Tuesday, October 28, 2008

wide angle perspective distortion...

...and pretty cars make for a fun Saturday afternoon!

"If it has balls or wheels it means trouble" is the phrase I've seen on a few bumper snickers over the years. For me its wheels, add lots of chrome then I'm in at the expense of common sense. Its how I'm wired, can't help it and don't want to change it.  This weekend was close to nirvana when the 18th Annual Monrovia Hot Rod and Custom Car show hit town.

Which lens one chooses can greatly affect the final image and how angles and distance are compressed or exaggerated.  Understanding how focal length affects the final image is one more tool in the bag for a photographer who wants to do more than simply record the world around him.

A wide angle lens is a way to make things look bigger through elongation of the subject.  The also make for very pronounced convergence of lines.  This good for buildings looking up, head on, well they look like the are tilting to the center.  The ultra-wide makes it even more pronounced.  The photographers angle of view and the lens you can emphasise and exaggerate the perspective is probably one of the most important tools one needs to understand as you control your image results.

American cars of the from the mid 50's to early 70's in particular were all about lower, longer and wider.  The ultra-wide lens will emphasise the the width up close and really exaggerate the length.  The car didn't change, the lens changed how the angles were viewed by altering the perspective or horizon point where the angles converge. 

All three of these cars were shot with a Canon 20-35mm lens at the 20mm setting.   This allowed me to make them appear much longer and broader than they would have been with a "normal" 50mm lens.  Even the old Chevy looks longer and more streamlined than it really is. 

The tech bits for those of you who care.  The final images are HDR images generated from 3 raw files bracketed +/- 2 stops.  They were done mapped for detail enhancement and run through virtual photographer to clean up some haze and purify the colors.

Enjoy the cars a 1949 Chevy Sedan, 1960 Cadillac Convertible and 1961 Ford Thunderbird.  You will need to click the image to get to a larger size as they are "clipped" to fit the columns. 


pasadenapio said...

Nice photos! I'm going to forward the link to a friend who is a classic car aficionado.

frazgo said...

Hey there Ms PIO so glad to see you out and about. Send your friend to my flickr sets on old cars etc.,

Petrea Burchard said...

Ooh, they just look edible. I'm not a car fanatic but wow.