What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they really are?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jeff Ingram, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Jeff Ingram

    Jeff Ingram Guest

    Hello,

    What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?


    Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    optical & digital zoom and such.

    Ideas?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
    Jeff Ingram, Jun 17, 2005
    #1
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  2. Jeff Ingram

    Jer Guest

    Re: What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear largerthan they really are?

    Jeff Ingram wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >



    Ever hear of a magnifying glass?

    --
    jer
    email reply - I am not a 'ten'
     
    Jer, Jun 17, 2005
    #2
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  3. Jeff Ingram

    Cynicor Guest

    Re: What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear largerthan they really are?

    Jeff Ingram wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?


    DSLR with macro lens plus extension tube(s).
    http://www.trupin.com/photos/Macro/Quarter.jpg
     
    Cynicor, Jun 17, 2005
    #3
  4. Jeff Ingram

    Nostrobino Guest

    "Jeff Ingram" <> wrote in message
    news:d8ujjc$ftlb$...
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?


    Get closer? ;-)

    Seriously, getting something to "appear larger" depends on what kind of
    thing you have in mind, and how size is usually judged. Using the zoom can
    magnify the image size obviously, but doesn't make an object "appear larger"
    in any other way. E.g., if you took a photo of your car at a short focal
    length and then zoomed to a long f.l. and took another shot, its image would
    be larger but it would not "appear larger" in the sense of making the viewer
    believe it was a bigger car.

    People judge object size mostly by the surroundings of the object and/or by
    perspective. If you take a photo of your car and via photo editing software
    move it into a photo of a lot surrounded by houses, making it the same size
    as a house, it will appear as big as a house (but no one will believe it, of
    course). Whether the overall image is larger or smaller, the car will still
    "appear" the size of a house.

    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even
    > bigger
    > than it is.


    You could move its image into a lot surrounded by houses making it the same
    size as a house. ;-)


    > Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Jeff


    There isn't a lot you can do, if I understand your question correctly. You
    can go into macro mode and fill the frame as much as possible with the coin,
    of course, which will give you the largest image possible but won't really
    make it "appear larger" in any other way. You still need other visual cues
    to make it appear larger. If you shoot at a downward angle with the coin
    close in the foreground and other objects of recognizable size in the
    background, using your *shortest* focal length, this will exaggerate the
    coin's size somewhat. It may also give you depth of field problems, however.
    Try it and see.

    Other than that, there is always a software solution as mentioned above.
    With that you can make the coin appear as large as you like, or as large as
    anyone will believe.

    N.
     
    Nostrobino, Jun 17, 2005
    #4
  5. Jeff Ingram

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Jeff Ingram wrote:

    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >


    I don't quite understand what you mean by "larger than they really are".

    Do you want to take a photo of say a coin on a desktop, and have a
    coin appear to be the largest object on the desk ?

    Or, do you just want to take a photo of the coin and then
    make a big print of it ?

    If you want to do the latter, your camera should have a
    macro mode. Just take a shot of the coin close up..

    Then you can have it fill the whole screen on your monitor,
    or you can have it fill an 8" x 10" print.
     
    Jim Townsend, Jun 17, 2005
    #5
  6. Jeff Ingram

    Roger Guest

    On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 09:35:47 -0400, "Jeff Ingram" <>
    wrote:

    >Hello,
    >
    >What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    >really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    >Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    >than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    >size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    >optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    >Ideas?
    >
    >Thanks,
    >
    >Jeff
    >


    Jeff,

    Most Canon cameras have some kind of macro mode. It is usually
    activated by pressing a button with the symbol of a tulip/flower.
    Using macro mode, the lens/focus combination will allow you to get
    closer to a small object than when not using macro mode. The closer
    you are, the larger the image. Without special additions (filters or
    lenses) this is about as good as you can do with the camera alone. The
    macro mode may be better at the wide angle or telephoto setting
    depending on the camera.

    Now that you have recorded the largest possible image, you may be able
    to use some photo editing tools to make the image appear larger. There
    are several ways to do this, I'll try to give them in preferred order.
    The methods all involve cropping the image, which is to throw away all
    the image except for a portion that is specified by you. You could
    think of this as having the image printed on large paper and then
    cutting out the 4x6 inch portion of the image you want - giving the
    desired composition but at the expense of some losses in the larger
    magnification.

    1) upsize/resize the image to a larger size (make any corrections)
    then crop the image to the size you want, sharpen the result
    2) (make any corrections to the image), crop the image to the desired
    "look" then upsize/resize the image and sharpen

    It may be possible to find some "free" image manipulation tools that
    allow the cropping and resizing actions. Irfanview may be a
    possibility although I haven't used it lately.

    Hope this gives you a useable idea.

