Real Estate Photo - Effects of distortion

Following my last blog post, I wanted to make another demonstration of the impacts of a wide angle lens in a real estate photo. Otherwise stated, this post is about how NOT to use a wide angle lens to produce a real estate photo. The first thing to note about the following photo is that the camera position has been set to ensure that the vertical lines of this room actually run vertical: the camera is positioned somewhere around waist height, much closer to the floor than you might realize when looking at this image and the camera has been carefully levelled. Camera position and composition is always a choice being made by the photographer, and when creating this image I wanted to ensure that the viewer could see the large window and the hardwood floor.

But does it look normal? I've highlighted just a few things that seem pretty strange to the viewer:

  • Those chairs looks like they are the same, so shouldn't they be the same size? The one on the left seems much larger.
  • What about that table on the right? It seems oddly stretched.
  • And why are the lines in the floor not parallel? Aren't hardwood floors made up of parallel pieces of wood?

real estate photo wide angle lens 14mm distortion

The odd appearance of this room is corrected very easily by making two simple changes: zoom the lens to make a tighter composition and back the camera up.

The following image was composed to capture the exact same features of the room as the first image, only this time all of those strange things I pointed out have been drastically reduced. Additionally in my opinion, this room now has a cozier feel than the first one, since the chairs and far wall don't seem to be so far away.

real estate photo wide angle lens 24mm

And here's a side-by-side comparison of this real estate photo made with a wide angle lens without my marks all over them.

What do you think? Did you realize that a wide angle lens can distort things this much or have this kind of impact on how rooms are perceived?

real estate photo wide angle lens side by side comparison