The INSIDER Summary:
• Nicole Kidman’s hands looked huge when she clapped at the Oscars.
• We believe it’s because ABC filmed with a camera using a wide-angle lens.
• Because the camera was so close, her hands looked distorted.
• If you take a closer look, everyone else in the frame also looked disproportional.
There are two strange things going on here.
One, she is holding her hands parallel to each other and banging her palms together while keeping her fingers far apart. Kidman has clapped like this since at least 2015. Maybe she’s trying to keep the heavy jewellery on her fingers from banging together, or maybe she’s just bad at clapping.
The second thing many viewers noticed was that her fingers look incredibly long and dispropotional to the rest of her body.
But there’s a simple reason why her fingers looked so long in the video — and it all has to do with the type of camera lens ABC may have used.
For something like the Oscars, where there are celebrities everywhere, it’s a good idea to get as many people from the crowd into each shot. To do that, the camera team by the crowd most likely used a wide-angle lens, according to Rafi Letzter, Business Insider’s resident photography expert.
With that kind of lens, things look distorted, especially near the edges of the screen, and especially when you’re closer to the camera.
Wide-angle lenses seldom make sense for person portraits, but they can be useful for crowd shots.
See this shot from a fish-eye lens? A wide-angle camera is like a less-extreme version of this.
So because the camera was so close to Nicole Kidman, and because her fingers are near the upper edge of the screen, it would make sense that they look slightly stretched out if the camera man is using a wide angle lens.
You can see the same effect in the shot with Kidman’s husband, Keith Urban. His hands are clapping (more normally) on the left edge of the shot, and they look like they have been gifted to him by a giant.
Even Octavia Spencer, who’s sitting fairly close to the middle of the frame, looks distorted. Her forearms look totally out of proportion relative to her hands.
So although this is mere speculation, we’re guessing the the wide-angle lens — used so close to Kidman and her seat neighbours — is what’s to blame for her fingers looking so long.
We still don’t, however, know why she’s clapping so strangely.
ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about their camera lenses.
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