    Regards,
    Roger
     
    Roger, Jun 17, 2005
    #6
  7. Jeff Ingram

    Eric Miller Guest

    "Jeff Ingram" <> wrote in message
    news:d8ujjc$ftlb$...
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even

    bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >


    Jeff, your question is a little ambiguous. I can interpret your question in
    two ways:

    1. You want to know how to "magnify" a coin so that it takes up a large
    part of the image, i.e., you want to take a macro shot; or,

    2. You want the coin to look unnaturally large when compared to other
    items in the photo, i.e., you want a sort of special effect that will make
    the coin look as large as the person standing next to it.

    I am an expert in neither area, in fact, I know very, very little about
    either. Based on the way that you worded you question, and the fact that the
    vast majority of photographic images aren't life size, I assume that your
    questions pertains to the second interpretation.

    I think what you are looking for is a technique called "forced perspective"
    such as that used in movies to make some people or objects look larger than
    others. I think this is usually accomplished by placing an object in the
    foreground and then composing the background to make it appear as if the
    object is part of the background, or vice versa.

    If the first interpretation is what you mean, you simply need some macro
    equipment or use the macro setting on your camera if it has one.

    Eric Miller
     
    Eric Miller, Jun 17, 2005
    #7
  8. On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 09:35:47 -0400, "Jeff Ingram" <>
    wrote:

    >Hello,
    >
    >What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    >really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?


    Why bother with the camera? Just use layers in your post processing
    work.


    ******************************************************

    "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
    my testimony. The events I have recorded should
    not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

    -James Nachtwey-
    http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/
     
    John A. Stovall, Jun 17, 2005
    #8
  9. In article <d8ujjc$ftlb$>, "Jeff Ingram"
    <> wrote:

    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.


    Jeff-

    As you should realize, size can be acheived by cropping an image in your
    graphics program, and printing the small object to cover the full width of
    paper. But who whould belive you?

    Someone wanting you to know the actual size of a coin might lay a ruler
    next to it for comparison. So size is relative. You want to show your
    coin in the same view with an easily recognized object for comparison, but
    position the coin closer to the camera to appear larger, or further to
    appear smaller.

    This can be tricky because focus is critical when the difference in
    distance is a high percentage. Using a wide-angle lens and a small
    aperture you can increase depth of focus, but that may not be enough if
    you are trying to achieve a large difference.

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Jun 17, 2005
    #9
  10. Jeff Ingram

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Re: What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear largerthan they really are?

    Jeff Ingram wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >

    Our brains interpret size by relationships. If you put something in the
    picture that appears large, such as a phone, the size of the coin is
    interpreted as in relation to a normal phone, which the viewer knows the
    size of. Now if the phone in the picture is a good miniature, then the
    coin will be interpreted as larger. Filling most of the frame (macro)
    with the coin will also help, as will removing any other size
    indicators, such as wood grain on a desktop, etc.

    Now WHY do you want to make the coin look larger?


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Jun 17, 2005
    #10
  11. Jeff Ingram

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <>,
    "Nostrobino" <> wrote:

    > if you took a photo of your car at a short focal
    > length and then zoomed to a long f.l. and took another shot, its image would
    > be larger but it would not "appear larger" in the sense of making the viewer
    > believe it was a bigger car.


    Actually you could. If you were close to the car then the parts of the
    car closest to the lens would appear much larger then the parts of the
    car or the scene further from the lens. This is called foreshortening
    and is a characteristic of a wide angle optic. The wider the lens the
    greater the effect. Conversely the longer the lens the more compressed
    the image becomes.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
     
    Bob Salomon, Jun 17, 2005
    #11
  12. Jeff Ingram

    Sheldon Guest

    "Jeff Ingram" <> wrote in message
    news:d8ujjc$ftlb$...
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even
    > bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Jeff
    >


    Your question only has one answer -- Use a wide angle lens and a very small
    aperture. If the coin is in the foreground it will "appear" to be much
    larger than the objects behind it, but everything has to be in focus. If I
    took a picture of you at the zoo using the same technique I could easily
    make you "appear" to be much larger than an elephant, but most people know
    an elephant is bigger than a person.

    Now, you asked about "camera" trickery, and that's the only answer I can
    come up with based on the question. Obviously you can do a lot of things
    with Photoshop and other software programs.
     
    Sheldon, Jun 17, 2005
    #12
  13. Jeff Ingram

    ASAAR Guest

    On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 10:24:44 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:

    > Filling most of the frame (macro)
    > with the coin will also help, as will removing any other size
    > indicators, such as wood grain on a desktop, etc.
    >
    > Now WHY do you want to make the coin look larger?


    He doesn't have much cents.
     
    ASAAR, Jun 18, 2005
    #13
  14. Nostrobino <> wrote:

    : People judge object size mostly by the surroundings of the object
    : and/or by perspective. If you take a photo of your car and via photo
    : editing software move it into a photo of a lot surrounded by houses,
    : making it the same size as a house, it will appear as big as a house
    : (but no one will believe it, of course). Whether the overall image is
    : larger or smaller, the car will still "appear" the size of a house.

