Thursday, July 10, 2008

Portrait Photography II

In my first post for portrait photography, I wrote:

If you are using wide-angle lens and intending to take a full-body-length portrait, avoid shooting at eye level. This will make the subject’s legs look short!


To shoot in wide-angle means to zoom out. The opposite of wide-angle is telephoto, or long lens. A normal lens is in-between, and has a field of view similar to human eyes.

How did I know shooting at eye level with wide-angle lens can make a subject’s legs look short? Because, as a lousy photographer, I have made this mistake in the past . Here is an example of bad image...

Wide-angel, eye level

How to solve this problem? One possibility is to squat down when taking the picture. Alternatively, shoot with either a normal lens or a telephoto lens. The following photo was taken with a short telephoto lens...

Short telephoto

As you can see, images shot with wide-angle lens and telephoto lens look different. This brings up another issue:

Most point-and-shooters stand at one place and zoom the lens. A better approach is to determine beforehand what lens you want to use, and zoom with your legs!

Related post:

Portrait Photography


  1. but hor, if u squat down n take, the person will look fatter!

  2. the first lady has got such a big belly ~ XD

  3. xin
    Legs will look fatter...

    But hor... some people take with wide-angel lens and they manage to make the legs look long + slim. I am still struggling to do that.

    The easier way is to shoot with normal lens or telephoto...

  4. 迷迭香
    Nobody is perfect...

  5. Nice tip. But how to zoom with your legs?

  6. neo
    Walk back and forth until you find the right distance.

  7. Nice second picture. You really took that yourself. I love those kinda pictures that focuses on the person while the background is kinda blurry.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  8. princess shin
    Actually it is easy to have blurry background if you use a DSLR plus a 'fast' lens.

  9. Waa, you are using very sexciting terms, wor.

    Squat down - great move esp if the subject is in miniest of minis.

    Zoom with your legs - this one cracks me up.

    Okay, not laughing now! Thanks for the tips though.


  10. happysurfer
    I never thought of that! Thank you for giving me this tip!

  11. Thanks, I will zoom, macro and wide with my legs.