YoYo Profile Photographs

I don’t mean to be picky, but one thing that I’ve always felt could do with changing is the photography of the profile of yoyos. Because of the lens used/way it’s taken, it always seems to bulge the yoyo out, giving it a different proportioned preview than you actually get. Take for instance the Rally:

Here is the YYE photo:

And below is a photo from another store giving a more accurate representation of the Rally:

Competing Store Catalog Image removed.
Please DO NOT post images from other stores.

It isn’t a big deal, but I think that sometimes it makes it a bit more difficult to figure out exactly what shape a yoyo has from looking at it. The Rally looks rather wide in the YYE photo when it’s actually pretty skinny.

Just something I thought I’d bring up. :slight_smile:

It’s not the lens used just the lighting, the too doesn’t have a catch light just I over top giving shape to the contours and curves of the yoyo like the second. But both show difference perspectives of the yoyo I think each are good just for different reasons.

I am not a photographer. I do NOT know what I am doing.

Here is my profile shot of my Rally. I hope it is accurate.


It has to do with the distance from the object to the camera (different lenses can be used to fill the frame; however, the distance is the determining factor). The closer you are, the more the photo perspective will have that look of the first photograph.

So, for example, a wide angle photograph taken from 2 feet (and later cropped to fill the frame) will have the same perspective as an image also taken from 2 feet with a longer lens (or lens that is zoomed in) that fills the frame.

Yup. The best bet is to go as far away as you can, and select a focal length that lets the yoyo fill the frame.

Sometimes I love the distortion effect on photos of my kids… it’s funny and can be cute. But most of the time I try to be farther away and zoom in; I always get photos that look like MY kids that way. :wink:

I am about 3-4 feet away when I take my photos, so I think that explains it. However, my philosophy is a bit different. I’m taking an audio approach. With audio, we’re simply “catching air”. Sometimes, we want to back off a bit to let things “breathe” a bit, which can provide a more open and natural sound that close-micing, by avoiding or negating entirely the proximity effect.

I feel that by backing out a bit, I get a change to adjust the manual settings on the camera and dial things in a bit more. I just felt that if I was right up on the source, I’d just get a crappy picture because I’m too close and I limit my focus options. Having full control over the zoom allows me to get the type of shot I want, or at least a slightly better chance of it.

What I’m reading is that even if my thought process may be correct in practice but wrong in other manners, I’m essentially producing accurate pictures.

Not bad for someone who doesn’t know squat about photography. Trust me, whatever I’m doing, I’ve managed to figure out on my own. I’m sure I have lots of room for improvement. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on experimenting. If I like what I see, I keep it. If I don’t, I try to figure out what I did wrong and then try to not keep on doing that. I have a LOT to learn about photography.

Not exactly true what happens with different perspectives is more about he distortion of the lens then with the distance of the lens (the fisheye lens being the exception and no the rule).

Here a link that offers some idea on types of distortion and how it effects the proportions of the object photographed.


What you described with wide angle and telephoto lens at certain distances give a depth of field different that doesn’t affect he object other then to have more or less of the photo in focus (again the fisheye bein the exception here)

I’ll post a link when I get home to illustrate the distance and focal length
And their relation to bokeh

Here is a good idea how distance Affects bokeh


I haven’t the proper time to find the differences between a wide angle and a telephoto lens fans heir perspective and depth of field at similar distances and their specific effects on the final image.

It’s not a DOF or bokeh issue, though. There is more to it than mere distance, but as a rule of thumb it works when considering perspective distortion!

The main issue in the example photos is lighting (& exposure). As there aren’t any real pronouncements to the contoured areas (I mentioned this previously) the first photo looks flat because of the lighting no highlights and shadows to give you that 3d feel, but you are right it is more of a distortion issue when the shapes look different then Actual shapes. My replies were to show th differences what MattB said and actual issue at hand. I wasn’t suggesting it was bokeh or depth of field that were the culprits.

So we agree :slight_smile: B)

But the issue being discussed is how the YYE photos make the profile look wonky. The top photograph, the sides of the yoyo seem to “bulge”, and each half just looks fatter and rounder than it really is. This is due to perspective distortion.

The next sample photograph shows the sides “flat” as they should be, and the rest of the perspective is more realistic as well, because there is less perspective distortion!

The actual issue at hand with regard to OP’s observation of the curved outer rim and thus wider yoyo proportion of the first photo compared to the flatter rim and thus narrower looking yoyo in the second photo, is the distance of the yoyo from the camera, period. Yes, lighting can certainly make an impression as to the depth of an object; however, in this case it’s not the primary cause of the shape distortion in the first photograph. The outline of the first yoyo is clearly curved compared to the second and this is not due to lighting.

A simple test will confirm my earlier example. I am at work at the moment, but perhaps someone can take photos of their Rally straight on to the gap from 12 inches including a zoomed shot to fill the frame and then wide angle shot from the same distance. Then repeat from 24 inches zoomed and wide angle. Then present all four uncropped photos, plus cropped versions of the wide angle ones so that the yoyo is the same size in the frame as the zoomed photos.

That, or we could just ask André and JD at what distances they take their photos from. ;D

It is not a particular interest of mine, but I was playing around taking shots of the Hyperion, and came up with this…in macro mode, zoomed all the way out of course, with the camera a mere inch or so from the yo-yo:

HyperionMacro by The TotalArtist, on Flickr

As for the Rally, my eyes do not pick up the Rally the way either of those photos are presented. I prefer to take my shots the way my eyes pick up the yo-yo. The Rally looks more like this to me, it was based on the shape of the Code2, which gives a good idea. For me, fat or skinny was not the way to go:

Rallyb by The TotalArtist, on Flickr

More than one way to skin a cat I guess. That photo from the other store, in my opinion, is not an ideal shot either. I can see part of the cup, and too much response area in the shot.

Thanks for the feedback guys - we will take a look and play around with our setup. :wink:

Haha looking at the image on a larger screen made the distortion more apparent! On my phone it was t so obvious so I agree MattB you were right, but also the lighting and exposure were aiding to poor front perspectives. So all in all the issues were all evident.

I have to shoot a few things tonight. I’ll take a photo of my set-up. It ain’t anything special but at least it’s a “starting point”.

I got to shot a lot of other stuff later on over the next couple of weeks. Most of it’s too big for the photo box though. I gotta pull out my big photo lights with their diffusers.

Thank you for this! I was planning to mention something because you’re right; it can be confusing/misleading.

i think it’d be cool if there was a picture of the actual size of the yoyo. I.E. if you held the yoyo up to the screen it would be the same size. Just one picture, no big deal. Idk.

Different screen sizes, different resolutions, different pixel sizes.

Best they could do is place a ruler and/or grid(0r ruled grid) and overlay the yoyo over that.

Otherwise, they could control this by having you print the yoyo image “life sized” via a PDF. I don’t think any of us would go for that.

Just wanted to acknowledge that YYE have done a fantastic job addressing this problem. It’s evident enough from these two comparisons of the new Supernova:



Much better. Good job guys!