Julia Herzig is a 22 year-old woman from Larchmont (N.Y.). “an obsession.” It’s with taking a new kind of selfie — one that doesn’t exactly conform.
In some of these selfies, Ms. Herzig’s forehead bulges across half of the frame. Half of her eyes look upwards at the camera, with half being disk-shaped. Her nose extends. Her mouth is almost invisible. The best images of this type are those that have their mouths closed. “ominous, creepy vibes,”She said.
Ms. Herzig started taking these pictures — called 0.5 selfies (pronounced “point five”Take selfies and you won’t regret it “half” selfies) — when she upgraded to an iPhone 12 Pro last year and discovered that its back camera had an ultra-wide-angle lens that could make her and her friends look “distorted and crazy.”
What seemed to be a joke, Ms. Herzig thought, was actually a lot more than she realized. After her spring break, Ms. Herzig opened Instagram to see a stream of 0.5 selfies.
“All of a sudden, one day, everyone was taking 0.5 selfies,”She said.
Wherever Gen Z gathers these days, a 0.5 selfie is almost bound to be taken, capturing the moment with random flattery — or comical lack thereof. Instagram is seeing a lot of 0.5 selfies. They are becoming a popular topic in group chats and being used to document the daily minutiae.
Unlike a traditional selfie, which people can endlessly prepare and pose for, the 0.5 selfie — so named because users tap 0.5x on a smartphone camera to toggle to ultra-wide mode — has become popular because it is far from curated. Since the ultra-wide-angle lens is built into the back cameras of phones, people can’t watch themselves take a 0.5 selfie, creating random images that convey the whimsy of distortion.
“You really don’t know how it’s going to turn out, so you just have to trust the process and hope something good comes out of it,”Callie Booth (19), from Rustburg in Va. said she had taken a good number of selfies. “antithesis”A good one should be facing the front.
Booth stated that she and her friends look blurry in their best selfies of 0.5. “It’s not the traditional perfect picture,”She said. “It makes it funnier to look back on.”
Problem is, it is very difficult to take a selfie of 0.5 inches. The back camera requires that you use angling or physical maneuvering. Selfie-takers need to extend their arms to the maximum extent possible in order to get everyone into a frame. They must place their smartphone perpendicular to the forehead of their face and at their hairline if they wish to minimize how much their faces distort.
To take a 0.5 selfie, you will need to hold the volume button of the phone while it is being flipped. Sometimes, 0.5 selfies taken with large groups of people require a self-timer. It is only half the fun that the selfies are visible.
“I just take it and I don’t actually look at it until later, so it becomes more about capturing the moment versus seeing what everything looks like,”Soul Park, 21 years old, Starkville (Miss.)
Wide- and ultra-wide-angle lenses aren’t new. Patented in 1862, these lenses can be used to create more detail in a scene, especially in architecture, street and landscape photography.
“It goes back as far as photography has been a thing,” said Grant Willing, a photographer who reviews cameras for the electronics superstore B&H Photo Video.
Selfies were popularized in celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Ellen DeGeneres. Oxford Dictionaries were added to the dictionary in 2013. “selfie”It was then added to the online dictionary, and it was named the Word of the Year.
The 0.5 selfie was birthed by the wide-angle lens’s convergence with the selfie, made possible when ultra-wide-angle lenses were added to Apple’s iPhone 11 and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 in 2019 and to newer models.
The wide angle makes subjects nearer to the lens appear larger than those further away. The shift in perspective can cause subjects to appear larger in architectural photography than it is in portraiture.
“Wide angle for portrait shoots was always really different because it just made it more distorted,”Alessandro Uribe–Rheinbolt (23), a Colombian photographer, is based in Detroit.
Mr. Uribe-Rheinbolt said he had recently brought the wide angle from his portrait work — where clients have asked for the look of a 0.5 selfie — to his personal life, using it to capture his friends, his outfits and his daily routine.
“It does give it a more casual look,”He said. “There’s a lot more creativity with the way you angle and the way that you put it closer.”
A 0.5-megapixel unabridged selfie looks more natural and playful than an edited selfie. Posting the selfies on Instagram, where limbs are noodly or eyes are buggy, is meant to be silly, making it seem like the photographers take themselves — and social media — less seriously.
“Something about it breaks the fourth wall because you’re acknowledging that you’re taking a picture for the sake of taking a picture,”Hannah Kaplon is 21 years old from Sacramento. “It’s trying to make Instagram casual again.”
A recent Duke University graduate Ms. Kaplon stated that she took 0.5 selfies for all occasions. These included a late night study in the library, dinner with 11 friends, and watching a game of basketball.
“Pretty soon, wherever my friends and I were, I was like, ‘We have to take a 0.5 selfie,’”She said. “The trend has taken on a life of its own.”
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