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Old 09-18-2004, 12:19 PM   #1
Kimberly Dow Kimberly Dow is offline
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Camera distortion?




The particular camera distortion that happens when a body part is coming towards you.... is there a name for this? In drawing it is 'foreshortening.

Is there a particular setting that helps with this? I have read many times to do portraits on 55 mm - 80 mm. My camera has only a 18-55 mm lens so far- so I feel fairly confident I have to zoom it all the way out to have the proper reading, but for this type of distortion is there something that will help - or is it just a matter of posing?

I have posted some examples of what I am talking about. Perhaps just backing farther away? The hands/feet are just unnaturally huge with the way I took the photos.

Chris Saper! You mentioned to me once that I was getting a distortion and you'd try to get back to me to explain - if you are out there perhaps you can help with this!
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:22 PM   #2
Kimberly Dow Kimberly Dow is offline
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Now this one isn't as bad - but it coud be only because the hand is partially covered with the apple.

The answer is to paint from life, but when I cannot.....?
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Old 09-18-2004, 02:18 PM   #3
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Get yourself a much longer zoom lens (80-200) and stand at least 12 feet back from the model. 15 to 20 feet would be even better.
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Old 09-18-2004, 02:23 PM   #4
Allan Rahbek Allan Rahbek is offline
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The problem is that you are to close to the object. If you could back off a little you would get less distortions.

You should use the 55 setting.

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Old 09-18-2004, 03:23 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Kim,

Taking a short break from packing.

The discussions regarding the optimum focal length of a lens setting for portrait work was geared to the focal length of the lenses of the SLR film cameras. My old Mamiya medium format film camera had a fixed portrait lens which was 80 mm.

When we talk about this in relation to our digital camera we have to make an adjustment. If you will go to this link for your Canon digital rebel you will see listed a little ways down under lenses: 1.6 x field of view crop (my Nikon multiplier is 1.5). That means that for the sake of this discussion, the 18mm on the low end of your lens becomes a 28.8. And the 55mm at the top end becomes 88mm.

This would be true of all your old lenses as well. My old 200mm lens is now a 300mm lens on my new digital camera! This digital stuff pushes us into a different bit of nomenclature, and it will take a while to catch hold. If the 80mm lens on a film camera was optimum for portraiture, then 53+- is that same number in digital format for your camera.
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Old 09-18-2004, 07:13 PM   #6
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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HI Kimberly,

Yes, yes, they are all correct! Until you get your new lens there are a couple of things you might try.

When you photograph your subject, get at least one image with , for example the hands, that shows the hands on roughly the same picture plane as the body. With that information you can make relative measurements about the size of the hands ( in this example) compared to the size of the head. Then you would just make an adjustment in that measurement when you paint the hands. This adjustment can be a good approximator but I think it's always best to be WAY back and zoom in.

The other thing you might play with if you have Photoshop skill, is to try using the spherize function. It's located under Filter - Distort- Spherize. I haven't personally used it , just know that it's there. I have Photoshop CS so I am not sure whether other versions offer Spherize.

Good luck, I just LOVE that first image!
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Old 09-19-2004, 02:17 AM   #7
Kimberly Dow Kimberly Dow is offline
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Allan, Marvin, Mike & Chris -

Thank you all - I truly appreciate the help!

So, it sounds as if my lens if good for portraits, but not whole body shots or ones with parts coming towards me. Going to order another lens asap!

This is really a lot of new things to learn with a new camera (and my small amount of patience) - but you all are making this much easier and faster than it would be otherwise. Seriously, I feel like I owe you all dinner.

Chris - when I have my imaginary discussions with you forum people I like to talk to your little photos - now you changed yours and it is too small !
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