    I agree. And this effect can go both ways. I frequently like to take
    macros of tiny delicate flowers, but they never had the impact on the
    photo as they did in person. Until one day I simply placed a dime next to
    this tiny flower that was about the same size as the dime. Suddenly the
    tiny flower looked tiny. So I now make it a point to include some item
    that is easily recognized by most anyone for comparitive size. Don't use a
    lens cap as they come in so many sizes. But coins, or folding chairs, or
    whatever included in an apropriate image will give a scale to judge size.

    If you use this idea to play with scale you can fool the eye of the
    viewers. For example puting a quarter on a finely detailed doll house
    chair the quarter may appear to be the size of a car tire. Of course the
    trick would be most effective if the background is similar to the scale of
    the toy chair, or placed at such a distance to appear to be of the correct
    scale.

    One other trick that was touched on in the last sentance is that things
    that are closer to the lens tend to appear larger than the items further
    away, but for the trick to work both items need to be in focus. So this
    trick is somewhat limited by the depth of field of the lens at the
    particular set of settings. If you want a good demonstration of how this
    is done, pick up a DVD of "Darby O'Gill and the Little People". In the
    extra features there is a lot of demonstrations of using distance to make
    aparent size differences with only purely optical tricks.

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Jun 18, 2005
    #14
  15. Jeff Ingram

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Re: What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear largerthan they really are?

    ASAAR wrote:
    > On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 10:24:44 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Filling most of the frame (macro)
    >>with the coin will also help, as will removing any other size
    >>indicators, such as wood grain on a desktop, etc.
    >>
    >>Now WHY do you want to make the coin look larger?

    >
    >
    > He doesn't have much cents.
    >

    Good one!


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Jun 18, 2005
    #15
  16. Jeff Ingram

    Mark² Guest

    "Jeff Ingram" <> wrote in message
    news:d8ujjc$ftlb$...
    > Hello,
    >
    > What camera trickery could I use to make objects appear larger than they
    > really are? Other than using the zoom, is there anything else I can do?
    >
    >
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even
    > bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?
    >
    > Thanks,


    Simple.

    Wide angle lens.
    -Coin really close to camera with a more distant background, or person
    holding coin toward and close to camera.

    Ever see pictures of animals where their snout/nose looks extremely
    exaggerated and protruding?
    That's all done with wides...where the nose is close toe the camera with the
    rest of the body extending away from the camera.

    Mark
     
    Mark², Jun 18, 2005
    #16
  17. Jeff Ingram

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Jeff Ingram" <> writes:
    > Say I wanted to take a picture of a coin and I wanted it to look even bigger
    > than it is. Are there any other settings I could use to exaggerate its
    > size? My Canon A85 has full manual controls for aperature, shutter speed,
    > optical & digital zoom and such.
    >
    > Ideas?


    People have suggested various in-camera tricks but the crudest and
    most direct way is to just composite two pictures with an image
    editor. You can make the coin the size of a house if you want.
     
    Paul Rubin, Jun 18, 2005
    #17
  18. Jeff Ingram

    Nostrobino Guest

    "Bob Salomon" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > "Nostrobino" <> wrote:
    >
    >> if you took a photo of your car at a short focal
    >> length and then zoomed to a long f.l. and took another shot, its image
    >> would
    >> be larger but it would not "appear larger" in the sense of making the
    >> viewer
    >> believe it was a bigger car.

    >
    > Actually you could. If you were close to the car then the parts of the
    > car closest to the lens would appear much larger then the parts of the
    > car or the scene further from the lens. This is called foreshortening


    Sure. But you're changing the situation as described and implied, Bob. What
    I had in mind, and what I think the average reader would infer, was two
    shots of the same car from the same position with the lens zoomed from short
    to long focal lengths, such that the car would still be completely contained
    in the long f.l. shot and of course would be much smaller in image size in
    the shorter f.l. shot, assuming the same degree of final enlargement.

    Yes, I COULD have spelled all that out in detail but I just didn't think it
    necessary. ;-)

    The car in such a case would not look like a larger car at the longer f.l.
    even though its image size would be larger.


    > and is a characteristic of a wide angle optic. The wider the lens the
    > greater the effect. Conversely the longer the lens the more compressed
    > the image becomes.


    In fact to get any substantial degree of the foreshortening effect you
    describe pretty much *requires* a quite short f.l., and the original
    poster's camera, a Canon A85, is somewhat limited in this respect. However,
    later in my reply I did suggest this, in connection with the coin he wants
    to make appear larger:

    "If you shoot at a downward angle with the coin
    close in the foreground and other objects of recognizable size in the
    background, using your *shortest* focal length, this will exaggerate the
    coin's size somewhat."

    That of course would be using the same principle of foreshortening that you
    describe.

    There are some other ways of making photographed objects appear larger or
    smaller (e.g., in stereo photography, altering the interocular distance to
    cause "gigantism" or "lilliputism"), but none that I know of that apply to
    the OP's situation.

    N.
     
    Nostrobino, Jun 18, 2005
    #18
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