Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Frame - Focal Lengths and different viewpoints

This exercise is used to show the changing perspectives seen when viewing the same scene with different focal lengths. I chose to photograph a simple still life using some interesting stones found at Widemouth Bay in Cornwall. The first image was taken at 18mm, f/11 and shows a reasonably square grouping of stones.

The second image was taken at 200mm and the differences are clear to see. The longer focal length has compressed the distances between the stones making the grouping much more rectangular in shape. The shapes of some of the stones also appears changed as well as their relationship with each other.

Photographers can use this 'compression' for creative effect, for example making a portrait more flattering of making a subject stand out from a background.

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