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Subjects from third-grade, seventh-grade, and college-age levels who differed with respect to photographic skills and knowledge were asked to judge the comparative velocity and distance traveled by two trains on videotape. In each of four comparisons, the velocity and distance traveled by both trains were equal, but photographing the trains with lenses of different focal lengths produced apparent differences between the velocity and distance traveled by the trains. Both children and adults frequently interpreted the effect of lens focal length as actual differences between the two trains in velocity and distance traveled. Hands-on experience with the tools of visual media only slightly mitigated against this tendency. The implications of this study are that many viewers do not understand how television production techniques manipulate perceptual information, and may thus be misled by their use.