Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Focal Length Ignorance Leads To Virginia Tech Conspiracy Theory

Much like a lack of basic knowledge of how film reacts to different levels of light leads to conspiracy theories about the Apollo moon landings, apparently a lack of even a modicum of understanding of the concept of FOCAL LENGTH has led to my good, close, personal friend, the Dean of Cincinnati, posting a WHOPPER saying that two pictures both claiming to be of the Va. Tech shooter are two different people.

Oh, dear God.

The picture on the left is of a student ID.

The picture on the right is from a video sent to the media claiming responsibility for the shooting.

The picture on the left was taken with a commercial "passport photo" type camera set at - what do you figure? - 100mm (35mm equivalent) or so? Tends to flatten the features. Tends to make a person look as they would look at a little bit of a distance, right? It's a "medium telephoto" pic. 50mm being considered "normal" and equivalent to the focal length of the unaided human eye.

The photo on the right looks to have been taken with something like a cell phone camera, right? Looks to be - what? - maybe 30mm (35mm equivalent). It's set so wide so as to be relatively insensitive to focus.

What does a wide angle lens at short range do to a human face?

Distort it!

HUGE nose.

HUGE lips.

Basically everything completely out of proportion and warped - sometimes beyond recognition.

Although it's impossible to tell when comparing photographs taken with such different length lenses - looks like roughly the same age, the same race, no differing moles, tatoos, or other marks.

I'm thinking this is pretty likely the same person.

People have WAY too much time on their hands these days ...

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At January 9, 2008 at 7:18 AM, Blogger The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Whoa there, Ax. I said nothing. I got sent an email, and I just posted the contents!

At January 9, 2008 at 7:53 AM, Blogger Axinar said...

Uh huh ...

Likely story ...

Sounds like Ron Paul ... :)

At January 16, 2008 at 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was does he always appear constipated?


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