How to boost a giant rock ?

On a camping tour deep down into Grand Canyon I photographed my friend while he was fishing in Colorado River. Actually it was more a swimming lesson for the worms than catching fish but still very relaxing.
First I tried to get the fisherman, the river, the rocks and the moon in one picture using my Canon kit lens as wide angle lens (28 mm, 1/50 sec at f/10). I was not very impressed by the result although all elements where in the image.

What was wrong? After it took us 9 hours in scorching heat to hike all the way down the steep trails, the Canyon walls just didn’t seem to be sufficient high enough in the images. I could barely use my legs the day after the hike down and now the walls looked only like a rocky hump. The walls in front of me were really impressive, quite the contrary were the once in the images.

To get some serious rocks in the images I stepped further away, used the lens with 47 mm and the next image showed a bigger rock behind the fisherman. How exciting to see the Canyon grow! So I went further away and gave up on the moon in the image which was barely visible anyways and didn’t add a lot of value to the image.With the 82mm lense (1/25 sec at f/10) the photographed Canyon walls have a lot more in common with the breathtaking reality.

Fishing in Grand Canyon

This effect is called perspective compression or perspective distortion and is a fun thing to experiment with. Try it with two subjects of the same size but in different distance to the camera, first with a short lens, then go further away and use a longer lens. Other Grand Canyon pictures from this exiting trip.

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