Thursday, July 15, 2010

Experimenting with Focal Length

I just learned something about choosing the lens length for a photo.  It was a little bit of a "duh!" moment, but here it is.

On my camera, I have an 18mm - 55mm lens.  This means if I turn the zoom all the way to the right, I get a wide angle shot.  It takes in much more of the surrounding area if I don't walk up close to the subject.  The 55mm setting will bring the subject closer too me and allows me to "zoom in" on the subject and cut out unwanted elements from the photo.

Here's what I just learned.... Don't shoot me just because I'm a little slow!!

When I set the camera at the 18mm setting, the background seems farther away.  When I change to the 55mm setting, the background seems so much closer.

Here are 3 shots of my husbands car (all SOOC).  The car is parked in the driveway and I didn't move anything except myself.  I moved forward or backward to fill the frame with the front of the car.  See the difference??

18mm ~  see how stretched it seems from front to back?

35mm ~  seems so much more "normal" here.

55mm  ~  now the car seems short and the trees in the background seem so much closer.

Once I figured this out (just this past weekend), I began to actually think about it when I decided how far to zoom for a shot.  Remember this one from Tuesday?

I purposefully set the lens at 18mm so it would look like the sidewalk went on for a long way.  Before this, I would make decisions based on what I thought it should look like, but I didn't know why.  It's so nice to be able to make a decision and be able to articulate the "why?" of that decision!!  Yay!

Much love,


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