You simply extend your hand and shoot. You can see David’s left shoulder extending. He was traveling with his grandmother in Europe. And they met one of his friends, who happened to be traveling in the same city. It was a random meeting, I think (you never know). Anyway back to perspective. The closer subject will be larger – David. The distortion is not too bad. It does preserve a nice memory.