Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wide angle great for kids taking photos despite distortion

Fiona, 4, used a Canon PowerShot S90 set to wide angle to take this picture of her sister.

Wide angle lenses used to shoot almost full frame pictures of people can introduce apparent distortions, distortions that can be very distracting. This shot of my youngest granddaughter was shot with a Canon S90 with the lens set to 28mm. A mistake, sorta. (If you don't see the problem, look at the little girl's left forearm. Close to the camera, the arm is unnaturally large, almost deformed.)

Still, I say " a mistake, sorta" because the picture was taken by the baby's 4-year-old sister. A child using a camera has some very specific needs with a fast shutter speed being one of them. Little kids have a hard time holding a camera rock solid, even when that camera is a small point-and-shoot.

The Canon S90 has a program favouring the use of the f/2.0 aperture teamed with a corresponding faster shutter speed. The downside to this setting is that the file size is reduced. Still, it is a trade-off worth making. (If you don't have an f/2.0 aperture, you have yet another problem. Slow lenses make me want to scream.)

Even being wielded by a child, my PowerShot S90 was able to stop both camera shake and subject movement despite the low level of available light illuminating the subject.

Another problem faced by a child taking pictures is focus. Getting an image tightly focused has always been a challenge for photographers in certain situations. A wide angle lens and the attendant great depth of field can really help.

A poor image that is blur-free and sharp is still a poor image. Too much distortion is an image killer. Some distorted images can be saved with careful cropping but others will be lost. The flip side is that fewer images are lost to camera and subject movement or to unsharp focus. All in all I think the decision to use the wide angle in this situation was a good one.

Now, if you are an adult the story changes -- especially, if you have a DSLR with a fast 85mm lens. Go with the 85mm.

1 comment:

  1. That is a great shot! A wonderful way to get interesting pictures and to encourage a budding photographer.