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What’s a ‘0.5 Selfie?’

Happy Young Woman Takes Selfie Photo Between Oia Famous Blue Dom

There’s a new-ish type of selfie out there, and it’s supposed to look weird.

 New? Not new?
Not new if you are a zoomer!

A little background on ultra-wide cameras

Ultra-wide angle cameras produce a much different image than your standard or zoom lenses. They’re designed with a large field of view, in order to take in more of your surroundings. The iPhone’s ultra-wide angle camera, for example, has an 120º field of view. Some manufacturers call this “0.5x zoom,” since the lens captures more of the scene than your 1x zoom camera (even though these cameras don’t actually zoom in the conventional sense of the term).

 0.5 selfies are supposed to look weird

In practice, the best-looking ultra-wide shots are of landscapes: You can fit a lot more of the scene into your photo without much noticeable distortion. However, because of how these lenses work, the closer you are to a subject, the more distortion there is, almost creating a “fish eye” effect. Anything close to the lens gets stretched and warped, so if you’re trying to capture a traditionally appealing shot, you don’t use 0.5x for subjects, or even your average image out and about. It’s more common for stylized snapshots. That style has just so happened to grab ahold of Gen Z.

The appeal of the 0.5 selfie is the distortion. Sure, it’s nice the ultra-wide camera can get everything (and everyone) in the shot, but so can a normal selfie. The 0.5x camera makes it so the selfie-taker’s arm looks insane. It makes anyone whose face is close to the lens look funny. It makes selfies a bit more interesting, and it’s that much more fun to look back on these shots in your camera roll or your Instagram.

How to take a 0.5 selfie

The 0.5 selfie is easy enough to execute: You open your camera app, then switch to the 0.5 wide-angle camera. Now, flip your phone around so you’re facing your rear cameras, hold your phone up, and snap a selfie with the volume button. (If it’s a bit difficult, use your camera app’s timer.) You won’t be able to see what you’re taking, of course, but that’s part of the fun: Your exaggerated shots will come back a little goofy (and your arm will look like a human selfie stick).

0.5 selfies aren’t new

Now, here I was thinking I stumbled upon a new trend, and maybe you reading this thinking you’ve learned about something new as well. Alas, that’s not the case. A quick Google search of “0.5 selfie” reveals this type of photography was already part of the online discussion an entire year ago. That leads me to think it was cool a while before that. So, be delicate: Don’t go telling the zoomers in your life about this “fun new selfie.” You’ll be laughed out of the room. But at least you won’t be surprised if someone asked to take a “0.5 selfie” during your next family gathering. Hell, surprise everyone by suggesting to take one yourself.

Full Story: HERE

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