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Why You Always Look Better in Real Life Than Photos – Understanding the Science Behind Camera Distortion vs Human Vision

  Today, as the pixels of smartphones become clearer and clearer, and various photography apps are developed with each passing day, it can be said that everyone is a “photographer”, and many friends like to enrich their social platforms by uploading their own photos. However, there are also many friends who always dislike taking selfies or taking pictures of others because they are “unphotogenic”.
  In fact, people who think they are “unphotogenic” have been hurt by their own photos. Whenever I see myself in a group photo or someone else’s candid photo, I always ask questions in my heart – “Who is this ugly thing?” “Where is the beautiful girl/handsome guy that everyone loves in the mirror?” After calming down, I will always think deeply about a question – self-portraits, photos taken by others, or in the mirror, which one is the truest version of myself? In other words, do we really know what we look like?
  How do human eyes and cameras see the world?
  Taking selfies, taking photos of others, or looking in the mirror, which one has a higher degree of restoration depends on how the human eye sees the world.
  According to middle school physics knowledge, our eyes capture objects by refracting the light from the object through the lens, forming an inverted physical image on the retina, which is then transmitted to the brain through visual nerve perception, and is finally formed after analysis by the cerebral cortex. Vision.
  The basic structure of a camera consists of a lens composed of a glass lens and components that photosensitively record images. What the human eye receives and transmits to the brain is actually an inverted two-dimensional image, which is the same principle as a camera.
  However, our smart brains process information on their own and convert the two-dimensional images we see into a “three-dimensional world”, while the camera imaging still remains in the two-dimensional plane of “passive” recording, so a visual gap is formed.
  It’s just that when we look at his finished film, the brain will still make up for the scene in the memory, so the visual gap between “two-dimensional” and “three-dimensional” does not seem that big; but when we change the focal length of the shooting, the change will be It happened – there are certain differences in the size and even the spirit of the human face under different focal lengths.
  In addition to focal length, color perception is also a key influencing factor. Do you ever remember that when facing the bright moon in the sky, you took out your mobile phone to record the beautiful scenery, but you could never capture the moonlight in your eyes? This is the difference in color light perception between the human eye and the camera. It can be seen that the interpretation of things visible to the human eye when taking pictures is most likely a random event.
  In terms of restoration, it has to be a mirror. Let
  ’s talk about the effect of the front camera of the mobile phone and looking in the mirror.
  In order to allow consumers to capture more scenery in a smaller environment and at a closer distance when taking selfies, many mobile phone front cameras use wide-angle lenses. When shooting with a wide-angle lens, you can capture as much background as possible, but its fatal problem is that it will exaggerate the foreground, causing serious perspective distortion – the closer you are to the lens, the more serious the distortion of the subject being photographed…
  When taking a selfie, The tip of a person’s nose is approximately 2.5 centimeters closer to the camera than the rest of the face. The closer it is, the larger it gets, so the subject’s nose will be surprisingly large compared to other parts of the face. When taking photos at close range, not only will a narrow face become wider, but the distance between the eyes and the nose will also be widened. This reasonably explains why everyone is silent after taking selfies with the original camera.
  In addition, the front cameras are all mirrored, and the photos taken flip our left and right faces, and most people’s left and right faces are asymmetrical. Photos are contrary to our visual habits, so naturally they look weird no matter how you look at them.
  In addition, the pixels of today’s mobile phones are constantly improving, and you will not be able to escape any blemishes such as dark circles and acne marks on your face. This is like scanning your face repeatedly with a magnifying glass. How can it look good? It can be said that there is a broken heart behind almost every original camera front camera, but when everyone looks in the mirror, the situation becomes much better.
  In most cases, the scene where we use mirrors is the same as seeing things in the sun. When any light or light shines on a person and is reflected on the mirror, the flat mirror reflects the light into the person’s eyes. We see the light from the mirror. You can see a virtual image that is equal in size to yourself and opposite in left and right. Therefore, judging from the principles and influencing factors, the accuracy and restoration of mirror imaging are higher than that of cameras.
  Therefore, from a scientific point of view, in terms of the degree of restoration, mirror > camera (rear camera of mobile phone) > front camera of mobile phone.
  But don’t mirrors lie? The mirror does not lie, it may be your own brain that lies. Think about it, sometimes when you look at yourself in the mirror, do you feel more handsome and beautiful as you look at yourself? This is actually the brain’s automatic “beautification” function.
  This phenomenon is called the “exposure effect” in psychology, which means that people prefer things that they are familiar with. The more frequently things appear in front of our eyes, the more we like them. Therefore, when you look at yourself, the more you look at it, the better it looks; when you look at objects that are not very good-looking, the more you look at them, the less ugly they seem. After all, the brain is the originator of tricks!
  In fact, you are most beautiful in motion
  . University of California psychologist Bobst and his team conducted such an experiment: they asked participants to rate a 2-second video and 1,200 frames of still images captured from these videos, and evaluate the video. Or how good-looking the 20 people in the picture are. It was found that the same face scored higher in the video than in the static image.
  Research has found that in the process of brain evolution and processing of dynamic faces, the same face in different positions and different sides will be averaged, and the average face will be more attractive than the profile face. In order to save trouble, the brain naturally prefers and recognizes dynamic faces more easily, so people think dynamic faces look better.
  In contrast, the self in the photo looks very rigid, also because the brain spends more time recognizing static portraits, and the frozen characters and prominent facial defects in the photo leave no room for the brain to make up for the PS.
  This explains why photos are always not as smart and beautiful as real people, and it also explains why it doesn’t matter if you don’t look good in photos, because you are always much prettier in the eyes of others than you are in photos.
  So, how do you see yourself in the eyes of others? You only need to do the following:
  Use a camera or rear camera to record yourself. In order to avoid wide-angle distortion, we must keep an appropriate distance from the camera. Take a look at what you look like when you are working, doing housework, or exercising. There is a high probability that the person you see in the video is also the most real version of yourself in the eyes of others!