Just for a moment, take in the beauty of Zeljko Kozomara’s gorgeous photo of Canada’s Lake Ohara in the Yoho National Park.
Given all the depth and area captured in this stunning photo, you might think a wide-angle lens was employed. After all, there’s a lot of territory covered in the image.
You’d likely be wrong.
My guess of what was used is the exact opposite. A telephoto lens. Note how close and tall the mountains appear relative to the foreground. To get the illusion of great depth without sacrificing proportions, we want to bring everything closer, not the opposite which is what happens when we use a wide angle lens.
In audio soundstaging, we are presented with a similar challenge. How to maintain deep front-to-back depth while at the same time keeping individual instruments and voices in proper perspective.
When we put together the Audiophile’s Guide one of the most important tracks turns out to be depth check. On these three tracks, we can hear the two singers at precisely measured distances from the microphone. If one’s system is correctly set up then the relative size of the voice should remain human-sized while moving deeper into the background.
Not many systems/rooms are set up to correctly handle both proper depth of soundstage and correct perspective, but when you get it right it’s a true joy.
Lastly, what I find fascinating is that once you achieve proper depth and perspective the tonal balance of what’s on offer seems to get better too.
It’s a real win win situation.