Sunday, January 28, 2007

Telephoto vs Wide Angle

Choosing a suitable subject for a photograph is never the problem. Interesting stuff is everywhere. The challenge is sometimes making the call as to which lens to use. It's not ever as simple as ..."use a wide lens and move in close". Or...." use a long lens and move back" Both of these techniques will work assuming your only concern is to fill the frame with the subject.

Optical distortion, and the way this can affect your images is an important tool for all photographers....especially nature and landscape shooters. Since we are shooting outdoors, we oftentimes can choose several locations to position ourselves to shoot the same scene. And as the distance between the camera and subject will will the focal length needed to frame up the identical elements.

I've chosen these 2 examples for this comparison because in each image, we're shooting a series of "like-sized" objects. And with ANY lens, if all the items are the same distance from the camera, they would be rendered the same size......moving further away, they get smaller.....closer, the size increases. Pretty basic stuff.

So.....for the cruise ship deck chairs, a super wide lens was chosen, because I wanted the closest chair to be huge, and decreasing in size fairly quickly as the pattern repeated in the diagonal line.

And for the lobster trap floats, a long telephoto was used. The desired effect here was for a similar size relationship between the closest and furthest. Neither resulting image is right or wrong. This creative choice is part of the artistic control we have as photographers. A good argument for always being prepared with a wide variety of lenses with you at all times.
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