This perplexing question is about aircraft pictures: Why is it that in some photos, the furthest wing or roundel seems bigger than the closest? Moris George from Aviation Art explains:

(Red circled photos)

Well. It is not bigger in the photo. It is just the same. And that is the problem… it should be smaller, not the same. Being the same, is translated by our brains as bigger in real life because it calculates perspective.

So even if it is the same in the photo, again it is WRONG for our type of view. That happens when photographers use Zoom lenses in air shows to take pictures from the ground.

You can see such examples in the red circle photos. Usually, in those cases, the lines of wings and horizontal stabilizers seem parallel when they should tend to converge slightly on the upper side. (see axonometric-isometric projection)

(Yellow circled photos)

On the contrary, another example of a perspective alien to our eye is the wide-view (fish-eye) perspective seen in the Yellow circle photos the lines converge in a very accentuated way, more than they should by normal view. In this case though, it is not completely out of logic to use such images as base for painting.

We are generally used to see fish-eye images. So many aviation painters use images as such, on purpose. Someone must be careful though, because they are suitable for a close up plane drawing. Don’t use fish-eye optic for a plane in the distant background. The more you go far, the more you tend towards a perspective similar to the Red circled images

Generally, the best choice is somewhere in the middle. The safest way to draw correctly the perspective, is to use Descriptive geometry (that enables you be coherent between the perspective of different objects) or to draw from real model. If you use photos you must be careful to choose correctly taking under consideration the general perspective of all the objects in the painting including the landscape.

Dihedral setup is another factor of making the closest wing shorter in length (but not in width).


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