How to Make Your Own Funny Photos – Part 1

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Great ideas for making your own funny photographs for Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Funny photos get a lot of Likes. Use our helpful guide to help promote yourself or your business, band or club. In this article we’ll look at a technique known as “Forced Perspective”.

Forced Perspective

 

Image Attribution: David and Goliath by Stefano Broli

The tiny man in this photo was not Photoshopped in. This is an illusion. He is a fully grown man who is further away from the camera than the man on the right.

Our eyes use perspective to judge distance in flat (2D) images such as photographs, paintings and drawings. The famous illusions created by the artist M C Escher proves that we can be easily fooled in to believing impossible situations are real.

In the photograph you find it hard to judge how far away each man is away from the camera because there are very few visual clues about distance. If you look closely at the boards on the walkway, you’ll notice that they appear to get smaller from right to left. It’s one of the few clues that allow you to work out what’s going on.

How to Do This Yourself

First, find a place where the space between the first person and the second person has very little detail – flat, open grassland is perfect. Have one person stand far away and the other closer to the camera.

Have the near person pose so that they appear to be holding, looking at or squashing the person who is far away.

When you do this shot you’ll need to use a small aperture and focus between the two people to use all of the available depth of field. If you’re shooting in dull conditions, you’ll most likely need a tripod to hold the camera steady. Some cameras have a mode that is able to select the optimum point of focus for you.

Once this mode is selected you’ll focus on the closest point you wish to be in focus, then the furthest point – and the camera will calculate the necessary aperture¬† and point of focus for you.

If your camera doesn’t have cheap ambien this mode, you’ll need to focus between the two points that you wish to keep in focus and select a suitably small aperture. The tables or graphs on a lens data tables for your lens may be able to help you with this.

Compact Cameras?

Can this be done with an iPhone, cell phone or compact camera? Absolutely. This kind of camera normally has a very deep depth of field and will tend to get everything in focus. You may not be able to manually focus this type of camera but you may not need to. If one or other of people/objects are blurred (out of focus) then try again on a brighter day.

Top Tip

To to ensure the lighting falling on both subjects is the same otherwise the difference could destroy the illusion. The easiest way to achieve this is to take the photograph outside. It’s a much harder job to do if you’re thinking about doing this with artificial lighting.

Other Ideas for Forced Perspective Photography

  • Try creating the illusion of squashing things such as people, animals and famous landmarks. This photograph of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France is a great example:
A photograph of two men appearing to push the Eiffel Tower from both sides - a trick created by them being in the foreground and the tower being in the background. Both points appear in focus as the correct aperture and point of focus has been selected.
Image Attribution: Eiffel crushing by Ben Smith
Photograph of a woman appearing to be holding up the leaning tower of Piza
Image Attribution: Tower Power by Michelle Hofstrand
  • Create the illusion of eating, kissing or drinking things – like a rainbow!
Photograph of a man appearing to eat a rainbow! A funny example of a forced perspective photograph
Image Attribution: Tim tastes the rainbow by Aaron Williamson

Good locations to try:

Start by looking for places where there is little detail, texture or visual clues about the distance between the two points of interest in the photograph. Examples include:

  • Walkways
  • Featureless fields and grassland
  • Fields in front of famous buildings
  • Salt-flats
  • Beaches

If you are going to ‘hold’ or ‘squeeze’ something (there’s a great example of someone ‘catching’ an aeroplane on Flickr) then the need for the area to be detail-less is not so important. You just have to experiment with lining things up in a way that creates the illusion.

Good luck!

Part 2 is coming soon.

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