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I have seen people make videos and pictures where their dog looks a lot wider and bigger in the video/pic than in person. What kind of camera lens are they using?

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It's a matter of perspective. You just shoot the dog at very close range, while making sure there is some background visible (this can require a wide-angle lens, but can be done with a smartphone).

The hard part is keeping the dog reasonably still while you shoot, and avoiding tongue marks on the lens.

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    Good answer (+1), although "shoot the dog" has another meaning... – Pete Becker Oct 15 '18 at 12:41
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    I said tongue marks, not blood stains :) – xenoid Oct 15 '18 at 13:46
  • It's perspective - agree. I would hold the camera low and point upwards. That gives a low horizon, and the dog will appear higher than the observer. – bogl Oct 15 '18 at 21:12
  • Actually, an ultrawide lens used very close often makes the dog look thinner. See Kaylee Greer's work: dogbreathphoto.com – inkista Oct 21 '18 at 19:11
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For exaggerated proportions, you need a wide angle lens (or setting). Avoid a fisheye or vignetting since it makes obvious what happens. The relations a wide angle lens exaggerates are the size increase as things get closer.

A semi-frontal perspective is dangerous since it increases the head size compared to the body, leading to "baby" proportions. You'd either go full frontal or take a side view. That gives basically a "flat" perspective where the visible parts of the dog are all more or less the same distance from the lens. It is not untypical for zoom lenses to have a bit of barrel distortion at the wide setting: that also helps in getting a larger impression.

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Wide angle. Sorry for the long hand-held exposure: the popup flash doesn't mash with the wide angle adapter. Wide angle cats left to right Wide angle cats right to left

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    I've never heard of a lens that can make dogs look like cats. =P – scottbb Oct 21 '18 at 0:46
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What breed is the dog ? Different lenses will have different effects depending on the breed and whether the dog in question is good or not.

The Hundplotzer Canigon design is known to work well on generally agreeable Terriers but it is said that Max Berek himself spent the last decade of his life in frustration trying to design a lens that could deal with belligerent Dachshunds.

And of course some breeds like the Labrador are inherently unphotographable without special filters because of a mutation that prevents them from reflecting light above the near infra-red - this often makes their owners resort to alternative methods such as 3d-rendering their dog or hiring sheared Golden Retrievers as stand-ins.

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    +1 for the humor, but not really all that helpful otherwise... – twalberg Oct 15 '18 at 17:40
  • This could be potentially a good answer though. Composition and perspective (as pointed out by xenoid) makes a big difference, more than the lens used. – confetti Oct 16 '18 at 3:57

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